Researcher: Faint writing seen on Shroud of Turin (Update)

Researcher: Faint writing seen on Shroud of Turin (AP)
In this Aug. 12, 2000 file photo, The Holy Shroud, a 14 foot-long linen revered by some as the burial cloth of Jesus, is shown at the Cathedral of Turin, Italy. A Vatican researcher claims a nearly invisible text on the Shroud of Turin proves the authenticity of the artifact revered as Jesus’ burial cloth. The claim made in a new book by historian Barbara Frale drew immediate skepticism from some scientists, who maintain the shroud is a medieval forgery. Frale, a researcher at the Vatican archives, said Friday, Nov. 20, 2009, that she used computers to enhance images of faintly written words in Greek, Latin and Aramaic scattered across the shroud. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni, file)
(AP) -- A Vatican researcher has rekindled the age-old debate over the Shroud of Turin, saying that faint writing on the linen proves it was the burial cloth of Jesus. Experts say the historian may be reading too much into the markings, and they stand by carbon-dating that points to the shroud being a medieval forgery.

Barbara Frale, a researcher at the Vatican archives, says in a new book that she used computer-enhanced images of the shroud to decipher faintly written words in Greek, Latin and Aramaic scattered across the cloth.

She asserts that the words include the name "(J)esu(s) Nazarene" - or Jesus of Nazareth - in Greek. That, she said, proves the text could not be of medieval origin because no Christian at the time, even a forger, would have mentioned Jesus without referring to his divinity. Failing to do so would risk being branded a heretic.

"Even someone intent on forging a relic would have had all the reasons to place the signs of divinity on this object," Frale said Friday. "Had we found 'Christ' or the 'Son of God' we could have considered it a hoax, or a devotional inscription."

The shroud bears the figure of a crucified man, complete with blood seeping from his hands and feet, and believers say Christ's image was recorded on the linen's fibers at the time of his resurrection.

The fragile artifact, owned by the Vatican, is kept locked in a protective chamber in a Turin cathedral and is rarely shown. Measuring 13 feet (four meters) long and three feet (one meter) wide, the shroud has suffered severe damage through the centuries, including from fire.

The Catholic Church makes no claims about the cloth's authenticity, but says it is a powerful symbol of Christ's suffering.

There has been strong debate about it in the scientific community.

Skeptics point out that radiocarbon dating conducted on the cloth in 1988 determined it was made in the 13th or 14th century.

But Raymond Rogers of Los Alamos National Laboratory said in 2005 that the tested threads came from patches used to repair the shroud after a fire. Rogers, who died shortly after publishing his findings, calculated it is 1,300 to 3,000 years old and could easily date from Jesus' era.

Another study, by the Hebrew University, concluded that pollen and plant images on the shroud showed it originated in the area around Jerusalem sometime before the eighth century.

While faint letters scattered around the face on the shroud were seen decades ago, serious researchers dismissed them, due to the results of the radiocarbon dating test, Frale told The Associated Press.

But when she cut out the words from enhanced photos of the shroud and showed them to experts, they concurred the writing style was typical of the Middle East in the first century - Jesus' time.

She believes the text was written on a document by a clerk and glued to the shroud over the face so the body could be identified by relatives and buried properly. Metals in the ink used at the time may have allowed the writing to transfer to the linen, Frale said.

She said she counted at least 11 words in her study of enhanced images produced by French scientists in a 1994 study. The words are fragmented and scattered on and around the image's head, crisscrossing the cloth vertically and horizontally.

One short sequence of Aramaic letters has not been fully translated. Another fragment in Greek - "iber" - may refer to Emperor Tiberius, who reigned at the time of Jesus' crucifixion, Frale said.

She said the text also partially confirms the Gospels' account of Jesus' final moments. A fragment in Greek that can be read as "removed at the ninth hour" may refer to Christ's time of death reported in the holy texts, she said.

