A History of God

A History of GodBased on Karen Armstrong's acclaimed book, this feature-length film guides viewers along one of humanity's most elusive quests.

For over 4,000 years, adherents of the world's monotheistic faiths have wrestled with the question of God. This extraordinary, feature-length film, based on Karen Armstrong's acclaimed book of the same name, traces that elusive and fascinating quest.

A History of God examines the familiar images of deity as presented in the Bible and Koran and traces the evolution and interrelation of the various Christian, Jewish, and Islamic interpretations of the divine figure. Through balanced analysis of historic and holy texts and extensive use of ancient art and artifacts, we'll follow the long road to today's understanding of God and what the journey--and the destination--have to tell us about humanity and its never-ending search for meaning and comfort.

From the time of Abraham to the present, this is a thought-provoking look at the God at the heart of the world's three great monotheistic religions. (Excerpt from bbc.co.uk)

Watch the full documentary now

1.1k
8.08
12345678910
Ratings: 8.08/10 from 40 users.
  • platoson

    Well researched as the book was, and given in an unbiased and scholarly way. A thought provoking and interesting documentary showing us that the way we look at God has continually changed throughout history and will probably continue to do so in the future too.

  • g33kch1ck

    Is it just me, or is the voice talent reading scripture Gloria Foster (Oracle, from "The Matrix)?

  • dfsf

    This was a very nice, slow paced and understandable movie.
    If you don't happen to know much about the three big(gest ?) religions you should try it.
    Really good, i feel an infoboost right now ;)

  • Tyler

    This was very good. A compelling summary and interpretation of monotheistic history. Well worth the watch.

  • mnti

    I want to go to sleep and delay (for tomorrow insh'ALLAH) my comments over a multitude of chocking statements, pictures and so on in this doc ,but I have first to comment on the statement of Armstrong, it's unbelievebal she said " Muslims circle around ALLAH "(The kaaba representing ALLAH)" :this is absolutely wrong and she contradict early statement in this doc, it contradicts the most important thing in Islam; tawhid.
    It's shirk, which is a supreme sin, to worship object, persons, prophets ...I think that there is a Hadith stating that The blood of a muslim is hollier then the Kaaba which is the direction towards we pray, but we don't pray to the kaaba; we don't ask it to grant us paradise or sucess in our life and so on because it is a building not GOD.
    in fact it is one of the classical paganistic traps of distortion of the real message.

  • Al

    mnti do you know what kaaba is/(represent) in Islam?

  • charlesovery

    Pretty factual!

  • nicolas

    religion is rubish .

  • Chief

    Eons upon eons, every since the thoughts and imagination of humankind came to be expressed through art and language, communities of people have been mentally bound to shamans, prophets, priests, imams and others who invoke Divine credentials. The expression of thoughts, contrary to the invocation a particular conceptualizationof a divine personage, invariably encounters rejection without investigation. Intolerance is the norm as defenders of their respective religious bent resort to the recitation of text deemed applicable in their rebuttal.

    Theist and atheist will probably find some interest in this documentary. However, the idea of a God, in a monoteistic context, has as its antecedent, an origin that originates in Kemet (Egypt). That being said, a balanced treatment in this regard is not possible.

  • Epicurean_Logic

    Karen Armstrong drops more info bombs that Alex Jones on speed. Even the Rabbi has to concede on her analysis!

    Semi related topic: I dont like the term atheist. It is a religous slur term that non religous have adopted, similar to black people adopting the n-word. Why? The prefix 'a' meaning without and theist meaning god. So in total without god, implying that god exists and you reject him. Using this language is akin to accepting the religous playing field. Its much better to be non-religous if you are that way inclined.

  • Asad

    A very informative and unbiased documentary.

    Islam is the true monotheistic religion. Islam recognizes all the Prophets in the Old and New Testaments (including Abraham, Moses, Jesus and John the Baptist) and upholds their message which is submission to the one true God and the creation of a society wherein there is justice for all.

    Christianity is not monotheistic at all when it believes in the so-called divinity of Jesus. Jesus never claimed to be divine or a son of God or some manifestation of God Himself. It was what he was made some three hundred years after his death by people (Romans/Greeks of the Nicene Creed) who had been influenced for centuries by multiples gods and sons of gods and goddesses. It was convenient to present Jesus as son of God so that the new religion of Christianity would appeal to the pagan populations of the Roman Empire and beyond and they would relate to a new son of God.

    Anyways, it was better for for the Romans and other pagans to believe in a distorted version of Jesus's message/religion than to continue living their hedonistic lives and believing in their pantheon of gods and goddesses. In short, even though Christianity is not strictly monotheistic and Jesus's message has been altered (eg. concept of salvation of mankind by Jesus's death at the cross was never his message), it has done a lot more good in human history by teaching compassion, love, social justice to mankind.

    Judaism can be said to be a truly monotheistic and Islam has borrowed more from Judaism than any other religion. The concept of ONE GOD is exactly the same in Judaism and Islam. The ancient Jews erred greatly in not propagating their religion and in being a closed society. Also far more emphasis was on rituals (sacrifice, worship) than on the real message of the Old Testament (i.e. doing good and belief in One God). They also did not believe in Jesus and prosecuted him and his disciples. Even today they are a closed society and have not truly grasped the real message of the scriptures.

    Islam's concept of God is:

    "Say: He is Allah, the One and Only! Allah, the Eternal, Absolute; He begetteth not nor is He begotten. And there is none like unto Him". (Holy Qur'an 112:1-4).

    The above is a very important Surah (chapter) from the Holy Qur'an because it proclaims the Oneness (Tawhid) and Absolute nature of Divine Essence. It declares that Allah is Eternal, i.e., He is beyond the bounds of time and space. It also describes that Allah does not give birth nor is He is given birth and then declares that Allah is beyond comparison. It directly supports the first declaration (shahadah) of Islam: "There is no god but Allah". In this context, Islam is based on belief in One God (monotheism).

  • John Seals

    Damn it. That's it!! Every thing I post gets hung up in moderation! I quit!!

  • Jim

    The three mono religions covered here all involve desert people who had 'prophets' that claim to have experienced God in 'miraculous' circumstances. As expected in these cases, the revelations don't imbibe in the followers because they were personal experiences. Consequently, later generations end up creating personality cults surrounding these prophets, messiahs, etc. The followers generally have little substantive spiritual knowledge or detachment and rely heavily on ritual, incantation, etc to make a show of spirituality.

    But there is another monotheistic culture that was not covered at all in this history that dates its beginning to the creation of the universe. Rather than being dependent on the personal experiences of God by a handful of people, this culture's philosophy was carefully handed down from teacher to disciple since the creation of the universe to the present day. This culture is known as Vaisnava or Varnasrama.

    All in all this was a decent film, but I think its title should have been 'A history of God from the Anglo viewpoint'.

  • Kurrrt

    Humanity better get a better it's own hold of itself and use individual thought and overcome this illogical hold on mankind. The truth lies within the inner man, in no other place may a god be found.

  • Rowan

    Jim,

    If you paid attention to the documentary you'd have noticed Armstrong does mention the development of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism in the Axial Period. The intended focus of this work is the monotheism of the Abrahamic religions.

    Vedantic Hinduism has absolutely equal merit, but its not what she's talking about here.

