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mazingerz88's avatar

Why doesn't God just appear and say here I am-?

Asked by mazingerz88 (25689points) September 22nd, 2011

That would really be quite exciting imo, what with all the generated traffic in mainstream media, internet etc. I hope if this happens, there won’t be too much “I told you so-!” snarky remarks globally and instead there will be lots of happy beer drinking amongst atheists and believers alike.

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128 Answers

GladysMensch's avatar

Not existing is the main barrier.

rebbel's avatar

Because he would be fitted a straight jacket and being brought to an institution where he would meet his fellow gods.

SpatzieLover's avatar

Faith.

Besides the entire omnipresent thing, of course

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Because then religious people would feel neglected if they weren’t being made fun of and picked on by a bunch of arrogant douchebags anymore.

YoBob's avatar

He does, just look around you

wundayatta's avatar

Entities claiming to be God appear all the time and say, “Here I am.” Since so far, none of them seems to exhibit god-like powers, almost no one believes they are god. The other problem is that there is little or no evidence suggesting that an entity that one group or another of people hypothesize actually has any reality.

Talk of a godlike entity is best understood, I believe, as a metaphor for the kind of energy people would like in their lives. This energy also justifies and validates a whole set of beliefs that group of people holds. The existence of the group is the best evidence of the God, and in fact, I would argue that the existence of the group is, in fact, a god appearing and saying “here I am.”

The real problem for most of these groups is that their group is not universal. Despite that, they claim their God is universal. Most other groups with their own gods find this highly prejudicial, take exception and next thing you know they are all acting as if their god were more than a metaphor for their group… or that their group has a larger significance and importance than its nominal existence would suggest.

bkcunningham's avatar

People would ridicule and crucify Him.

For @YoBob:

Miracles
By Walt Whitman
1819–1892
————————————————————————————————————————

Why, who makes much of a miracle?
As to me I know of nothing else but miracles,
Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan,
Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky,
Or wade with naked feet along the beach just in the edge of the water,
Or stand under trees in the woods,
Or talk by day with any one I love, or sleep in the bed at night
with any one I love,
Or sit at table at dinner with the rest,
Or look at strangers opposite me riding in the car,
Or watch honey-bees busy around the hive of a summer forenoon,
Or animals feeding in the fields,
Or birds, or the wonderfulness of insects in the air,
Or the wonderfulness of the sundown, or of stars shining so quiet
and bright,
Or the exquisite delicate thin curve of the new moon in spring;
These with the rest, one and all, are to me miracles,
The whole referring, yet each distinct and in its place.

To me every hour of the light and dark is a miracle,
Every cubic inch of space is a miracle,
Every square yard of the surface of the earth is spread with the same,
Every foot of the interior swarms with the same.
To me the sea is a continual miracle,
The fishes that swim – the rocks—the motion of the waves – the
ships with men in them,
What stranger miracles are there?

smilingheart1's avatar

@wundayatta, reminds me of the old quiz show with one genuine and two imposters all claiming to be the same person. Lots of posturing goes on and at the end they get it sorted – the real individual stands up and the TV audience gets the thrill of perhaps being astute enough to choose the correct personality. So the question would be: “Will the REAL God please stand up?”

tom_g's avatar

@YoBob: “He does, just look around you”

So, this god has appeared and said “here I am” by making a universe that is no different from a universe that does not require his existence?

In all seriousness, do you feel that a statement like that will fly with people who don’t already believe? Since we are (usually) talking about an omniscient god (here in the US/Christian), god knows that he is not “seen” by a large part of the population. So, the question is – why doesn’t he appear and say here I am in a way that would convince those people who have not seem him?

gondwanalon's avatar

Which God?
Greek Gods?
Roman Gods?
Ancient Egyptian Gods?
Hawaiian Gods?
Mayan Gods?
Jehovah?
Mohammed?
Jesus Chist please be more specific!

flutherother's avatar

God knows, but if he did appear he would immediately be diminished. He would become something rather than everything. On the stage that he made He would become no more than another character.

Judi's avatar

HR did. 2000 years ago. Not a lot of people paid attention.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@gondwanalon Haha! That was pretty funny!

tom_g's avatar

@Judi – To be fair, very few of us were around 2000 years ago.

Nullo's avatar

There are some good answers above.
As I recall, people tended to drop over dead from that sort of thing. I like to think that it would be like being made to visualize a spherical cube until your head asplodes.