Researcher says text proves Shroud of Turin real (AP)
FILE - In this Aug. 12, 2000 file photo, The Holy Shroud, a 14 foot-long linen revered by some as the burial cloth of Jesus, is shown at the Cathedral of Turin, Italy. A Vatican researcher claims a nearly invisible text on the Shroud of Turin proves the authenticity of the artifact revered as Jesus’ burial cloth. The claim made in a new book by historian Barbara Frale drew immediate skepticism from some scientists, who maintain the shroud is a medieval forgery. Frale, a researcher at the Vatican archives, said Friday that she used computers to enhance images of faintly written words in Greek, Latin and Aramaic scattered across the shroud. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni, file)

In her book "The Shroud of Jesus Nazarene," published in Italian, Frale reconstructs from the lettering on the shroud what she believes Jesus' death certificate said: "Jesus Nazarene. Found (guilty of inciting the people to revolt). Put to death in the year 16 of Tiberius. Taken down at the ninth hour."

She said the text then stipulates the body will returned to relatives after a year.

Frale said her research was done without the support of the Vatican.

"I tried to be objective and leave religious issues aside," Frale told the AP. "What I studied was an ancient document that certifies the execution of a man, in a specific time and place."

Frale's work usually focuses on medieval documents. She is noted for research on the order of the Knights Templar and her discovery of unpublished documents on the group in the Vatican's archives.

Earlier this year, she published a study saying the Templars once had the shroud in their possession. That raised eyebrows because the order was abolished in the early 14th century and the shroud is first recorded in history around 1360 in the hands of a French knight.

Her latest book on the shroud raised even more doubts among some experts.

On one hand, it is true that a medieval forger would label the object with Christ's name, as were all relics produced at the time, said Antonio Lombatti, a church historian who has written about the shroud. The problem is that there are no inscriptions to be seen in the first place.

"People work on grainy photos and think they see things," Lombatti told the AP. "It's all the result of imagination and computer software. ... If you look at a photo of the shroud, there's a lot of contrast between light and dark, but there are no letters."

Further criticizing Frale's work, Lombatti said that artifacts bearing Greek and Aramaic texts were found in Jewish burials from the first century, but the use of Latin is unheard of.

He also rejected the idea that authorities would officially return the body of a crucified man to relatives after filling out some paperwork. Victims of that form of execution used by the Romans would usually be left on the cross or were disposed of in a dump to add to its deterrent.

Lombatti said "the message was that you won't even have a tomb to cry over."

Another shroud expert, Gian Marco Rinaldi, said that even scientists who believe in the relic's authenticity have dismissed as unreliable the images on which Frale's study was based.

"These computer enhancements increase contrast in an unrealistic way to bring out these signs," he said. "You can find them all over the shroud, not just near the head, and then with a bit of imagination, you see letters."

Unusual sightings in the shroud are common and are often proved false, said Luigi Garlaschelli, a professor of chemistry at the University of Pavia. He recently led a team of experts that reproduced the shroud using materials and methods available in the 14th century - proof, they said, that it could have been made by a human hand in the Middle Ages.

Decades ago, entire studies were published on coins purportedly seen on Jesus' closed eyes, but when high-definition images were taken during a 2002 restoration, the artifacts were nowhere to be seen and the theory was dropped, Garlaschelli said.

He said any theory about ink and metals would have to be checked by analysis of the shroud itself.

The last public display of the shroud was in 2000, when more than 1 million people turned up to see it. The next is scheduled for 2010, and Pope Benedict XVI has been asked to visit it.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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Nov 20, 2009
it's been radiocarbon dated to the thirteen hundreds; this poses a bit of a problem for it to be genuine;

Nov 20, 2009
The jury is still out about the authenticity of the Shroud. Both sides in the debate have made an exhaustive case for their side via the scientific method. Some but certainly not all of the Shroud detractors I believe have an anti-religion, specifically an anti-Christian bias that drives their research. This bunch seeks to discredit all things theistic. To label those researchers who believe in the authenticity of the Shroud as being "religiously" motivated may have a stain of truth to it although having a certain philosophical bias one way or another is not a bad thing. I just wish that those on the skeptic side would stop trying to make a religious bias seem like a bad thing when it isn't, and since they to have an opposing bias, they need to get off their high horse and stop sounding like hypocrites.

No matter if the Shroud turns out to be a fake or not, it won't take away from the fact that IMHO, that there is a Higher Power (God) to man.

