Bible Experiment Matthew and the New Testament

Thought experiment: The world, was not an accident.

It didn’t explode into being with a bang of unknown energy or cause. And in this thought experiment, you were not a product of chance. Or luck. In this thought experiment you were designed. Lovingly. And intentionally, by an all powerful and interested God. In this thought experiment He formed the stars. He formed galaxies. He formed the sun. He delicately balanced thousands upon thousands of variables in order to create you. Not only that, but in this thought experiment – that breath you just took – He did that. That thought you just had? He held your atoms, your synapses, your subatomic particles together in order to allow that thought to occur. Better yet? In this thought experiment even though this infinite creator could push you around like puppets on a string He doesn’t. He allows you to live, and breathe, and move, all autonomously, and devoid of any sort of need for Him. Well, any apparent need anyway.

Let’s get back to that thought experiment in a moment.

947 days ago, (or 2 years, 7 months, and 4 days), I started just a little series I thought I’d get completed in a couple months. The idea? To read a book of the Bible, and then to just free form write about the issues, problems, and clever bits that I find as I find them. I’d originally seen that an Anonymous Atheist was working on this exact idea (which he abandoned (died?) after about 30 books in. Though it’s taken me a couple years, I’m still going… and still plan on continuing until I hit book sixtysix and then the ride will be completed.

Today though? Today’s a big day. Today we leave the land of the Old Testament, and enter the land of the New Testament. Today we discuss the difference between the Old and the New. Today we leave the land of Judgement, and we enter the hoped for land.

So what is the difference between the first 39 books of the Bible and the remaining 27? Well, actually… absolutely nothing. The message of the gospel of the New Testament was littered throughout the Old Testament. But it hadn’t arrived yet. The hope of restoration, and forgiveness was there… but not completely yet. The idea of having one’s guilt wiped away, and having their doubt and insecurities eradicated? There. But only in a mere shadow.

So in this thought experiment that I’ve asked you to join me on, we find ourselves at a cross road. We have been created by an all powerful creator. Which, while cool in and of itself has us hanging a bit in the balance. We are over here:

x <———————–

and he is over there

————————> x

Woman Looking in Mirror --- Image by © Christopher Weidlich/CorbisHow is it possible to remove that distance? To make it more like so? —-> xx? And that distance? That chasm between x and x? That’s my sin. My rebellion. And your sin. Your so called “cleverness”. Because, let’s not kid ourselves, you aren’t perfect. And a perfect creator – someone with the ability to create you? Oh yeah, he’s perfect. Look at that beautiful face of yours in the mirror. Seriously… stop. Look.

So yeah, he’s perfect. He made you after all. And the mesas of Arizona. Cumulus clouds. And the glaciers. Ooh! And he created the unicorn of the sea, the Narwhal. Right? So yeah, he’s perfect. Which brings back to the you over here <——- and him over there ——-> problem. Which was echoed of throughout the entirety of the Old Testament. No? The sacrificial duct tape that was just holding the dam back. Right? Well, all of that, the whole 39 books of the Old Testament is just leading up to this book (well this book and Mark, Luke, and John). The Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke & John) tell the story about how God chose to solve this here, and there problem.

And he chose to do that by sending himself to earth, and to take on our sins for himself. To die the death we should die. And to make here = there. It doesn’t make much sense from my finite mind that he would choose to solve a problem that wasn’t his. That he would solve a problem that was mine, 100% to solve.

So that is the thought experiment, and that is where Matthew comes into this infinitely complex equation.

Which brings us to the actual book of Matthew. The goal of my experiment is simple really. I read one book of the Bible… and talk about the thoughts running through my head as I read it. And I actually had a bit of a difficulty with Matthew. Reading it from this fresh perspective, and from this fresh vantage. It was hard to read it from the view of never having read it before, when it was one of my favorite books in the Bible. It begins with Jesus’ genealogy, which was uber important to the Jews, in that the Messiah was prophesied for hundreds and hundreds, actually thousands of years, that he would come. And not just that he would come, but he would come from a specific family, and from a specific line of history, and parents. Because, the point of the book of Matthew is important… the purpose of this book was specifically for you. It was solely written to prove to you that the Messiah – the savior – had come and he had come according to how the prophets told he would. Matthew is written for you. Just for you.