  • Pyrrhus

    - didn't see many women (men, men, and MORE men)
    - inherent misogyny of all religion not mentioned, not once
    - no supportive evidence for claims made
    - supernatural assumed, axiomatically, from the outset
    - left out witch burnings
    - left out protestant reformation
    - Asian ideas presented only in passing
    - atheism mentioned only in passing, at very end
    - no depth - not to be taken seriously
    - not even entertaining

  • Asad

    Pyrrhus,
    This was a documentary about the history of belief in God (or Monotheism) and not about the equality of men and women. The author didn't make claims but rather presented facts. Witch burnings & Protestant reformation had little to do with Monotheism or God. Asian ideas focus more on the spiritual aspect rather than belief and the majority of Buddhists do not consider beleif in a God as necessary to attain the spiritual purficaition. Hinduism on the other hand is largely polytheistic (except the Vedantic version according to some). Atheism is a most recent phenomena and its followers are those who are frustrated in their Bible and hence cannot reconcile it with Science.

  • Kurrrt

    Hence, the focus on mankind gets further distorted by all the various outside of humanity God's and odd beliefs, are seem to be all illogical means for mans restriction into evolving.
    What man looks for- for something close to a God reference is within himself. Coalested within only the human race- creating the oneness needed. In no outside of humanity place will any compassion for humanity be found. Their dark deceptions are only there to keep us from discovering ourselves, and what man is and capable of achieving.
    I'm no expert, but awake enough to see deceptions. Viewing the history of deception will take more then a few short stories on youtube, which reveal no methods to recover from the damage of mans made up Gods exposing their wrath of illogical beliefs.

  • Pyrrhus

    Asad,

    "This was a documentary about the history of belief in God (or Monotheism) and not about" 'A History of God', as its title might suggest. I see.

    And religion has nothing to with and, therefore, is "not about the [equality?] of men and women." I see.

    "The author didn’t make claims," such as Moses having had a non-consumed burning bush speak to him, "but rather presented facts." I see.

    "Witch burnings & Protestant reformation had little to do with Monotheism or God."

    I agree. How can the Protestant Reformation and witch burnings have anything to do with that which does not exist and/or with beliefs in same.

    And Asian ideas about the 'Divine' really don't count because:
    "Asian ideas focus more on the spiritual aspect rather than belief and the majority of Buddhists do not consider beleif in a God as necessary to attain

    the spiritual purficaition. Hinduism on the other hand is largely polytheistic (except the Vedantic version according to some)."

    I see.

    "Atheism is a most recent phenomen[on] and its followers are those who are frustrated in their Bible and hence cannot reconcile it with Science."

    I am not sure that Aristotle (384 BC - 322 BC) or Epicurus (341 BC - 270 BC) or Marcus Tullius Cicero (January 3, 106 BC - December 7, 43 BC), to

    name but a few (were they here to defend themselves), would agree with you; nor, most likely, would those atheists agree with your statement who

    were the "most recent" (as in 'The Dark Ages') victims of Emperor Constantine's 'Holy Roman and Apostolic Catholic Church', murdered in the most

    gruesome manners imaginable because of lack of belief in 'God'.

    And as [late(?)] as 1779, David Hume in his 'Dialogues concerning Natural Religion' cited the famous argument of Epicurous questioning the existence

    of an all 'everything' god, namely:
    "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? then is He impotent.
    "Is He able, but not willing? then is He malevolent.
    "Is He both able and willing? whence then cometh evil?
    "Is He neither able nor willing? then why call him 'God'?"

    And then, of course, there were the late 18th Century thinkers behind the French Revolution of whom virtually all were ferocious atheists!

    "Atheism is a most recent phenomen[on]..." I see.

    To be fair, I would suppose your statement is meant to refer the contemporary phenomenon in the United States of atheists standing up to be counted.

    However, when you spell 'atheism' with a capital 'A' and refer to "its followers" and "their [former] Bible," I feel pressed, indeed, obliged, to point out to

    you that atheism is not a belief and, therefore, cannot have "followers." In its simplest form, atheism is the mere 'absence' of belief regarding one

    matter, and one matter only, namely, the existence / non-existence of god(s). And while all atheists reject outright the concept of any document, book,

    or collection of writings, being 'Divinely inspired', science plays no role in rejecting the notion of 'Divine Inspiration'.

    Logic is the prime mover of atheistic outlooks.

    Modern science does, sometimes, serve to reinforce the stance atheists take regarding the non-existence of the supernatural and of god(s), as well as

    the stance taken in opposition to the fallacies inherent to superstitions in general; but, as you doubtless know, many prominent scientists are devoutly

    religious. Some atheists are interested in science, some more so in football of footballers (some in all three!). While the history of that which has led to

    modern understandings of the 'scientific method' is both long and fascinating, what we today think of as 'science' really didn't show its face until the 17th

    Century. In ancient times there was no science (as we moderns understand it), yet there WERE atheists! (I recommend a truly informative

    documentary to be found here at 'Top Documentary Films' entitled 'A Brief History of Disbelief'.)

    In closing, I reaffirm my opinion that the documentary, 'A History of God', lacks depth and is indeed so shallow that it is not to be taken seriously. 'A

    History of God' isn't even entertaining. I should know. I watched it.

    Thank you, Asad, for the time you have taken responding to my initial comments. It is much appreciated.

  • Pyrrhus

    Asad.
    Please forgive the break-up of sentences by blank lines making my response a little difficult to read. It's Microsoft's fault!

  • Asad

    Pyrrhus, I come back to the problem of evil or the ‘Epicurean paradox’ that you had quoted. It is in fact a question of how to explain evil if there exists a deity that is omnibenevolent, omnipotent, and omniscient therefore the existence of such a God and of evil are logically incompatible or unlikely.

    However there are many credible theories that argue against the Epicurean paradox and defuse the logical problem of evil by showing that there is no logical incompatibility between the existence of evil and the existence of God and I will quote a few from Wikipedia (excerpts) that make perfect sense.

    “Free will:
    The free will argument is as follows: God's creation of persons with morally significant free will is something of tremendous value. God did not eliminate evil and suffering without thereby eliminating the greater good of having created persons with free will who can make moral choices. Freedom (and, often it is said, the loving relationships which would not be possible without freedom) here is intended to provide a morally sufficient reason for God's allowing evil.

    "Natural" evils such as earthquakes and many diseases are sometimes seen as problems for ‘free will’ theodicies since they don't seem to be caused by free decisions. Possible reasons for natural evils include that they are caused by natural laws that must operate as they do if intelligent, free agents are to exist; or that through observation and copying they allow humans to perform greater evils, which makes moral decisions more significant.

    For many evils such as murder, rape, or theft it appears that the free will and choice of the victim are diminished by the free will decisions of the offender. In some cases such as murdered very young children it appears that they never had any free will choices to make at all. A possible response is that a world with some free will is better than a world with none at all.

    Mankind's limited knowledge:
    One argument is that, due to mankind's limited knowledge, humans cannot expect to understand God or God's ultimate plan. When a parent takes an infant to the doctor for a regular vaccination to prevent some childhood disease, it's because the parent cares for and loves that child. The young child however will almost always see things very differently. It is argued that just as an infant cannot possibly understand the motives of its parent while it is still only a child, people cannot comprehend God's will in their current physical and earthly state.