Nov 20, 2009
My issue w/God is its hard to create a starting point in time.. even if there was a big bang, what was before it? which makes me think time doesn't have a starting point, which would be hard to give God a starting point. Things just are the way they are because they cant be any other way for existence to be, this doens't automatically make a God because we as humans cant fathom our puny existence, and when we do we're so lonely we need a God.

Nov 20, 2009
an exhaustive case for their side via the scientific method

I apologize, I'm not too informed on this matter, what exactly is the exhaustive scientific case FOR the authenticity again?
having a certain philosophical bias one way or another is not a bad thing

So long as it doesn't factor into your thesis and methodology at all, sure, that's where the inquiry begins. But if you're looking for evidence to prove, without attempting to falsify, then I think you have a problem.

Yes
Nov 20, 2009
People had been put to death for less evidence than the evidence for the authenticity of the shroud respect it being from around the first century. To understand you should read. At first I found it unlikely for it to be mistakenly radio carbon dated to the 12th century, however after reading why the dating may have been a mistake, I understand that the C14 difference between 12th century and 1st century is easy to go wrong with substantial 14th and 15th century material contamination. And while it is highly unlikely they will cut a piece from the center of the shroud, it will remain a C14 mystery for a while. But I do recommend to read the other evidence. There is quite some around and some of it is actually very good. I suppose that that is what they refer to in the article.

Nov 20, 2009
((My issue w/God is its hard to create a starting point in time))
Not according to big bang cosmology. You have heard of Plank Time I'm sure? It's the smallest unit of time that time can be subdivided into, ~5.39 * 10^-43 seconds. At that duration after the big bang is when it's generally agreed spece-time as we know it in terms of the all the known laws of physics began. This occurred right after the big bang event itself, about 13.7 billion years ago. Time as know it had a beginning even though it may be hard to wrap the human mind around that. When we talk of what caused the big bang, whether it be God or something else, the subject turns from physics to metaphysics. Science cannot answer the question of whether or not God exists or not. I as a science/math-trained professional have pondered this question many times. I personally have come to the conclusion based on what do know from science, and then from metaphysical logic, that the best fit explantion to explain creation is God!

Nov 20, 2009
((I apologize, I'm not too informed on this matter, what exactly is the exhaustive scientific case FOR the authenticity again?))
Please forgive me as well since I too am not that well versed on the debate over the Shroud's authenticity either. I do know that in recent times the Shroud skeptics have had their proverbial "time in the sun" and gotten the lion's share of the media coverage. Just as those anti-capitalists who advocate the myth of manmade Global Warming (AGW), the secular news have the ear of the Leftist news-media. I believe a case can made to show that the secular news meda is philosophically in-touch with those Shroud skeptics as well as the AGW Disciples. It's I believe due to the fact that the majority of those in the mainstream news media tend to be more socialistic and anti-theistic in their personal worldviews. And obviously this anti-theistic philosophical bias will taint their so-called objective coverage and reporting.


mvg
Nov 20, 2009
Whether this artifact is authentic is not of great importance to me. I believe in Jesus and do not need a piece of cloth to prove it.

What is disturbing is the use to which this artifact has been put. PUTTING FAITH IN A MATERIAL OBJECT INSTEAD OF A SPIRITUAL REALITY (becoming an object of idolatry). Also, the fact that it has been used to bolster the credablity of the Cathlic Church--an institution which has violated every principle of Jesus' teaching (taking sides in nearly every war in the past 1000 years--protecting child molesters--elevating of their clergy to the status of nearly divine--and blessing every dictator and mass murderer who promises to protect their interest.)

mvg
Nov 20, 2009

Otto,--

Actually, it may surprize you to know that I do not believe in many of the ideas you mention. I do not believe in a trinity, hellfire, mother of god, purgatory, eucharist--additionally I reject the other pagan traditions they have clothed themselves with: elevation of a clergy class, celebrations like christmas, halloween, and easter, the worship of the cross, the veneration of relics, forgiveness of sins by confession to a priest, the taking of collections for the support of the clergy, and as you say all of the "political nonsense" they have been engaged in for the last 1700 years...I could go on... But this should demonstrate that it is not necessary to support an evil religion to reverance a great teacher. I suggest discarding the evil organization that has hijacked Christianity--rather than rejecting Christianity itself.