We begin with the genealogy and then quickly move on to the virgin birth, the Magi, and the flight to Egypt from the out of his mind Herod that wanted to kill this little usurper in baby form. This is the Christmas story. You know the Christmas story right? I mean, heck, I’m happy to retell it… but I think you know this part. (Don’t worry, I still have time to tell it, and retell it in Mark, Luke, and even in John if you’d like.) God chose the lowly things of this world to humble the lofty. And so we have a defenseless baby, in a manger… crying out in the night. Echoing throughout all of eternity of God’s plan for you, and his desire to reconcile you to himself. So Jesus is born, and there is a massive conspiracy out to kill him. And thousands of boys throughout the region are killed. Mary and Joseph flee to Egypt. Isn’t that interesting that the powers that be were out to kill God in flesh the moment he was born?

hitler-impact-on-the-worldhitler-impact-on-the-worldWe see Jesus again at the age of 12 head to the temple with his family… get lost, and then get found again… and then, something like 30 years later, Jesus pops back up on the radar again. We guess that between 12 and 30 Jesus’ father (step father really) has died because there is no mention of him again. Jesus then begins heading out into the surrounding area and assembling disciples which was common for the day for Rabbis (teachers) to do. And so this is how Jesus and this coterie of guys assemble to become the single biggest change this world has ever seen. Can you think of another group of 10 or 15 guys that have made a bigger difference in the world? Maybe the only other group of guys that I can think of that had another big impact was Hitler, Goebbles, Eichman, Goering, Heydrich, Himmler and the lot. But that was decidedly not a good impact on the world. Are there others that you can think of that assembled for good, that had a significant impact on the world?

Jesus began the tradition of heading out to the synagogue and reading from the scroll of the Torah for the day’s reading, and then he would teach. And the leaders and teachers of the day quickly began wondering who this backwater hippy was and where he was getting his amazing authority from. Oh and the miracles. Jesus was performing miracles regularly… everywhere. I once listed every single miracle that Jesus performed that was specifically mentioned throughout the gospels and came up with 73 different mentions of his miracles. And many of them? They were like, “And holy cow… there were a bucket load of people healed that day.” Another time it was like, “The disciples tried to talk Jesus into heading to an Arby’s and getting some food… but nope, he just kept going…” Or something like that.

But as soon as Jesus started his period of ministry the clock started on his life and his time on earth because the powers that be were not interested at all allowing this Jesus upstart to continue. What’s interesting though, was that Jesus was born to come and die violently. That was the goal from the beginning. No one understood that. No one grasped this was the truth. But that was the whole entire purpose of his arrival on earth. He came to die for you. For your sins. And to bring you back into fellowship with him. There was no other purpose. And so this was the stage that was set from the beginning. Jesus came, and challenged the people, the Pharisees, the Sadducee of the day and it was through this disturbing of the natural order that Jesus marked himself for a death on a cross.

And let’s talk about a few details about this death. We have embraced the cross as a fashion symbol and decorated it with gold and silver. We hang it on chains around our necks, but at the time it was one of the most reviled and horrifying symbols of the day. It’d be like wearing an electric chair around your neck. That just doesn’t make any sense. Or a guillotine. It’s an absurd thought. Not to mention the fact that it was thought that the looker would be cursed to see someone else’s nudity. So take a reviled device of murder, and couple that with disgraceful nudity and you are starting to get the idea of just what a terrible way to die this was. Never mind the pain of suffocating on a cross (which is how a crucified criminal would die, not actually from bleeding out) which came as the person was unable to hold themselves up with their feet anymore which caused pressure on the lungs… and the eventual and slow suffocation.

So why exactly did the God of the universe, who created the morning dawn, and created you, decide to commit deicide – regicide – sui-dei-regi-cide – on your behalf?

Well. Because He loves you. That’s why.