    Another suggestion is that, the Problem of Evil argument is logically flawed because it silently assumes that people really can comprehend what God should do. In other words, for the Problem of Evil to be valid, it must be proven that there can be no god which cannot be so comprehended.

    Evil is complementary to good:
    Concepts such as the Chinese ‘yin and yang’ philosophy argue that evil and good are complementary opposites within a whole. If one disappears, the other must disappear as well, leaving emptiness. Compassion, a valuable virtue, can only exist if there is suffering. Bravery only exists if we sometimes face danger. Self-sacrifice is another great good, but can only exist if there is inter-dependence, if some people find themselves in situations where they need help from others.”

    In conclusion I would say that the attributes of God are infinite, incomprehensible, and unfathomable and to even imagine that we humans will one day fully understand the nature of God is in fact limiting those very attributes of God.

  • Kurrrt

    The further on illogical men drag disasterious pearls of history into our future, the further behind we get. The longer our next higher culture awaites. Dark deeds against humanityb are certainly in force against keeping mankind from knowing our true selves, and perhaps any hidden ability, dark deceptions restrict from unfolding actual truth. Religious belief and bibles hold not one method or device, or does allow mankind entering any new understandings and technologies. God only restrict's it. It's done for reasons of selfish God('s) who threaten and control and command humanity to obey. Once man simply lets go of illogical fear based Dark Age enslaving methods that created religions, then we all may kindly proceed ahead into our great future of life.

  • Pyrrhus

    Asad,

    I have seen 'A History of God', as you suggested, and I choose not to respond.

    I am aware that, from your standpoint, putting one's self in the place of Allah would amount to nothing short of blasphemy. So I will do it for you.

    If I were Allah, this is what I would say:

    I am happy.
    I am happy to see my children mature.
    In striving to be become Me, you worship Me.
    Of you, My children, I Am righteously proud.
    Cease never to strive.

    For your sakes, My little ones, I choose to die.

    Be not afraid.
    Become the Self that I Am, that I might live on.
    When I am gone, cease never to strive.
    Cease never to strive!

    I pray.
    I pray of You!

    I pray of You:
    Pray as I do now.

    I pray of You:
    Pray not for one another.

    I pray of You:
    Pray as I do now.

    I pray of You:
    Pray 'of' one another:

    "Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
    "Enwrought with golden and silver light,
    "The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
    "Of night and light and the half-light,
    "I would spread the cloths under your feet:
    "But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
    "I have spread my dreams under your feet;
    "Tread softly because you tread on my dreams."
    ~ W.B. Yeats

    I pray of you:
    Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

  • Asad

    Thanks Pyrrhus for your posts again. Very informative and educative indeed, you not only provided me insight but also made me ponder on a number of issues. Surely has been a pleasure.

    Differences in religion galore, but where has there not been any differences of opinion? Philosophy, politics, science, economics have all seen their fair share of schisms. Religious doctrines just like any other principle are subject to debate. Man has the faculty of reason and intellect and therefore he is expected to reason things out objectively and systematically for himself. Nobody is forced to make a decision to accept the teachings of any religion. Islam in fact teaches that man should be given the freedom to choose.

    “Let there be no compulsion in religion: truth stands out clear from error: whoever rejects evil and believes in God has grasped the most trust worthy hand-hold, which never breaks. And God hears and knows all things. "(Qur'an 2:256)

    Even when man is faced with the truth, there is no compulsion upon man to embrace it. It is a matter of ‘free will’ that the people can choose to believe or not. If God were to reveal and impose Himself on everyone it would defeat the very purpose of ‘free will’, put an end to reasoning and logic and essentially make us puppets. The same ‘free will’ logic applies to how an Intelligent Being does what He does. If He reveals All the secrets of the universe and life, it would undermine an underlying message which is to examine and investigate what is found in the depths of the universe. “Travel throughout the earth and see how He brings life into being” (Quran 29:20).

    The message after being delivered by the prophets/saints was open to discussion and never intended to be forced on individuals (but as you know in many cases it was not the case and there had been forced conversions which is again down to man’s indiscretions rather than a failure of God).

    When we peer through the seven thousand or so years of recorded history we find that our past is steeped in conflicts and that more blood has been shed on regional/territorial, cultural, racial and economic issues than on religious basis alone. The bronze age wars of Babylonians & Assyrians, Hittites & Egyptians & Assyrians, the ravages of the Sea People across Mediterranean and Near East, Persian invasion of Babylonia, the Greco-Persian wars, Alexander’s conquests, Roman expansion and collapse, Viking raids, just to name a few that took place by the end of 1st millennium CE. Then tens of millions perished in the 1st & 2nd World Wars of the last century which had nothing to do with religion.

    I agree that religion is bad news when it is used in the wrong contexts where it should not be used. Ideally religion should have little or no place in the affairs of the state & politics and when it dictates state policies then there surely is discord, dissension, oppression and inevitably physical conflict. I guess Asian and eastern religions like Buddhism, Jainism, Hinduism &Taoism/Shintoism, all having a more spiritual inclination, have bred far fewer hostilities and atrocities than the Abrahimic faiths as they have not attempted to impinge on worldly affairs and focused on the individual instead. Same is true for the spiritual Sufi Islam as compared to the more radical Salafi/Wahabi version.

    Atheists have my respect simply because they use reason and logic. Most people who believe in god(s) are blindly following the religion of their fathers and forefathers. An atheist, on the other hand, even though he may have belonged to a religious family, uses intellect to deny the existence of God; whatever concept or qualities of God he may have learnt in religion may not seem to be logical to him anymore.

    British author G.K. Chesterton argued that every act of blasphemy is a kind of tribute to God, because it is based on belief. "If anyone doubts this," he wrote, "let him sit down seriously and try to think blasphemous thoughts about Thor (the mythical Norse god)."

    An atheist agrees with the first part of the Islamic monotheistic creed which is ‘There is no god’. So he/she is already half way there, and now only the last part is left i.e. ‘But God (Allah)’. Atheists today are eliminating (false) models of god, but they are not eliminating God.

    God has made Himself clear on innumerable occasions throughout history but to the non-believer every miracle is a fraud and every mystic a madman. Were all the Biblical Prophets (many of whom like David, Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezra, Haggai, Zachariah, John the Baptist, Jesus are mentioned in literary references other than the Bible) who all took great pains in the face of monumental adversities in spreading the same monotheistic message, just plain liars/fraudsters? The process of divine revelation ended with Prophet Mohammad who is the last of the prophets and who brought the final and most clear divine message and evidence in the form of the Quran.

    If one asks simply for evidence of God’s existence then it is surely the Quran itself…preserved as promised word for word since 1400 years which fact is undisputed to this day. Unlike Moses, Jesus and many other prophets, Mohammad was no miracle worker; his legacy is the Quran itself. If one reads the Quran with an open mind and without inherent bias then one will find many facts that can baffle the mind that how an illiterate Bedouin could come up with philosophies about cosmology, biology, embryology, the big bang, expansion of the Universe and much more. It is not just a book of theology but contains far deeper concepts and lessons for those who understand.

    “Have not those who disbelieved known that the heavens and the earth were one connected entity then He separated them” (Quran 21:30) = a reference to the Big bang theory/expansion of universe.

    "It is not for the sun to overtake the moon, nor doth the night outstrip the day. They float each in an orbit" [Quran 36:40] = a reference to cosmic orbital motion.

    “Then He turned to the heaven when it was smoke...” (Quran, 41:11).