@Judi Post-facto they did. :D

tom_g's avatar

@Nullo – Again, if we go with the common characteristics given to the Christian god, we are talking about an omniscient and all-powerful god. I’m sure he knows of a way to convince us nonbelievers without us dropping dead.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@tom_g How could anyone even God convince you to believe what you don’t want to?

tom_g's avatar

@SpatzieLover – Because belief is not subject to the will.

I don’t not believe because I “don’t want to”. I don’t believe because I haven’t been convinced. Also, again – we’re talking about an all-powerful, omniscient god here, right?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Look at the reception the last member of the family that showed up on earth got.

AstroChuck's avatar

Here I am.

Blackberry's avatar

I can’t even come up with a good joke lol.
There are so many interpretations of god that it doesn’t matter.

mazingerz88's avatar

@bkcunningham That was great writing, no doubt. And the Bible has some of the greatest writings as well that stirs, becalms and assures the faithful. But I don’t know, does great writing about great things we don’t understand, proof of God saying, Here I am?

DominicX's avatar

He did, though. He was Jim Jones, the Aum Shinrikyo guy, etc. Practically every cult leader that’s existed was God in some form. We just didn’t listen. :(

boxer3's avatar

aside from growing up around a catholic church,
my dad alaways told me God doesn’t need to be the god that’s
depectied in the bible orin other religious narritive and such
but more so anything I think of as greater than myself-
so maybe for some people “God” is here. every day in our active lives.
Im not very religious, maybe a little spiritual but there’s so many different beliefs
and religions-
depends who you ask I guess.

bkcunningham's avatar

@mazingerz88, I love Whitman. What particular writing in the Bible do you find stirring, calming and assuring?

Pandora's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe LOL. Love your answer.
I like to think of it this way. Like why would a rich reclusive relative not want to be around his family.
Well, you already know the few relatives that love you even if you don’t give them everything they ask for.
As for the rest, you know that if you suddenly show up all you will be surrounded by is the assholes who just want what you have and so they will only play the part. It won’t be sincere. They don’t all of a sudden love you or believe they really need to change their ways or are really sorry for past wrongs. They are just scared of missing an opportunity to inherit your cash or in Gods case, a shot at heaven.
In short I don’t think he likes ass kissers any more than we do. They are just snakes in the grass.

Qingu's avatar

The reason that Yahweh does not appear is because Yahweh is a fictional character dreamed up by bronze-age savages who largely copied their ideas about him from Mesopotamian mythology.

This is why Yahweh’s recorded appearances in the Old Testament resemble Mesopotamian gods like Enlil, Marduk and Sin. Yahweh appeared to prophets on heavenly journeys… he was reported to be living in some kind of sky castle, because the Hebrews who wrote these reports believed the sky was a solid dome and that deities lived up there.

Yahweh appears to Job as a “whirlwind” because ancient desert nomads were entranced by the lifelike properties of storms and clouds and identified them with gods. Many of Yahweh’s “miracles”—the plagues, parting the sea of reeds, helping Joshua commit genocide against the Canaanites, etc—seem pretty small fry by today’s standards, what with our nuclear weapons and space travel.

If there is a real God, it is unimaginably vaster and more impressive than the textbook Mesopotamian storm deity reported in the Bible.

mazingerz88's avatar

@bkcunningham Everything that Jesus seemed to have said and written later.

bkcunningham's avatar

@Qingu, I don’t know why but I just thought of a Mesopotamian politifact “loincloth on fire” rating system. lol

ucme's avatar

Coz she’s an ugly fucker, with no sense of fashion or style. Yup, god must be a shut in of the uber variety.

cockswain's avatar

Clearly you guys haven’t seen what happened at the end of “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” That’s just a taste of what would happen.

Russell_D_SpacePoet's avatar

I’ll go out on a limb here. I would say because there isn’t one. If there was, it has missed many prime opportunities to make itself known and save millions of innocents.

Hibernate's avatar

When you’ll have the pleasure of meeting Him remember to ask Him.

leopardgecko123's avatar

@YoBob completely true.
WE gotta have faith. you gotta believe to see.
But I know what you mean. I can’t see Him a lot of times, but when I really think about it I feel Him.
Maybe you can ask Him whenever you get to Heaven?