And believe it or not, that unfillable hole that you have in your chest that you have been trying to fill with great movies, great food, great travel, great entertainment, great drugs, great sex, with a great life? You are never ever going to fill that hole. The only way that you will fill that hole is with an infinitely large entity, like God. Oh, and by the way, you were created to commune and live in relationship with him… here on earth and then after. I talked about it back in Genesis, but that is how you were created. And the only way that you will find contentment in this life is in relationship with him.

I am not a late night preacher asking for your money. I am not a snake oil salesman. I have zero gain in telling you about this amazing truth except that I care about you as a fellow human being. That’s it. But the choice to accept this man Jesus as God is your choice entirely. And I’m not going to push him on you either. I’m just sharing this truth with you because it really is the most amazing thing in the world.

It’s as if I found an enormous pile of Shane Carruth movies in some closed up closet somewhere that had never been published (I talk about movies on this blog a lot, and one of my favorite directors is Shane Carruth – just go with me on this lame analogy, insert your favorite director instead of Shane, that’s fine. It hurts a little… but that’s fine.) and I want the world to know about it. Right? But heck, we have 26 more books for you to catch the drift of just how much God loves you, and I love you… and just how amazing this closet of Shane Carruth’s films is. But why wait til the end to do something about it? Why not change that life of yours that is still aching because of that God shaped hole in your chest? Why not do something about it today. Email me – I’ll chat with you about it more if you’d like. My email is taylor at taylorholmes dot com.

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15 Responses

  1. Kate

    I like how you highlighted that part of the purpose of the Book of Matthew is to confirm that Jesus is the Messiah for whom the Jews have been waiting. One thing I don’t understand about present-day Jews (and any since the time of Jesus that didn’t decide to follow him) is what it was about Jesus that made Him not seem to be their messiah. I know that they expected a great political leader, for one.

    But I guess my main concern is that although I don’t know many devout Jews – if any – I don’t perceive any anticipation of “their” promised Messiah. It’s as if they have decided to do without. Which is a shame. I feel like it makes for a joyless life.

    Reply
    • Taylor Holmes

      I think I’ve tried to respond to this comment of yours like ten different times Kate. Gosh. Not sure what is happening. Let’s see – what did I say? Oh yes…

      You are spot on, the Jews missed Jesus because he came as a baby in a manger. Not as a great conqueror to avenge the Israeli nation against the whole world. In the Old Testament it munges both visits by the Christ and it could be seen as one if you aren’t paying attention. But Isaiah 53 and other chapters throughout the Old Testament (or TaNaCH) spell out Christ’s first arrival, death and resurrection…

      Paul is the perfect example of this problem though. Look at Philippians 3 were he sarcastically portrays himself as THE PERFECT JEW. He is looking back across the divide and extolling his bona fides.

      “If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.

      Tribe of Benjamin was the only tribe that stuck with Judah. So as far as tribes go, the best. A Pharisee? A leader of the Law amongst Israel. And FAULTLESS! hahah. That is so awesome. He obeyed every law proscribed… not just of the Torah but also the laws of the Pharisees. Right? But he all that as loss:

      “But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.”

      Right? Because he realized that works did nothing for him. It was just Christ’s saving grace on the cross that saved him. And not only that, he was more lost than anyone else. (Flip to 1 Timothy 1:15 and you’ll see Paul say that he is the worst of all sinners… not because he wasn’t saved… but because he understood better than most just how far away from God he was on his own without Christ.) So yeah Kate, you are on to something. I have gone so far as to join Jewish online groups to see them discuss sacrifice and the temple and observing the Law in a post temple world. It’s all very curious to me as you have said.

      This is the age of the Gentiles (Luke 21:24) after all. But we pray for them all the same. Pray that the eyes of their hearts are opened. It is only through Christ that others realize their need for a savior in the first place. Right? I definitely can’t boast that I was clever enough to come to that realization on my own. That is for sure.

      Thanks for the comment Kate. (On my other posts I get thousands of comments… but on this, the most important of things I think I’ve gotten 3? hahah. So it is really appreciated.)