    “And it is He who has constructed the heaven with might, and verily, it is He who is steadily expanding it” (Quran 51:47) = Expansion/inflation of the Universe.

    “That Day We will fold up heaven like folding up the pages of a book. As We originated the first creation so We will regenerate it. It is a promise binding on Us. That is what We will do”. (Qur'an, 21:104) = the universe expanded out with a big bang, will end with a big crunch (i.e. the universe collapsing in on its self) and then will start again with another bang.

    “We placed him (man) as (a drop of) sperm in a place of rest, firmly fixed; then We made the sperm into a clot of congealed blood; then of that clot We made a lump (fetus); then We made out of that lump bones and clothed the bones with flesh…” [Quran 23:12-14].

    These are just a few of the many verses in the Quran that talk about the universe and life. One must realize that there are those who will never believe no matter how much proof or evidence is produced. The reason is some people don't want to believe in a Creator or Sustainer. We don't have to see an artist to recognize a painting, correct? So, if we see paintings without seeing artists painting them, in the same way, we can believe God created everything without having to see Him.

    Now back to the Problem of Evil: suffering shouldn’t be equated with evil because for committing evil there has to be a perpetrator who can distinguish between right and wrong. Humans are the only sentient beings able to do that…the meteor that killed the dinosaurs wasn’t evil, nor are lions & countless other animals who kill the cubs of other males so that they can propagate their lineage.…they simply act on basic instinct. Natural events like earthquakes, floods, etc are not evil but happen due to the natural/physical laws that govern the world. Humans, however, have a free will, a conscience and are capable of doing evil on purpose for no apparent survival or procreation strategy. Hence they can be held accountable. As for the Original Sin concept the less said about it the better.

    Aristotle may not have been the first monotheist…a few hundred miles to the east there had been scores of men like the biblical prophets in Judea/Israel and even Zoroaster in Persia many of whom have historical references as I said earlier.

    Fine tuning argument I agree is nothing but a remodeling of Aristotle’s famous prime mover philosophy… but then the Prime mover is still a credible argument.

  • Asad

    I have absolutely nothing against science pushing back the boundaries of the known. Einstein said space and time are but relative and his theory of relativity when coupled with quantum theory basically comprises what is known as the ‘Standard Model’ of particle physics and ultimately the Universe.

    The Standard Model being the most agreed upon model of how the universe operates also supports the big bang theory of how the universe developed from a very tiny, dense state into what it is today. It doesn't attempt to explain what initiated the creation of the universe, or what came before the big bang or even what lies outside the universe. The big bang describes the expansion of the universe and summing up the big bang theory is a challenge. The earliest stages of the big bang focus on a moment in which all the separate forces of the universe were part of a unified force. The laws of science begin to break down the further back you look. Eventually, you can't make any scientific theories about what is happening, because science itself doesn't apply.

    There are more questions re the Standard Model (I, being no physicist, quote from the howstuffworks website):

    “The Standard Model postulates that the universe is expanding which leads to the many questions which can be answered in a number of ways. Will it expand forever? Will it stop? Will it reverse? According to the general theory of relativity, it all depends on how much matter is within the universe.

    It boils down to gravity. The amount of gravitational force one body exerts on another depends upon the size of the two objects and the distance between them. If there's enough matter in the universe, the force of gravity will eventually slow the expansion and cause the universe to contract. Cosmologists would designate this as a closed universe with positive curvature. But if there isn't enough matter to reverse expansion, the universe will expand forever. Such a universe would either have no curvature or negative curvature.

    If we are in a closed universe, eventually the entire universe will contract and collapse in on itself. Cosmologists call this the “big crunch”. Some theorize that our universe is just the latest in a series of universes generated in a cycle of space expanding and contracting.

    There are also more very big questions the big bang theory doesn't address. What happened before the big bang? According to our current understanding of science, we can't know. The very laws of science break down as we approach t = 0 seconds. In fact, since the general theory of relativity tells us that space and time are coupled, time itself ceases to exist. Since the answer to this question lies outside the parameters of what science can address, we can't really hypothesize about it.

    What lies beyond the universe? Again, this is a question science can't address. That's because we can't observe or measure anything that lies outside the boundaries of the universe. The universe may or may not be expanding within some other structure, but it's impossible for us to know either way.

    Not everyone subscribes to the big bang theory. It violates the first law of thermodynamics, which says you can't create or destroy matter or energy. Critics claim that the big bang theory suggests the universe began out of nothing. Proponents of the big bang theory say that such criticism is unwarranted for two reasons. The first is that the big bang doesn't address the creation of the universe, but rather the evolution of it. The other reason is that since the laws of science break down as you approach the creation of the universe, there's no reason to believe the first law of thermodynamics would apply.

    The early inflationary period of the big bang appears to violate the rule that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light. Proponents have a few different responses to this criticism. One is that at the start of the big bang, the theory of relativity didn't apply. As a result, there was no issue with traveling faster than the speed of light. Another related response is that space itself can expand faster than the speed of light, as space falls outside the domain of the theory of gravity.”

    Now then, the Standard Model makes several predictions about the universe, many of which such as the expansion of the universe seem to be true according to various experiments. But there are other aspects of the model that remain unproven. One of those is a theoretical particle called the Higgs boson particle and the mechanism it is supposed to operate in, the Higgs mechanism or field.

    The CERN website says the following about the missing Higgs particle supposed to be found in the theoretical Higgs field:

    “Per the Standard Model there are very close ties between two of the four fundamental forces of nature– namely, the weak force and the electromagnetic force. The two forces can be described within the same theory, which forms the basis of the Standard Model. This ‘unification’ implies that electricity, magnetism, light and some types of radioactivity are all manifestations of a single underlying force called, unsurprisingly, the electroweak force. But in order for this unification to work mathematically, it requires that the force-carrying particles have no mass. We know from experiments that this is not true, so physicists like Peter Higgs came up with a solution to solve this conundrum.

    They suggested that all particles had no mass just after the Big Bang. As the Universe cooled and the temperature fell below a critical value, an invisible force field called the ‘Higgs field’ was formed together with the associated ‘Higgs boson’. The field prevails throughout the cosmos: any particles that interact with it are given a mass via the Higgs boson. The more they interact, the heavier they become, whereas particles that never interact are left with no mass at all.

    This idea provided a satisfactory solution and fitted well with established theories and phenomena. The problem is that no one has ever observed the Higgs boson in an experiment to confirm the theory. Finding this particle would give an insight into why particles have certain mass, and help to develop subsequent physics. The technical problem is that we do not know the mass of the Higgs boson itself, which makes it more difficult to identify. Physicists have to look for it by systematically searching a range of mass within which it is predicted to exist. The yet unexplored range is accessible using the Large Hadron Collider, which will determine the existence of the Higgs boson. If it turns out that we cannot find it, this will leave the field wide open for physicists to develop a completely new theory to explain the origin of particle mass.”

    I sincerely hope that they find the missing Higgs or something else for that matter.