Nov 20, 2009
All human knowledge is based on forming a model in our mind, transcribed into language, math or art, which we then use to explain what we observe. In this, Physics and Religion share a great deal.

And in both fields, proponents frequently confuse the model with reality until proven wrong and a better model is formulated.

Real Faith is not built upon superstitions, though they are often used as training aids. Consider the colored sticks and balls used to model molecules... how crude and silly they look now that we have better models today.... but that crudeness does not mean that they did not reflect reality, and even in a childish way lead to some profound insight. The same may well be true of religious artifacts.

The Reality is we will never fully comprehend reality, physical or metaphysical, via models that approximate what we cannot hope to experience directly.... at least in this life.

Greater insight is often found in quiet humility.

Nov 20, 2009
One of the things about the shroud's image that makes it authenticity very suspect are the blood marks on the hands. The structure of human hands is not sufficiently strong to support a body when nailed to something. The Roman's knew this and nailed people through the wrists so they wouldn't flop off the cross.

The shroud is obviously a piece of 12th century art. Or........... maybe it IS an authentic 1st century image but on a 12th century cloth.

Nov 21, 2009
Here is an interesting link that shows why the carbon 14 sample used was not taken from the main part of the shroud, but from a repair made around the 12th century.
http://www.shroudstory.com/

Nov 21, 2009
Here is an interesting link that shows why the carbon 14 sample used was not taken from the main part of the shroud, but from a repair made around the 12th century.


Madness. I know everybody makes mistakes, but to just happen to take the wrong part of the cloth on such a big piece would be an epic fail. Plus, why not just carbon date it again to figure out the truth. That shroud story looks like a desperate attempt to try and maintain dignity after being proven wrong. IMO.

Nov 21, 2009
it's been radiocarbon dated to the thirteen hundreds; this poses a bit of a problem for it to be genuine;

As the article mentions, "Raymond Rogers of Los Alamos National Laboratory said in 2005 that the tested threads came from patches used to repair the shroud after a fire. Rogers, who died shortly after publishing his findings, calculated it is 1,300 to 3,000 years old and could easily date from Jesus' era." If I were intent on proving it a hoax, I would imagine inciting all that is being said here...
In the end, it's better, and more meritorious as a believer, to simply leave it to faith...

Nov 21, 2009
Whether or not this shroud is as old as they say or was really wrapped around a body as opposed to being forged - it still does nothing to prove God or Jesus truly exists. It was probably just a man crucified at that time - not even remotely unusual for that era.

Those of you who follow this religion surely don't need to argue over a tangible piece of cloth that bears no real relevance to the existence of your God, as your devoted faith should be enough to satisfy you. I have no faith, but that isn't reason enough for me to judge the beliefs of others. Whether this shroud is real or not should never matter.

Nov 21, 2009
We no longer believe in the science or political systems of 2,000 years ago. Why should any other belief system from that time be revered as infallible???

Nov 21, 2009
Hmm, so we are smart enough to realize that in Jesus's time he wouldn't have been referred to as a deity, yet someone who was capable of making a forgery of this degree wouldn't? The forger was obviously intelligent, this would just be one more sign of that.

Nov 22, 2009
so what all of u are saying is that how can God have come from nothing?...well if you think about it like that, at one point in time something had to have come from nothing. What's to say that a God did not come from nothing first? There is no way to determine what came first in time, or if time is just an illusion. The only harm you are doing urself is by not believing in a God. Because once u die, that's all that will matter.

Nov 22, 2009
so obviously there is nothing "scientific" about not believing in a God. The only reason people to do it is to satisfy their own egos

Nov 22, 2009
otto1923 "but believers will seek to suppress any real evidence which calls those beliefs into question."

Speaking of which; Have you seen the recently leaked emails from the global warming priesthood?

“I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report,” Jones writes. “Kevin and I will keep them out somehow — even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!”

“Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal,” Mann writes (of a journal which had shown itself willing to publish criticisms of AGW theories.)

http://www.prison...ics.html

Nov 27, 2009
((Whether or not this shroud is as old as they say or was really wrapped around a body as opposed to being forged - it still does nothing to prove God or Jesus truly exists.))
The existence of God cannot be proven or disproven via the scientific method. The existence of God is determined in part from empirical data found in nature (i.e. the complexity of life from the molecular level on up...which BTW does in no way negate the scientific fact of the evoliution of life) and in part from the logically derived metaphysical evidence of knowing that in order to have had a creation event at some point in the distant past (13.7 billion yrs ago when the Big Bang happened) that there had to be a Creator.