      Reply
  2. MrSpock

    Taylor and fellow seekers,
    Wow! What a pleasant surprise to read words like these. I have no idea who Shane Caruth is but I do know who JESUS is, and like you said, he is the one person who absolutely and unselfishly loves us. Notice I called him a “person” even though I also believe he is the Son of God. Like Matthew’s genealogy points out, Jesus became a man just like you or I. The Bible says he EMPTIED himself, so I suppose that means he emptied himself of his God-ness for the 33 years he walked on this planet as a man.

    Like you said, he did that for basically one primary reason- to die! Go figure! To die on the cross to be the substitute atonement for our sins! Now I know many people don’t want to hear that word “sin” but apparently this is a pretty important word to God. So, if humans desire a life greater than 80 years and then worms eating your flesh, you have to go to the playbook and follow the rules.

    Sin leads to death which leads to separation from God. So, if you don’t care about what happens when you die and you don’t care about what some God thinks, enjoy your 80 years and eat, drink, and be merry. I for one NEED a lot more to make me get out of bed. I need a hope that is ETERNAL! JESUS gives me that hope, and I’m convinced it is trustworthy. If you don’t believe in the hope JESUS offers, what do you believe in? Ultimately, that is the final exam question we all have to take.

    Shalom and thanks for this article. Can’t wait to read more.
    MS

    Reply
    • Taylor Holmes

      Thanks for the comment Mr. Spock. I imagine that for those who don’t get it, this is a very very hard word. It’s hard to understand. And yet the basics of the gospel are utterly simple.

      God loves you.

      I definitely don’t think less of those that don’t believe. But they do have my prayers. Prayers that this all loving and caring Abba would draw them to himself in due time. Thanks again for commenting sir.
      Taylor

      Reply
  3. Sam Awai

    Wow Taylor, I didn’t realize you were a Christian. Well, I was raised in a Baptist church by a father who was and currently is the pastor. At around the age of 18 I left the church and haven’t been a practicing Christian since. I do however drop my 2 children off at church on sundays and my parents have taught them to love Jesus. My oldest daughter has recently been baptized. With that being said, I am still struggling to find my blind faith to follow Christ. In all honesty, I still proclaim to believe that Jesus died on the cross for my sins. But it’s only because I’d rather be “safe than sorry”.
    I have tried to debate religion with my family, but the answers are always the same. (And I already know what their answers to my questions will be).
    I love your sarcastic commentary on the Bible and am wondering if maybe you could answer (or at least give me your opinion) on a few questions that have made me lose my faith.

    For the time being I’ll start off with a single question.
    1. Is there any chance that a devout Buddhist will make it to the kingdom of heaven?

    Reply
    • Taylor Holmes

      Hey there Sam,
      cool story, and I’m deeply touched that you would honor me with your questions. If you’ve been around much at all (sorry, it feels as if readers know me, but I on the other hand feel like I’m a madman typing in a closet sometimes! hahah.) It’s really cool that you would do that for your children even though you aren’t 100% what to think.

      My first comment, really has nothing to do with your question. But if I may… the reason to dive completely in is to not for heaven… but rather to have Life, and to have Life to the full. (To quote John 10:10) Be done living a lower case l life. And start Living an upper case L life. yeah? Maybe we should fly to a central location, have a beer and chat. Hard to discuss this fully via comments in a blog post! hahah.

      Now, to your actual question. Let’s not take a church’s word for it. Baptist’s or Presbyterian’s or what have you’s word for it. Let’s go straight to the source and figure this junk out ourselves! hahah.

      I’m going to go to one verse. Just one. (I have to go pick up my daughter, I could give you more. But this one is so good. So clear, I don’t think I need others. But this is Jesus talking to the disciples specifically about heaven and how to get there.

      John 14:1-6 “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way where I am going.” Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”

      Ok? So Christ is going to heaven. The disciples are clueless. They don’t know how to get there so they ask, like idiots. hahaha. Which is great, for me. I’m glad they weren’t like… Oh no, totally… we got this. (um, do you know what he meant? hahah.) So they ask and what is His answer? “I am the way. I am the truth. I am the Life” (with a capital L to my earlier point.) “No one can get to God, but through me.”