Kardamom's avatar

He’s too busy yakking on his cell phone, checking his FB and skulking around Fluther.

digitalimpression's avatar

Matthew 26:53–54

53Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?

54But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?

Its a bit discouraging that 20 people thought the first answer was a great one. However, each time Christians/religious people are ridiculed is affirmation to me that there is something to the concept of God.

Seek's avatar

As a staunch atheist, I don’t need a god to stand up and say “Hi! Here I am!”

I’d settle for the deity Yahweh repeating his performance with the flaming wet altar as seen in the Old Testament, on command, in the presence of sufficient data recording equipment.

mazingerz88's avatar

@digitalimpression I don’t think so, I’m sorry. If Christians/religious people are ridiculed then you are ridiculed and should rightly feel insulted and demand an apology. But it does not mean it adds that there is something to the concept of God, imo.

bkcunningham's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr, where is the flaming wet altar found in the OT?

Seek's avatar

Elijah called fire down from heaven in a “prove your god is the real god” contest with worshippers of Baal. Each built an altar and started to pray. Elijah got cocky and poured water all over his altar. Then fire came from heaven and consumed his sacrifice.

Why can’t we get that kind of demonstration today?

Qingu's avatar

Magnesium?

Ellis1919's avatar

Why would He want to? And what would be the point in doing so? Would it really change anything? Would you believe Him if he came up to you and said “Here I am. I am God.”? I know I wouldn’t. And what if you were the only person he appeared to? There will always be believers and disbelievers. There will always be good and evil in this world. Supposedly we are all created in God’s image, so I suppose every time you look in the mirror or in someone else’s eyes, you’re really seeing Him. God is here. God is everywhere.

Seek's avatar

Well, @Ellis1919 of course we wouldn’t believe some dude who showed up claiming to be god. He’d have to do so and then prove it beyond doubt. Like, regrow an amputated limb in front of a sizeable audience.

Ellis1919's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Exactly. And even if God were to appear I doubt He would prove Himself. He’s God. He doesn’t have to prove anything.

AdamF's avatar

@digitalimpression “Its a bit discouraging that 20 people thought the first answer was a great one.”

Really? All it demonstrates to me is consistency. That is the most parsimonious answer.

No evidence, inconsistent evidence, anecdotal evidence in the case of extraordinary claims = no belief. A simple but effective baloney filter.

I’m trying to think of other fields of inquiry where belief based on insufficient evidence is considered a virtue.

All I can come up with, in addition to most religions, is pseudoscience (e.g. astrology, talking to dead people, dowsing), alternative medicine (e.g. homeopathy), and fad diets. Not surprisingly, the common denominator seems to be the desire to believe something sufficiently strongly to override people’s normal day to day skepticism. Hence, part of the reason for the acceptance of so many unsubstantiatied beliefs (e.g. lose weight without effort, your future is written in the stars (and conveniently in the back of your local paper), bottled water will help with your chronic insecurity, you can live forever, the creator of the universe knows and cares about you, and more often that not just happens to be the same god your culture indoctrinated you with, and of course you’ll meet dead loved ones again).

The alternative to the first answer being a great one, is a great answer being one that starts from a conclusion (i.e. my particular version of god(s) exists) and then makes up “Just So” stories to justify continued belief regardless of the lack of supportive evidence.

I think the only great thing about such answers is their capacity to perpetuate falsehoods.

DominicX's avatar

@digitalimpression

So now saying God doesn’t exist is “ridiculing Christians”? This is getting absurd.

Seek's avatar

@Ellis1919

I disagree. If your deity “created” me with a brain capable of using logic to analyze evidence as perceived by me in my surroundings, the least it could do is allow itself to be perceived. Particularly so if the consequences of not accepting its existence amounts to an “eternity” of torture. Unless, of course, its ulterior motive is to breed victims. In which case, I think we’re better off without it.

Ellis1919's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr It’s called free will. Just because you don’t understand something or want to believe it doesn’t make it true or false. The question is why doesn’t God appear and say here I am. I believe He doesn’t have a reason to. Why would anyone want to deal with what has become of us, of earth when it’s our own actions that has lead us to where we are?

Seek's avatar

Nature gave me free will. I am a human being with a functioning body and reasonably intelligent mind. I can do whatever I damn well please within my abilities at any time, and so can anyone else.

Religion simply adds to that fact a list of “morality” stories, then lays out a long list of “do-nots” hoping that the threat of divine retribution in a fantastic afterlife will keep me towing the line.