Nov 28, 2009
((Because there is absolutely no data to analyse. [on the existence of God]))
Not so! The creation itself is as the bible says a testimony to the existence of God. Having said that what the text means is the very existence and complexity of living things, which cannot be explained by vacuous materialistic mutterings which ultimately depend on the credulity of those who accept the logically untenable position that nothing can create everything.

((Sorry, can't have it both ways. Either life has been evolving, and continues to evolve, without the need for intelligent design, or biological evolution as we presume to understand it does not happen))
That would be the young earth creationist position, but to be honest logic clearly reveals that an infinite God can have authored and used an evolutionary process which lasts billions of years. In fact, the very concept of intelligent design doesn't in anyway preclude evolution from having occurred as even Dr Michael Behe has acknowledged.

Nov 28, 2009
((Ignorance on certain aspects of evolution, or the origin of life, is not an indication of the existence of "God".))
The so-called "God of the gaps" argument that you've just referred to is actually the Achilles Heel of the atheist not theism. This is because the ultimate question of whether or not God exists can't be definitively proven or disproven by the evidence from nature alone. That question is answered by metaphysical assumptions tacked onto the existing evidence to interpret it one way or another. The atheist therefore wishes to have his cake and eat it too when he attempts to summarily dismiss God solely on the inability of the empirical data to conclusively verify His existence or not. Truth being, one doesn't know what lies around the corner, in like manner, the intellectually honest atheist will admit they haven't got a clue on whether or not God exists in the great expanse of reality.

Nov 28, 2009
(("Creation event" is a loaded expression of your whimsical choice))
Not really since all cosmologists agree that the Big Bang was the creation event that created our universe. The question then moves from the realm of empirical and mathematical data to metaphyiscal assumption when asking "what came before the Big Bang".

In that vein, the God Hypothesis is the most logical metaphysical assumption since causation predicts that all effects must have a cause of equal or greater magnitude than themselves. The only such First Cause could logically have been God since nature (the Universe) couldn't have created itself.

Nov 28, 2009
((In fact, he [God] could do damn near anything if he wanted to.))
Yes he could, that's why He is God ;-)

((He could make clocks run backward and get blood from a stone))
Yes He could, however He has the universe (i.e. space-time, matter/energy) set up a certain way in accordance within a known framework of laws of physics & chemistry. Ergo, clocks/time runs forward and blood is the life fluid of living organisms not dead-a$$ rocks.

((and solve world hunger))
Hunger is largely a function of man's inhumanity to his brother. Despotic regimes using food to ethnically cleanse elements of the population that they don't like. And FYI the vast majority of charities that are impacting the problem of world hunger are Christian (Samaritan's Purse, Feed the Children, etc). They're fulfilling Jesus's command to feed the hungry in Matthew 25:35,40.

((reverse entropy for the pious))
God addresses that one too as one day He wipes out aging (Revelation 20:4) and death in Revelation 21:4.

Nov 29, 2009
Not so! The creation itself is as the bible says a testimony to the existence of God
It is evidence of existence. Period.

If a god can exist without a creator than so can the Universe.
but to be honest logic clearly reveals that an infinite God can have authored and used an evolutionary process which lasts billions of years
Could do so but then the god is not a kind, gentle or loving god. There is great pain in the process of Natural Selection. Nothing in it that shows competence in design.

Nor is there any evidence for a god in the physical artifacts of evolution.
In fact, the very concept of intelligent design doesn't in anyway preclude evolution from having occurred as even Dr Michael Behe has acknowledged.


Yes. Unfortunately for Dr. Behe that is one of the few things he has managed to get right. He does not want explanations or evidence that shows how things might have evolved. The end of his chapter on the bombardier beetle makes that clear.