      The contra verse that is sometimes used is John 10:16 – “I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.” There are some others, but they are really really weak. My counter to that verse is that Jesus was talking about you and me, the Gentiles. The rest of the world. This wasn’t just a Jewish religion thing. He was saying that this salvation is going to blow up around the world. You don’t get that yet. But trust me, it’s for everyone. Not that all religions are covered here.

      So, the long and short of it. No. A really good Buddhist will not make it to heaven. But the reason isn’t abundantly clear. It’s because the Buddhist believes that he is capable of working his way to eventually becoming the bodhisattva. Completely moral. Completely perfect. And then, he will be able to turn and help one other become the bodhisattva in his place. And so on. There is none that is good… no not one. We all are desperate for a savior. And that savior was Christ, who died on the cross and destroyed sin on our behalf. It was not through any good that I can do on my own. None. Right? But by my belief in Jesus as the Messiah… as God, that saves me. Please don’t think that Christianity is exclusive because of this. Anyone who believes this is saved. The guy on the Cross next to Jesus… the thief who was dying a sinners death met Christ in heaven that very day. Right? And it was solely because he believed.

      I’m happy to walk you through more scriptures on this if you’d like. But that is a really really clear example… the clearest really. I think? I’d have to do a little searching to find them all. But it’d be doable. Hopefully that doesn’t shut me down from getting question number 2! hahaha. Dying to hear it.

      Thanks again for the honor to talk through it with you. But remember… it’s about Life with a capital L. I’m done with the lower case l living.

      Reply
      • Jinh

        Taylor, it is a narrow belief system which tells people Buddhists won’t go to heaven. Buried in your eighth paragraph reply you state, “A really good Buddhist will not make it to heaven.”

        What kind of intelligent, omnipotent god would create millions of people who would not be considered worthy of heaven? Obviously the Christian man-made-up god. Sad. It’s all so sad people believe in such a god. Grow up. Wake up. We’re all in this world together. It’s just us with all our differences yet we’re all one. We need to get along and respect the beauty of our different looks, personalities. Belief systems like religions have proven in a long history that they do more to separate people than bring them together.

      • Taylor Holmes

        It isn’t a question of goodness. And it isn’t a question of merit. The simple question at the end of the day is one’s acceptance or denial of the one true God. If we deny God, He will deny us. We love pluralism and acceptance. I am all for that. Generally. But in this one area, Christ made it pretty clear that denying God is a fairly tragic path to follow.

  4. Jinh

    Only tragic for those who choose a belief system based and limited on what people knew in very early times. The word “ancient” is given far more respect in regards to blind faith and uneducated adoration than it deserves.

    If there were a god, it would manifest in such a way to give concrete evidence but it doesn’t occur because we’ve come a long way from those ancient days and limited knowledge. Heck, it was a big to-do for ancient people to gather and watch executions. Why should people living today revere ancient people’s accounts who didn’t understand yet the importance of washing their hands and would attribute sickness to a devil?

    There’s a little book by Neil deGrasse Tyson called, “Astrophysics for People in a Hurry” which will more accurately inform that the universe is certainly NOT the kind of made-up story religious zealots give credit to a “loving God.” In all truth, the universe which surrounds our amazing planet as it hurtles in space is far from a “kind” place created by a benevolent god. Any number of things can change—and have changed—the existence of life on this planet. That’s why doomsday prophesies can always seem believable simply because catastrophic events are, and will always be, ominous.

    What kind of intelligent, omnipotent god would demand a belief in them based on fear or retribution of non-belief, or expect loyalty based on blind faith as THE ONLY pathway? It simply makes no sense. But it would to ancient people who thought the sun revolved around a flat earth…and to people in this day and age who don’t care to read, learn about discoveries happening in their own lifetime but choose to ignore and follow antiquated and fear-based belief systems.

    No one needs a god to live in this world and do the right thing or to be kind to others. It’s empty-hearted and shallow if folks are only doing kind deeds because they want to appease a god and go to heaven. A man-made god of this world is not needed to deeply feel more empathy, love. Because of the mystery of life/death no one yet really knows or understands, yet, sadly, some folks feel safer by clinging to ancient myths.