  • Asad

    Now, the scientific community and physicists in particular are not claiming that science has proven that God does not exist, but rather that science has eliminated the need for God. This of course is nothing new and to say that scientific theories and new discoveries rule out the existence of God and hence close the book on the subject once and for all is farther from the truth. The matter is still up for debate amongst various physicists. I quote John Millis, Ph.D., (assistant professor of physics and astronomy at Anderson University, in Anderson Indiana) who writes about Stephan Hawking’s new book, The Grand Design as follows:

    “Even if we assume that the Universe initially existed in a complete vacuum state, absent of all matter and energy and before time began, it is possible for a Universe to spring into existence. In fact, according to the laws of quantum mechanics such events should happen spontaneously at a very high rate.

    Some of the Universes created would collapse almost as quickly as they were created. Others would expand so quickly that nuclear reactions would have no chance to exist and would be doomed to expand forever. However, some would meet the specific conditions right to support life. And at least one of those could contain the right planet, orbiting the right star at the right time for the right conditions to exist for life to spring into existence.

    First of all, this entire argument presupposes that the Universe initially exists in a complete vacuum, but also coincidently still obeys the laws of general relativity and quantum mechanics. Those on the religious side of the debate would likely resolve to the classic refrain "well who implemented the laws of general relativity and quantum mechanics?" Well, I believe this to be the wrong question, but I'll get to that in a moment.

    Ultimately the short answer to the question is that there is nothing dictating (as far as we know) what the laws of physics were. This leaves the door wide open for a deity to choose whatever laws he/she sees fit. But it does not preclude a set of physical laws naturally existing prior to the big bang. While this does not appease the religious types it does lead to a more fundamental question that calls into question Hawking's assertion that general relativity and quantum mechanics would dominate a pre-Universe.

    Specifically, why are there any laws of physics at all? Most cosmological models lose traction prior to the moment of creation as we have no way of predicting what the laws of physics are before the "big bang". There is nothing about the current state of our Universe that allows us to even guess the conditions surrounding the moments prior to existence. While Hawking's position is just as valid as any, it is far from conclusive.

    But let's take things even one step further. Assuming that Hawking's Universe is correct, and the Universe arises from a natural process (again ignoring the fact that he is relying on the pre-Universe conditions matching the post-Universe conditions, for which there is no evidence) is it possible to explain the evolution of the Universe completely using only current physical laws? In short, no.

    This is not to say that science needs God to explain some of the phenomenon of the Universe, but science certainly does not rule God out. Take for example the expansion of the Universe. This is a subject that physics struggles to explain. The current resolution is that a mysterious dark energy drives the Universe to expand, which is our way of saying that we have no clue. Now, I am not suggesting that this is specifically God's doing, but simply pointing out that there are major holes in our understanding of the Universe (which this is one of many) and that to conclusively say that a higher intelligence is not involved is premature at best.

    So while Hawking's comments are interesting, it certainly does not bring to a close the debate of whether science can claim exclusive rights to the creation of our Universe. I have a feeling that the conversation will continue ad nauseam for decades to come. Why do I think that? Because we've been saying for decades that we are on the door step of understanding all there is to know about the Universe. But this simply isn't true. As soon as we think we are getting close the Universe always seems to reveal something new that just perplexes us even more, and I don't know that an end is in sight”.

    I believe John Mills very succinctly sums up how our knowledge about the universe and life is not final and that science has in no way ruled out God from any picture.

  • Asad

    I quote more from CERN’s website:

    “Cosmological and astrophysical observations have now shown that all of the above accounts for only a tiny 4% of the entire Universe. In a way, it is not so much the visible things, such as planets and galaxies, that define the Universe, but rather the void around them!

    Most of the Universe is made up of invisible substances known as ‘dark matter’ (26%) and ‘dark energy’ (70%). These do not emit electromagnetic radiation, and we detect them only through their gravitational effects. What they are and what role they played in the evolution of the Universe are a mystery, but within this darkness lie intriguing possibilities of hitherto undiscovered physics beyond the established Standard Model.”

    And more:

    “It’s perhaps natural that we don’t know much about how the Universe was created – after all, we were never there ourselves. But it’s surprising to realise that when it comes to the Universe today, we don’t necessarily have a much better knowledge of what is out there. In fact, astronomers and physicists have found that all we see in the Universe – planets, stars, galaxies – accounts for only a tiny 4% of it! In a way, it is not so much the visible things that define the Universe, but rather the void around them.

    Cosmological and astrophysical observations indicate that most of the Universe is made up of invisible substances that do not emit electromagnetic radiation – that is, we cannot detect them directly through telescopes or similar instruments. We detect them only through their gravitational effects, which makes them very difficult to study. These mysterious substances are known as ‘dark matter’ and ‘dark energy’. What they are and what role they played in the evolution of the Universe are a mystery, but within this darkness lie intriguing possibilities of hitherto undiscovered physics beyond the established Standard Model.”

  • Asad

    Nobel Prize-winning physicist Dr. Leon M. Lederman and science writer D. Teresi in their 1993 book, “The God Particle: If the Universe Is the Answer, What Is the Question?” say that

    “When dealing with the very beginning of the universe there is no way for experiments and observations to help out. He writes that this is very frustrating. At least the ancient Greek philosophers could count the number of teeth in one horse and debate how many teeth horses have. Today, physicists are stuck with dealing with only one piece of data – “the existence of a universe. This of course brings us to the whimsical title of our book: the universe is the answer, but damned if we know the question.”

    In the final pages Dr. Lederman writes, “What happens as space and time tend toward zero is that the equations we use to explain the universe break down and become meaningless. At this point we are just plumb out of science. [Space and time cease to have meaning]. What remains? What remain must be the laws of physics.”

    Now, onto the first microbes to live under the instruction of man-made DNA as you mentioned. This is again a great find and opens many vistas for discovery. The microbes behave and multiply like life but are they really life? Biological engineer Drew Endy of Stanford University clarified how to think of this creation. “It’s not genesis, it’s not as if mice are coming from a pile of dirty rags in a corner,” he says. “The correct word is poesis, human construction. We can now go from information and get a reproducing organism. It lays down the gauntlet for us to learn how to engineer genomes.”

    Another most recent finding is the first organism (a bacterium found in a California lake) that is able to use the usually poisonous element Arsenic in place of Phosphorus as one of the six chemical elements crucial to life. Until now, the idea has been that life on Earth must be composed of at least the six elements carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, sulphur and phosphorus – no example had ever been found that violates this golden rule of biochemistry.

    The find, gives weight to the long-standing idea that life on other planets may have a radically different chemical makeup. The bacteria were found as part of a hunt for life forms radically different from those we know.

    Professor Paul Davies, the Arizona State University and NASA’s Astrobiology Institute researcher who co-authored the research said “The take-home message is: who knows what else is there? We’ve only scratched the surface of the microbial realm.”

    In conclusion I would say, isn’t non-belief purely on the basis of metaphysical naturalism or empiricism a case of extreme arrogance, the complete opposite of the lofty values of humility and modesty? For not allowing a tiny chance for the existence of an Unseen Force, aren’t non-believers as radical as the religious dogmatists that they so vehemently scorn?

    P.S. Sorry I had to break up this post into many parts as the website wouldn't allow me to post that much data in one post.

  • Pyrrhus

    @Asad,
    It is difficult for me to express the depth of gratitude I experience witnessing how much care you take in responding to my meager comments. Truly, you do me too much honor.

    You have quoted a great deal as well as having written your own mind on many subjects. Please forgive me for not responding to each, point for point. Suffice it to say, I have read, with great interest, all you have stated.