Ethel

Nov 29, 2009
The so-called "God of the gaps" argument that you've just referred to is actually the Achilles Heel of the atheist not theism
Truly it is amazing the way believers have begun to Ape science.
This is because the ultimate question of whether or not God exists can't be definitively proved or disproved by the evidence from nature alone
That is true for SOME gods. It is not true for Jehovah as described in Genesis. Nor the Giant Cow in the Elder Edda. Both have a Universe that is very different from the one we live in.
The atheist therefore wishes to have his cake and eat it too when he attempts to summarily dismiss God solely on the inability of the empirical data to conclusively verify His existence or not
There is a reason that I am Agnostic. However there is simply no reason to suppose there is a god except the tradition of the past. Without a religious background who would hypothesize an all powerful all knowing god? Especially while calling it a loving god.

Ethelred

Nov 29, 2009
God addresses that one too as one day He wipes out aging (Revelation 20:4) and death in Revelation 21:4.


Meaningless predictions since they come from a book with:

Internal contradictions
Failed prophecies
False statements about reality

Thus written by fallible men and having no more relevance to the future than any other book written by men.

Ethelred

Nov 29, 2009
((There is no evidence of "creation". That something "is" is not evidence it was "created".))
No evidence for a creation? magnitude/complexity, in short, an effect cannot be greater than the cause. The universe is what we define as all of nature (i.e. space-time, matter/energy + all of its constituent/multiple configurations.) So to say that the universe just ‘is’ is a partially true statement when considering it the context of the present. However, time is divided into past, present, & future. Thus at some point in the distant past there had to be a beginning time. Theoretical astrophysicists have calculated that the smallest unit of time to be the quantity we call Planck Time, a unit of time that’s so small it literally defies comprehension. (5.39 x 10^-44 sec). In this unit of infinitesimal time from time zero, the very i

Nov 29, 2009
((There is no evidence of "creation". That something "is" is not evidence it was "created".))

No evidence for a creation? Um…sure. Let’s see, there is a law of physics known as Cause & Effect which essentially postulates that for every effect there must be a cause of equal or greater magnitude/complexity, in short, an effect cannot be greater than the cause. The universe is what we define as all of nature (i.e. space-time, matter/energy + all of its constituent/multiple configurations.) So to say that the universe just ‘is’ is a partially true statement when considering it the context of the present. However, time is divided into past, present, & future. Thus at some point in the distant past there had to be a beginning time. Theoretical astrophysicists have calculated that the smallest unit of time to be the quantity we call Planck Time, a unit of time that’s so small it literally defies comprehension. (5.39 x 10^-44 sec).

Nov 29, 2009
((No, [God's existence]not determined. Derived in a non-scientific way))
Um, things can be determined via deductive reasoning and logical inference as well as empirical scientific methodology.

(([Complexity from the molecular level up] rests on the unfounded assumption that there is a limit to naturally evolving complexity))
Evolution hasn't yet been completely played out. Mutations and natural selection can indeed create complexity in design however to think that these inherent traits within matter were the purposeless products of random chance is quite naive. Scientists of all stripes agree that evolution is a directed process. Direction implies a purpose, which is carried out in the way nature is designed. Ergo, natural selection drives living organisms to their optimum design which bespeaks of a transcendent intellect that overarches the way things work, like a Master Plan that has been hashed out by a Master Planner.

Nov 29, 2009
((Truly it is amazing the way believers have begun to Ape science.))
Um, since when has science become the exclusive property of intellectually challenged atheists? Some of the greatest minds in science have been believers in God...Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, Pascal, Pasteur, Blythe, Steno, Kepler, Maury, etc. And while I wouldn't call Darwin a "flaming evangelical", he did believe in God and trained for the ministry. ;-)
((It is not true for Jehovah [His evidence can be seen]as described in Genesis. Nor the Giant Cow in the Elder Edda))
Giant cows don't do anything for me since cows are created organisms, not creating omniscient supernatural beings like Jehovah of the Bible. ;-)

((There is a reason that I am Agnostic))
I once was too, however I have as it were..."seen the light". There is something more to existence than what we can even perceive via the scientific method.
((However there is simply no reason to suppose there is a god except the tradition of the past.))
Not so...

Nov 29, 2009
((However there is simply no reason to suppose there is a god except the tradition of the past.))
Not so...the existence of anything at all cannot be rationally explained minus the fact of their being a creation event where some omnipotent Creator who is outside of our universe who created space & time.