    The very short lifespan we share levels us, makes us all equal, no matter how we perceive things. It’s far more liberating and sane to choose freedom from a man-made-up-god than hold on to the fear and ignorance taught by the questionable validity of writings by ancient people who didn’t know about the atom, gravity, DNA, neuroscience, etc.

    Reply
  5. Jinh

    What first got my attention was your assertion “the world didn’t explode into being”. You need to read up more on astrophysic discoveries to become more balanced instead of voicing your religiously biased opinions. The Big Bang is far more probable and provable than the man-made-god version written by a biblical human scribe.

    It’s so easy to divide the world into good and evil. You also owe it to yourself to read up on current neuroscience discoveries about the brain.

    All this energy to praise and sermonize the Bible, a book composed by human beings of intelligence of the times, does little to help people in these times considering religion has been around for quite a while and hasn’t cured or stopped violence.

    If more money was donated to scientific studies of the brain/body than given to the maintenance of churches and their employees of various titles—priests, pastors, clergy, Cardinals, Pope, etc.—all of them of human fallibility and construct, people could experience an educated, carefully researched understanding of the complexities of what makes us who we are…and better understand, have empathy toward those who do “evil” things.

    So many reasons why people do “evil” things can be attributed to physical and mental illness beyond one’s control. We really are all equal and one in this matter because of the human body’s complexities…brain abnormalities concerning the amygdala, hormonal influences, tumors in the brain, skewed seratonin levels in the gut (yeah, there) and a myriad of other reasons people become defined in the ignorant way of a biblical “evil”.

    Start showing real mercy and forgiveness by giving credence to scientific research studies on the brain, the body which may give answers to the solutions to stop those of us who turn violent, harm others.

    In a way, we are all capable of insanity or violence because of our brain/body influences. It’s not the devil or a god’s test but a our own body’s fallibility.

    Science is discovering more and more information about why we think, behave, do the things we do. Please check it out yourself on places like PubMed by typing in your questions on latest research findings or subscribing to science oriented publications which offer latest findings from tests and numerous retestings providing amazing research results about our body/brain.

    The “devil” didn’t make you do it—the amygdala in your brain did.

    Reply
    • Taylor

      Hey Ned,
      (The nickname I’ve taken partiality to) I was just saying you were designed. I’m ok with a bang. It does say in Genesis that God said, let there be light and there was light… after all. I am actually of the opinion that science will prove out the Bible. That study and reseach will direct us to God. I adore science. I enjoy reading scientific papers (though not as thoroughly as you as my math skills are fairly abhorant) and plumbing the research and seeing the amazing things that researchers are discovering about the world around us. Why? Because it tells of God’s ingenuity and brilliance. It tells of His deeper truths and His story that he has written across the cosmos. So yeah, I’m cool with a bang. You missed my point – which was – you were designed in that bang – you were deeply loved in that moment. That’s all. Take a deep breath! Hahah.

      Now as to evil. You write all evil off as defects and insanities of the body? If only the body could be perfected we too wouldn’t commit sins? Do you seriously believe that architectural and philosophical building Block? Because if so that house of yours will be extraordinarily shaky in a moment. Because, WHOOPS! I just stole your purse and shived you in your sleep. Your one go at life! And it’s over because I decided I wanted the contents of your purse – some lipstick, a credit card, and a package of Kleenex. Seriously?!? Rough! Or worse yet, I’ve decided my mother-in-law is a bitch and deserves to be mowed down Inc her church alongside 25 others? This is just a body malfunction? Hahahah, no no no!

      This is a deep deep truth – and just listen to me just once for a change!! You are the spoils of war. You are being fought over by forces of evil that want very much for you not to listen to what it is that God is saying right now. They are actively telling you that I’m nuts. Heck, they’ll tell you anything that works to make you not believe me.