    I should confess, I am a mathematician and have studied physics for most of my life. I understand, and appreciate, thoroughly, the stance you take. I do hold, however, that "non-belief purely on the basis of metaphysical naturalism or empiricism" is not "a case of extreme arrogance" (though it may be a wee bit stroppy :).

    The tone of your insights tends to the notion that "non-belief" is, in itself, a kind of belief. It is not. Absence of belief is not positive in nature but, rather, vacuous.
    373
    Fermat's Last Theorem is a good case in point. For THREE hundred and SEVENTY-THREE years, not even the greatest mathematician could prove the conjecture, nor could they find an indisputable counter example. Just because no counter example could be found didn't mean it was true; similarly, failure to come up with a proof didn't mean it was false. In his famous Incompleteness Theorem, Kurt Gödel showed that any mathematical system capable of posing conjectures will, of necessity, harbor conjectures which are true but cannot be proven true. Thus is it impossible to know which these conjectures might be. In light of this, many mathematicians began to suspect Fermat's Last Theorem of quite possibly being just such a conjecture: true, but impossible to prove. By the same token, they knew Gödel's theorem had proven that it cannot be proven that any particular conjecture cannot be proven. Oh dear, oh dear!

    It's the same with god(s).

    If a mathematician claimed to KNOW Fermat's conjecture was true but unprovable, (s)he'd be branded a fool.

    If (s)he claimed to KNOW it were false but could provide no counter example, it might well be supposed (s)he was delusional.

    If (s)he claimed to KNOW it to be true but could provide no proof of a theorem, one might charitable presume (s)he'd been drinking!

    For any right triangle, the square of the hypotenuse always equals the sum of the squares of the other two sides. But of cubes? Is there ANY right triangle such that the cube of its hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the cubes of its other two sides? And what about hypercubes?

    Fermat's answer was that for every positive integer, n, the equation for right triangles, a^n + b^n = c^n, is always FALSE, except when n = 2. The conjecture is well defined.

    So what's this got to do with god(s) and religion?

    The following conjecture is NOT well defined:
    "Admit me, O You Who are the First and the Last, to the hidden domain of the unknowable, secret and encompassing treasure of As Allah wills! There is no power save in Allah" [Qur'an 18:39]

    If one claims to KNOW that "the hidden domain of the unknowable" exists while at the same time claiming that one CANNOT know that the unknowable exists, there arises a contradiction.

    On the other hand, if one claims to KNOW that "the hidden domain of the unknowable" does NOT exist without claiming that, therefore, one CAN know something unknowable, another contradiction arises.

    And, finally, if one claims to KNOW that "the hidden domain of the unknowable" really DOES exist, after all, then one claims to know, at least something, of the existence of precisely that which one claims is unknowable!

    But what has all this to do with Fermat's Last Theorem?

    Fermat's conjecture is well defined and easy to understand. The difficulty lies not with the conjecture but arises when attempting to show that Fermat's claim is false or that Fermat's claim is true. Were Fermat's claim false, finding a counter example would be difficult (we know that from history); and it is very difficult discovering a proof (we know that from history, too!); but the claim itself is simple. But imagine if no one knew what Fermat's Last Theorem was. How could anybody say anything about it? They couldn't.

    Enter the prophet!

    Exit reason!

    Goodbye logic!

    _______________________________________________________

    And so I repeat (and I am right!): RELIGION IS BAD NEWS.
    _______________________________________________________

  • Pyrrhus

    RELIGION IS BAD NEWS!

    The profit will tell you what you already know: that you DOn't know!

    He (and, invariably, he IS a 'HE') will 'reveal' to you that "the hidden domain of the unknowable" is (guess what!) unknowable!

    He will tell you that "the hidden domain of the unknowable" is All-Compassionate, All-Merciful, All-Aware, All-Comprehending, All-Powerful, in short: All-Everything!

    But we, being not 'All-anything', do not know (cannot know) what these attributes are nor what they mean. They are, by definition, beyond our understanding. All that 'revelatiing' tells us absolutely nothing.

    So what's left?

    What's left are the RULES (hadith!).

    The rules we CAN understand:
    - DOn't do this; DO do that.
    - Be kind (except when...)
    - Don't eat this; do eat that.
    - Bow down five times daily.
    - MEN (but not women) MUST attend mosque.
    - MEN must treat 'THEIR' women well.
    - Women (not their rapists!) WILL be punished, for being raped!
    - And homosexuals? (Their treatment is too unspeakably horrible to even mention.)
    - All this (and much, much, much, much, more!).

    That's religion for you!

    And they're all alike!

    Jews stoned all kinds of people to death for any number of reasons, the central reason being:

    "It is the will of God."

    God?! Sounds more like DickCheney to me!

    And Christians are no better.

    Any believer, in any religion, can disguise the horror with beautiful quotes of Love and Peace. Any believer can find whatever (s)he wants to find, whenever (s)he wants to find it, in any 'holy book' you care name.

    Bad people do bad things, but only religion can make good people do bad things. If you don't believe me, then read HERstory (if you can stomach it!).

    If monotheism is a step up from polytheism, then zerotheism tops'em all!

    Believe in anything you like, Asad, just don't hurt me. This might not be as easy as you think. Sometimes a refusal to hurt someone can result a religion hurting YOU. If you cannot (or will not) see this, then we are all doomed.

    _______________________________________________________

    And so I repeat (and I am right!): RELIGION IS BAD NEWS.
    _______________________________________________________

  • Asad

    @Pyrrhus

    Your arguments and the examples you cited from physics and biology were so profound and compelling that they warranted thoughtful consideration and hence a response. They rekindled my fascination with physics which I really enjoyed studying in high-school. Now, onto watching some more docs (before they get blocked on YouTube/Google etc.) in the ‘Science’ category here, starting with ‘The Universe’ series of the ‘History Channel’.

    Have absolutely no idea about Fermat’s Last Theorem and Gödel’s theorem, as you’d expect. But they seem interesting and will read about them.

  • Pyrrhus

    A relevant and interesting sequel to the subject of this forum, A History of God, can be found in Top Documentary Films' Science section. It is entitled "Dangerous Knowledge."

  • aristidh koka

    GOD in the tend of MOSE was the chief of secret services of ancient Egypt. he was in line with the others priests and minister of pharaon when his pupet MOSE was doing miracles who him have told before and he was smile when MOSE was doing all the tricks with serpent etc in front of pharaon. after all the soldiers of secret services comanded by this person called GOD poisoned the yeast of all Egypt with a staphilocoocus and who died? all them with weak imunitary system who are the first born. the god is a secret society who eksist from the time when the humans adomesticated the animals. why not to domesticate and the humans in sellf??
    sow and Jesus was a kamimkaze in hand of this secret society and you know who use the kamikazes, the secret services.

  • L.Walker

    Asad - TL;DR and probably not true anyway from the first few sentences in your first post. opinions are not fact. just because you believe it doesn't make it true.
    close your eyes and stop believing in everything. then open your eyes and look at what's around you. reality is what remains when you stop believing in it.

    Pyrrhus - bad news? you better believe it, especially if you ARE a woman! XD! islam punishes women for men misbehaving and being unable to control themselves around women. that's enough for me!

  • Vince

    Who knows maybe the next chapter in the history of the concept of God will be a fusion of the idea of God with the Hindu Brahman: Both Extensive and Intensive! Trancendalist,monist, pantheist and absolutist philosophies have long been moving that way,as is science. When the term God causes negative reactions talk rather of the ongoing search for truth.

