Reaching the Youth of Today!

Youth Special ** NEW ** (OCTOBER 2008)

(62 minutes)

Sparked off by a remarkable testimony of knife crime, this lively discussion is an extraordinarily powerful analysis of what makes young people tick and why the Church is not connecting with them. Ordinary people spanning three generations get to the heart of the problem with some intriguing possibilities offered from the streets of Poland. How can ordinary Christians make a difference?
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Did Man Create God?

In an era when politicians must prove they are religious to get elected and the proclamations of their ministers can get them into trouble, when schools are urged to teach creationism, when presidents and main stream movies proclaim the virtues of Intelligent Design, when fundamentalists want to destroy Western civilization in the name of religion, and when ninety-five percent of the people in the world believe that God created man, we need to ask the question, do they have it all backward - Did Man Create God?

If man created God then many of the precepts that humans base much of their beliefs on, are false. Asking if man created the theory of a personal God that answers prayers is not the same as asking if God exists. It is impossible to absolutely prove or disprove whether a supernatural being exists or does not exist, since by definition, supernatural things are outside the realm of physical laws. It is, however, possible to ask if man created the theory of a personal God that created all life, and who answers our prayers, judges us, and gives us eternal life in heaven or hell.

Man has an insatiable desire to know the cause of all things. In pre-modern times the theory of God provided a seemingly infallible explanation of where the universe, the earth, all the plants and animals including man, came from. God the creator - created them. Man is unique among all the animals in knowing that life is finite and that we are all doomed to die. Man is also unique among all the animals in often having a fear of dying. In addition to explaining were we came from, the theory of God was also able to help alleviate this fear of death by promising eternal life. A modest embellishment of the theory of God, consisting of dividing eternal life into something pleasant (heaven) or very unpleasant (hell), and being sent to either one based on our behavior, thus providing a means of encouraging humans to behave morally.

Man’s insatiable thirst for knowledge and knowing the cause of things led to the development of science, wherein knowledge is advanced by proposing theories and setting up experiments designed to try to disprove the theories. This hard nosed, experiment driven approach has led to astonishing advances in our knowledge of the physical world. This in turn allowed man to develop new theories of the origin of the plants and animals by evolution and natural selection, theories of the origin of the universe by the big bang and hyperinflation, and many other theories that explained the workings of the physical and animal world. These new theories did not prove that God did not exist. However, it was clear that the old theory, that God created the universe and man, was not necessary. Natural processes were adequate for the job.

Being spiritual does not inherently imply being religious. Spirituality can be broadly defined as a sense of being connected to something greater than ones self. Genetic studies have shown that a substantial part of spirituality is controlled by our genes, evolved by natural selection, is pleasurable and is essential for survival and will never go away. In addition, altruistic and moral behaviors are inborn traits for most humans and do not have to be forced upon us by promises of hell and damnation if we do not behave. These and other observations are consistent with the conclusion that man created God to explain what was at one time unexplainable, alleviate fears of death, and drive moral behavior. They also indicate that man was the author of the sacred books.

If this is correct then one religion is not inherently better than another, one sacred book is not inherently better than another, and the reasons for religious prejudice and terrorism disappear - allowing all humans to live in peace.

hi ,

Wow that's a big post !

You mention scientific advance , but have we got any further in understanding how we exist . If you accept the big bang the question always remains about original cause . In my 38 years of life I have noticed that life does not arise from non-life and that nothing happens without cause . I notice that complex things are made by intelligence . These are basic , obvious truths . The Dawkin's version of science demands we ignore these basic truths .

Regarding religion and violence , I'm sure that you've never felt threatened when walking near a church . You may have outside a pub or night club . Much of the religious violence has been by evil people using it as a vehicle for power eg the medieval popes killing genuine christians who did n't go along with what they said .

I may have another 30 years or so left on earth , maybe more , maybe less . The idea that at the end of my life there is nothing does n't thrill me . The sure and reasoned hope given by Jesus that all who call on him can be saved is a wonderful thing to me . Seek after him , he is the saviour promised by the old testament prophets , even the timing of his appearance in history was given in Daniel ch 9 , in the prophecy of the seventy weeks (of years) .