      Catching another flight. But just wanted to say, I am not an enemy of science. I may differ on the philosophical/spiritual prime mover that started things into motion, but otherwise I am not antithetical to its research and study. Not at all. There are a ton of scriptures that tell that nature and science point us to our creator. So why the Pope or any religious leaders would be anti-science is beyond me.

      Taylor
      Ps you can’t use jinh anymore. Djinn has been my online nom de plume (nom de guerre?) for years and years. Go back to Ned! Hahah.

      Reply
      • Taylor

        Ps – almost done with 2 Corinthians – you’ll have more content to disagree with here soon!

  6. Ned

    O ye of little trust concerning my thoughtful reading of your comments and checking out your links haha! I could argue the same about your “listening to me for a change” because it seems you speedread and possibly neglect to open links sent from me. Well, I DO listen. The thing is, I started out as religiously devout as you but learning from science and life’s experiences conflicts with faith-belief systems.

    It’s unfortunate to not know enough about the body/brain as one would like to know; what I do know is as simplistic as your religious belief about good and evil. Ongoing research has come leaps and bounds about what makes us tick as human beings. It’s far more than just a faulty amygdala which affects us from becoming criminals. Myriad complexities of our body/brain has EVERYTHING to do with how we function or malfunction in the short lifespans in which we live. However, in comparison of what is currently discovered, you only offer a sort of superstitious view about good and evil affecting our lives which is tantamount to bygone days when power was given to religious leaders who put to death or imprisoned those who were gaining insights that the Sun did not revolve around the Earth.

    It’s not uncommon for a scientist to belong to a religious faith. As discoveries are made, the oxymoron of a “religious scientist” may rationalize these findings as you do but it doesn’t mean their religious bias proves a god exists in the matter.

    On a lighter note, I’ve been involved with computers since their inception—most likely you were attending K-12 at that time—so “Jinh” is an alias used for far more years than your cool “Djinn”…but you can call me Ned, Quinn, Maeve, McElroy, Kemo or any other nom de plume left on your blog site if you’re so partial and stingy haha! about sharing the a/k/a…it’s all good.

    It’s fantastic you listen to Sam Harris’ podcasts but please read his books, too. I’ve mentioned it before but I encourage you to read Richard Dawkins, “The Magic of Reality”…it’s written, IMO, for youngsters to easily read but will help a person of any age to better understand how the world, universe really works. It helps put into perspective early mankind’s myths in comparison to what’s discovered in science today. For instance, in reading about the universe’s explosive beginning based on the projecting movement, ongoing expansion of planets, galaxies, it’s an extremely hostile and chaotic environment far removed from a purposeful, orderly “loving” made-up-man-god.

    Our bodies are also composed of ingredients found in the cosmos and our DNA connects us to ALL living things…yeah, even to cockroaches! DNA discoveries greatly conflict with faith-based creationism beliefs. This and other discoveries go against what early New Christians composed for the Bible, do not lend to the misgotten idea science proves a god exists—certainly, not to the man-god-myth. Geesh, just the lop-sided unbalanced belief the only god this world worships is a man is clue enough not enough people question things and are comfortable with such a skewed, ancient conception. It will continue to be a “man’s world” as long as religions exist.

    Taylor, you’ve mentioned some current events regarding recent horrible mass shootings. What was done to innocent people is evil. I would like to share what science is contributing to help better understand and find a way to someday deter a person from making such an evil choice.

    The Vegas shooter’s brain was initially examined for common signs which may negatively influence mental health such as tumors, prior injury, etc. Since initial autopsy examination presented nothing obvious, his brain was sent to another laboratory facility which will perform further extensive studies. His body still lies in an undisclosed place since local funeral or crematory businesses in Las Vegas do not desire any affiliation with the matter.

    Each state may differ with laws, family rights which may impede studies on the brain’s of mass murderers. It’s a fairly new process in the forensic portion of finding out the “why” a person commits murder than just leaving it to the simplistic, narrow “good and evil” belief system.

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    • Taylor Holmes

      For the record? I read that entire comment twice dang it. Even though I am tired numerous security screenings and fullon friskings. And even though I don’t have time to respond I am responding to let you know I read it. heheh.

      Reply

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