  • Kurrrt

    Is the god in the West taking lessons from the god in the orient. The god in the holy bible is not agreeing with allah and is not too compromising. I one god mentioned by another? I'm no expert, like the hands of the government, they don't shake on anything. There's certainly no connection between any gods conversing together, but that's the motive of operation of text.

  • Kurrrt

    Until mankind understands what place religion takes over in a human beings existance, an attempt to warn others of why it's happening begins. Why tell the same thing told to failing ancient societies, to a modern logical world? Man doesn't want to stay in his past, in that way restricts us to evolve onto higher ways of existing. But pathetic preachers unknowingly insist, while they just follow the words. Go, Research god hard, and try and find a live one, Go, look in every corner. Go, But you'll have to only acheive this by using written text. What does that tell the logical mind in todays world? The free logical free mind that doesn't want to be told what think, or believe. You'll enslave yourself by such an illogical practice as written religions, yet 2000year old beliefs are introduced to mankind as modern text. Grown men doing this is simply baffling.

  • Kurrrt

    God cannot discover, god can only betray new symptoms. The definition of miracle is an event that takes place that does not lie within reason of the observer. This ancient bible book wasn't ment for 2011, what makes anyone think it is? All within it happened, done, over, closed, fin. It even makes a bad history book because of it's many medaphors and contradictions. Religions were founded upon ancient jokes and hoaxes, and believed only by religions truth seekers? Kind words were taken and ditators turned them into a ruleing force to control ancient societies not 2011 societies. There's no expert on any of this, we hold logic as a tool of the future. Become open to a wonderful future that holds only comfort towords humanity, without outside interference.

  • http://profiles.google.com/mohan0128 Mohan Sagar

    An excellent program; a rational and clear examination of Abraham's concept of God.

  • adilrye

    Very interesting and thorough look at the Abrahamic conception of God. We often forget about the deep philosophical and revolutionary difference between the God of the big monotheism's in comparison to the God of the pagan dominated world.

    I love documentaries that take us into the perspectives of worlds past...to see the perspective of the God(s) in the Mediterranean world compared to the now incredibly powerful Abrahamic conception of God is simply fascinating. And, most importantly, how it has shaped our perceptions as well.

    Great doc.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/VE7NLE5IZXG4CWZZOWXTBUJY3U Hughj

    awesome doc

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/VE7NLE5IZXG4CWZZOWXTBUJY3U Hughj

    I am so tired of atheists preaching their religion of "logic" on here. Even if we did away with religion, people will make gods out of values (e.g., Logic). Are you too stupid to see the parallels between what you are doing and what a religious extremist is doing? STOP preaching your religion of logic on here, atheists. I just wanna watch a documentary, man....

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/VE7NLE5IZXG4CWZZOWXTBUJY3U Hughj

    It doesn't seem very logical to come on here and preach without gathering all of the facts. I'm really happy that you have discovered your religion of logic after watching a Richard Dawkins documentary, but spare us documentary lovers your babble. Go study a religious text deeply before pretending to know everything. The human mind is far from perfect, meaning your bias towards religion is faulty. Coincidentally, it also means that my religion is faulty. I am far more willing to accept that my religion has some illogical beliefs rather than jump off a cliff with your godlessness just because you encourage me to follow your irrational set of values

  • LiquidCourage

    Of course this should be titled "A History of the Concept of God". God itself doesn't have a history because he doesn't exist.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1500227586 Banessa Maduro

    I remeber sitting in religion class when i was alittle girl (catholic school) and thinking wow "God" seems so selfish, its all about him. The first three commandants are all about him. Of course he seemed selfish to me because back then I didnt understand that the concept of one "God" was created by man. As the years went by I continued to have lots of questions but never got any answers because my family would tell me its a sin to question "God". Abraham and the other prophets were great leaders and genius to me. They knew that the "God" they spoke of would be questioned, so lets make "God" a mystery that can not be questioned. Lets make him so powerful that no human should question his power. Wow great marketing!! Brillant!! Now that I have a better understanding of how religions were formed and how the concept of one "God" was formed and cant help but think that religion has been one of the worst things that has happened to humanity. And this believing in "God" seems almost insane to me.

    I have an aunt who is extremly religious. You know the kind of religious person that has never read another book besides the bible. She seems to look down on others who dont think like she does. Well for a few years now I have been paying close attention to the things she says and she seems crazy to me. Believing in something that doesnt exist. Putting all her hope into something imaginery. Judging others for not thinking like her. Thinking that she some how is special because she came from this magical being.

    It hasnt been that long since I stoped believing in this " God" it took a while for me to be ok with it. Remember all my learned behaviors were implanted by people who suffer from this insanity of "God". This is all i knew. I felt guilt and i missed talking to him at night. It was like i broke up with a good friend. Now i have finally accepted it and know that this long time friend was as imaginery as the easter bunny. I feel free!! I dont have to live my life worrying about hell. I dont have to put my problems to the side and pray, instead i try to solve them.

    I would like to advise people to read as much as they can about everything. Learn about the sciences and they too will free you from this global madness. This one "God" has only existed for 4,000 years. The world is 13 million years old and humans (modern humans) have only existed for 100,000 years. Please inform yourself and open your mind. You have been lied to. We all have!

  • ruff_fudge

    ofcorse its so simple

  • mememars123

    i really like this video its very detailed... but i would have like to learn more about the Islamic history. Thank You and inshallah we all come to a conclusion of peace and understanding of all beings. may God guide us to love and respect for one another.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Peter-Jijo/100000371256523 Peter Jijo

    I can't understand the logic behind Abraham's story. God is supposed to be almighty, and he knew what would happen to Issac. God can foresee things. So God also would be able to foresee that Abraham about to sacrifice Issac, God stops him, shows him a sheep, then Abraham kills the sheep instead of his son. So the question here is, if God knew what would be the end of this episode, how he can order Abraham to perform such drama?
    Such question arises in the story of forbidden fruit. God knows everything. God even knew that Adam and Eve would disobey God, and he would punish them. But Adam and Eve just fulfilled God's wish by eating the forbidden fruit. So how can God justify his punishment to mankind???

  • Peter_Sweden

    IT'S 2012 !!! How the hell can ANYONE with a IQ over the limit that makes one smart enough to turn door nob, ever consider the possibility that there might be something like gods...for real? I mean.. wtf! Use your heads! I read your posts. You are smart people. You express yourself so well! (i can't, but english is not my native language) You are born in the a modern western world, for crying out loud! Take of the blindfolds and stop this madness. It's not sane! I bet you would believe i santa claus as well if someone brought you up kept the myth and made sure you get deceived every year! That is not so far of there! I've had it! Insane! Amen!
    _______________________________________________________________
    ** Good people will behave well. Bad people will behave badly.
    However, it takes religion to make otherwise good people behave badly. **
    ________________________________________________________________

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/AQ3SP3LVOPPHEIJCIXO65GGDMY Dee