((Without a religious background who would hypothesize an all powerful all knowing god?))
Most people, since our own built-in/hardwired sense of innate curiosity would compel us to ask the Big Questions about God. ;-)

Nov 29, 2009
((He [God] sets up these laws and then has to break them frequently to grant wishes to those holier than, say, scientists or engineers))
Well I'm an engineer, and to be honest, I've prayed and had those laws bent/broken for me via a miracle or two. And what's so great about that is that I'm not "holier" than you or anyone else...just forgiven of my sins through the forgiveness provided for me by God's son, Jesus Christ.

((How can we trust a universe which is not absolutely 100% reliable all of the time, to both believers and heathens?))
It's perfectly in tune with an infinite God to perform miracles at any time He wants so the universe is 100% reliable in all other instances even when individual miracles are performed in that only in isolated instances and places are these brief alterations of natural laws done.

((If he needs to break his own laws then they, and he, are imperfect.))
He breaks His laws at His own discretion, whenever it suites Him.

Nov 29, 2009
((mr engineer))
Are u addressing me sir?

((Deceptionists include self-deceivers which you so obviously are))
No sir, you're self-deceived if u believe that nothing can created everything and that there's nothing other than the material world in reality. Heck even as little as a century ago no one had any clue of the quantum world, which supersedes our *reality*. To dogmatically say no Higher Power than man exists is both ignorance and arrogance taken to new heights.
((I like to wear my cross upside...but because I know it pisses you guys off))
That's childish to be sure. Tell us, why are u so bitter and antagonistic against Christians & God? U know that your negative feelings won't change the fact of His existence.
((They've just banned new minarets in Switzerland- what are you guys wasting your energy on us realists?))
For one, what the secularist govt in Berne does has nothing to do with what we as Christians do in the USA...

Nov 29, 2009
((They've just banned new minarets in Switzerland))
...for another, if u want to talk about religious oppression, ask what happens in most Islamic countries where Christian churches have been bombed, church services shot up and Christians murdered wholesale in Islamic nations like Saudi Arabia & Pakistan, not to mention under the former Taliban regime or the atheistic/materialistic communist regimes of China & their puppet North Korea?!

((what are you guys wasting your energy on us realists?))
Um, one doesn't have to be an intellectually-challenged atheist in order to be a *realist*. I'm a realist, I realize what's going on in the world around me to be sure, as do the other 90% of Americans (~280,000,000) who believe in God. Having a particular philosophical bias (theistic or atheistic) doesn't necessarily retard someone's ability to understand reality. All our particular philosophical biases do is shape our thoughts about our world and not deter our ability to function in it.

Nov 29, 2009
((the "quantum world"... for someone using the usual "nothing can't create everything" nonsense (because it's an old tiresome straw man)))
I don't see how the materialist's vacuous notion that nothingness created everything is a strawman! Ultimately that's what they have to believe if they want to do away with the God Hypothesis. Theoretical physics tells us that as far as they know "nothing" came before the Big Bang. Thus all of the laws of physics breakdown in the Planck era (time zero-5.39 x 10^-44 sec). Ergo, physics gives way to metaphysical assumptions of which the God Hypothesis is one.

((you should be wary of bringing up quantum physics.))
Why is that? All quantum mechanics does in a nutshell is predict the behavior of particles in the subatomic world. Honestly, no one really understands quantum mechanics as well as we would like to. As quantum physicist Richard Feynman said: "I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics." ;-)

Dec 17, 2009
((It's perfectly reasonable to be contemptuous of religious belief))
Well I guess that would include humanistic religious belief then, since the notion that man is the measure of all things and that nature is all there is purely a metaphysical belief that is totally unsubstantiated by the facts.
((it's completely irrational and something people are brain-washed into since infancy))
What is "completely irrational" is the totally fact-free belief that nothingness can create everything, a must-held & cherished yet braindead opinion that atheists must hold if they are to intellectually honest with themselves.

((If you're an atheist you got there through reason and logic))
Surely you jest since there's nothing reasonable or logical about the intellectually vacuous belief of atheism. Oh and since you so confidently squawk about "logic" & "reason", how's this atheist's conversion from his former braindead belief system...
http://www.godand...SKmkPRVU

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