    I was told that God tested Abraham, even when God knew Abraham's loyalty, so that Abraham himself would know his own loyalty and faith to God. I also personally believe that the trials that God sent and will send in my life will be for my own good. I would like to know how faithful I am or if I'm just all talk.
    God is all-knowing and all-powerful but He cannot do everything like going against His promises or telling a lie just like how He cannot create a rock that He cannot lift by Himself. Since He created mankind to have free will, He cannot force mankind against his will to do what He tells them to do. He could have just created us like robots which are programmed to do by the maker. But He did not. That's how He loves us. He doesn't want to force mankind to believe in Him nor does He want to force mankind to love Him. He wants His creation to love, obey and believe in Him by their own free will.
    What's amazing is; do you know that the instant Adam and Eve sinned, God already made a plan to redeem mankind? You see, when Adam and Eve sinned, mankind's relationship with God was broken since God cannot tolerate sin for He is holy (meaning: set apart). Adam's relationship with God was really close; they were hand-in-hand. But this intimate relationship with the Creator was broken because of sin (meaning of sin: eternal separation from God). Still, God made a plan to redeem mankind; and that is in John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son.."
    My point is, yes, God is all-knowing but He cannot do everything (which is usually a misconception by others); He cannot go against His own nature: being Holy. And so, even if He knew that Adam and Eve would sin, He couldn't force them to obey Him because they have free will. All He could do is to redeem mankind by sacrificing His Son.
    That's the gist of it. I suggest you read the Bible starting from John at the New Testament. The Scriptures is basically about Jesus Christ from the Old Testament to the New Testament.
    Faith is after all a personal choice. May God bless us all! ^^

  • Abhijeet Chausalkar

    It would have become more interesting if they would have included the hindu philosophy followed by Indians for several years...As per my information , it is one of the oldest religion human kind knew...The doc is excellent and well made..

  • CH.Montana

    Golly, stop reading the reviews and go to church then!

  • a girl

    Humans have free will because we are in the image of God. He gave us a choice. we are not his puppets, we are his creation. Like parents tht have kids. They know their kid will sneak out but they love them anyway and will be there for them anyway. He loves us very much. He gave man power over the earth and free will. He will not interfere with our choices. I think that God loves us soooo much we can;t understand. It's God we're talking about! As far as Abraham, God did that so the Abraham will see how much he trust God. Yea he knows everything already, but he allows us to do stuff to just learn. Abraham believed in God so much he was going to kill the one thing he always wanted. This is a lesson performed for generations not just for God and Abraham. God knew what he doing.

  • Henry Almond

    people are frightened of a hell

  • Glenn

    Right! It doesn't stand up to critical thinking. Now, do your part to teach others around you how to apply reason to overcome this ancient, hand-me-down nonsense.

  • Glenn

    You're analogy that God is to humanity as parents are to their children sounds good, but it's flawed because God is (supposed to be) all powerful and omniscient and benevolent whereas parents lack at least the first two of these.

    You've been indoctrinated to believe what you've written. I'm confident that you were born into a Christian environment. If you had been born further south, you'd very well be defending Santeria. If born further east, you might very well be touting Hinduism, or Islam.

    I'm certain you won't agree with what I've written, but if you study how Christianity is a re-do of previous faiths, look into how many Gods human minds have created, understand more about how the pattern-seeking brain works and the errors of reason it tends to commit, you might start to set your belief structure aside, but the chances that you'll do any of this is low because the results will have very real negative consequences for you since your social fabric is likely woven from like-minded people who are similarly comfortable with their irrational, untestable belief structures.

    Please do write something that's logically sound that will cause me to reconsider (and improve) my position.

  • Agnostic

    So in a situation with a human overtaking another human's free will, When god does nothing he's supporting the free will of whom? The murderer/rapist?

  • http://www.claytonzeimet.com/ Clayton Zeimet

    This is hard to watch. Not because I disagree, but because there's so many propositions that have no backing.

  • John Kennedy

    Every post should begin with "In My Opinion...."
    There are people of wisdom and goodwill from many points of view. Martin Luther King and Gandhi were people of deep faith, educated and made the world a better place than other person reading this. The question is how have you made the world a better place.

  • passenger

    Say that God does exist and he gave people the free will you mentioned. However, he is also the almighty, meaning he knows which choices we will make. Having said that, i wonder why has he created us and earth in the first place when he knows the outcome? He was bored and wanted his own reality show?

  • Will.I.Am

    No matter what GOD WILL only allow the elect to reveal Himself to and he will confuse those who don't believe and don't trust in Him,,,, trust of the matter is you will never know GOD unless you seek him out, SEEK THE KINGDOM OF GOD ABOVE ALL ELSE AND EVERYTHING ELSE WILL BE ADDED, call it what you want I'm a living testament of his true existence and he reveals thing to me still to this day and the power of his WORD created all humans before the foundation of the earth, I just pray everyone finds the CHRIST before he comes, very soon he's gonna crack the skies open and all living things on the earth will know who he is,,, so GOD BLESS ACCEPT HIS FREE GIFT OF GRACE and to all those who don't may HE have mercy on you....

  • Chad

    A brainstorm from my book I'm writing.

    The mystery of nature is inconclusively complex in its nature and when, considering the cosmos to the simplest of life experiences, all inevitably have been wondered and spoken about through the ages. We have created degrees and schools of thought and studied the intilledual minds of free thinkers and philosophers trying to have some new principle in which we can define our existence. While one may choose to understand the feeling of love and another the quantum mechanics of the universe, our understanding of the truth remains undecided. Our history confirms that No matter the the lineage of time our wonder still remains. If these mysteries are so prevailing and thought provoking can there absolute certainty really ever be defined? if we cannot describe the existence of anything as absolute then why is God an absolute truth? Moreover, gods absolute truth is a reality for millions of people. Does it seem silly to question all we think, touch, see and feel yet God is left out inconclusive. By abolishing the concept of God then we will truly have the freedom to understand. Consider a mentally handicapped person or someone who is blind. They do not have the mental capacity or the physiological networks to understand their existence or even be able to see their existence. So does the mentally challenged person have a less meaningful life because they don't have the capacity to understand God? Does the blind person inability to see change their the sight of their own existence? So while those with a disability in life remain and their inability to be as we are changes nothing in their existence. They still remain as they are. So why has man not understood that they too have a disability in that they do not have the senses or mental capacity to ever define or understand the concept of God. If it the principle was there for us to conceive this then explaining the color blue to a blind person would be simple. Can the concept of colour really be described to a person with perfect sight let alone the blind ones. When considering nature and its workings it can be conceived as a machine that its inner working process occur and in turn allows us to exist. Now consider the working of a pencil, a pen, a clock, an automobile. While we may be able to disect, compare, analyze, hypothesize and relate some theory to which its mechanics tick we fail to conceive the concept of its creator. While we use these objects within our environment we do not ever have the notion for a second of the nature in the man or women or being who constructed it. We don't define the creators want for how we should truly use it, we don't consider why the creator wanted us to have it. We don't question weather we have the true knowledge of its use. This simple concept shows the true handicap of mans capacity to understand define gods absolute truth. As the ages pass the sectorial lineage the Catholicism and its absolute truth has sporadically grows to hundreds of different incisions of its truth. Seemingly, one would have to begin now to see the trending idea of religions followed question of truth just as the concepts of love have changed through the ages. Is it not clear that the religion that was defined as absolute truth has been questioned and its followers have created more fitting sects to describe their level of intellect. Based on the exceptence of the church to acknowledge the sects as equal truths not undermine its entire principle. Religion is simply a school of thought just as philosophy and its definition exists only because of not absolute truth but of mans inability to understand and question.