That sounds like nothing more than the attempt to take away my free will.

As far as your last sentence, I’m not entirely sure where you were going with that. It doesn’t seem to make sense in the context. Perhaps you could clarify?

Ellis1919's avatar

Religion is just a label.
I look at this world and I see everything that we’ve done to it and how far we have and have not come and I don’t like where we are going. I don’t know if I’d want to take credit for that if I were God. There has to be some type of reason for everything. Ugh. I don’t know how to clarify what I’m saying or if I even know what I’m talking about anymore.. we could talk about the subject of God/beliefs/religion for the rest of our lives and who knows who is actually right?

Seek's avatar

No one knows for certain what the origin of “everything” is. But we know for sure a lot of things that it isn’t.

So far, every manmade deity past and present has been conclusively disproven based upon their own criteria. i.e.: Telescopes have proven the sun is not the Greek god Apollo riding a golden chariot across the sky, and simple logic dictates Yahweh could not be both omnipotent and omniscient, because he wouldn’t have the power to change his own mind.

The_Lord_thy_God's avatar

Because I’ve been busy. So what do you want?

everephebe's avatar

I think this is an important question for all theists to ask themselves. “Why doesn’t God just appear and say here I am-?” Well, the most obvious answer would be the impossibility of a non-existing thing to reveal itself. But let’s say a god or the God appeared, would that really be cause for celebration? I mean I personally put in a work order (in prayer form) on this universe decades ago and the ultimate creator and landlord is just getting off his or her omnipotent ass now? Please, I get better service than that from psychopaths.

What I mean by this is any god would have a lot to explain and answer for even if he/she/it appeared. What god would need is a good PR person first off…Then maybe, a few guest appearances here and there and some charity work…

You could say the almighty deity is the biggest recluse ever, I guess that’s a “possibility.” I think unless you are willing to entertain many silly thoughts and explanations the answer is there no god to appear, so no god will. If one does, a theist can buy me beer I’m gonna need one. Cheers.

jerv's avatar

TL;DR

I think that this is one of the strongest arguments Atheists have in the Information Age. The fact that Rebecca Black is so well-known yet nobody has heard from God in years means that one of the following is true:

1) God doesn’t exist
2) God exists, but doesn’t appear or communicate in any manner that us hairless apes can comprehend.
3) God has actually been talking to us for a long time, but those who claim to follow Him are drowning Him out.
4) God just doesn’t have anything to say to us for whatever reason.

Pick whichever one of those helps you sleep at night.

mazingerz88's avatar

@jerv Who is Rebecca Black?

Oh I see. Googled it. Lol.

FutureMemory's avatar

@DominicX So now saying God doesn’t exist is “ridiculing Christians”? This is getting absurd.

Can you imagine if someone claimed that saying God does exist is ridiculing atheists? LOL!

@digitalimpression Its a bit discouraging that 20 people thought the first answer was a great one.

22 now, actually. I find it very encouraging.

Qingu's avatar

@Ellis1919, you seem pretty sure that the people who believe in the hundreds of non-Yahweh gods put on the table by various world religions over human history are “wrong.”

Do you really think we can’t really know if the Zeus-worshipers were right?

Nullo's avatar

Pondered a bit more today, and realized that God’s intolerance of sin (which abounds in the world) would render any ‘safe’ manifestations effectively impossible.

@Qingu It’s a relationship thing.

Qingu's avatar

@Nullo, that reminds me of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, when Link tries to go into the Dark World, he gets turned into a useless bunny! Maybe if Yahweh found a Moon Pearl, he’d be safe on Earth?

I’ve always thought that the Zelda games have a lot to teach us about Jewish and Christian mythology in general. Wind Waker has the best visual representation of Biblical cosmology I’ve ever seen.

Seek's avatar

I think @Nullo is implying that if God were to show up in person, he wouldn’t be able to restrain himself from god-nuking the planet.

Which, oddly enough, is exactly what he’s expected to do, right?

cockswain's avatar

@Qingu I would love for you to elaborate on the Zelda analogy. For example, what does the old guy in the cave that gives you the sword represent?

Qingu's avatar

Oh, nothing. I was thinking more of the Three Goddesses of the Triforce acting sort of like the Trinity.

Ellis1919's avatar

@Qingu I love how you think you know what I believe. I never said anything about being right or wrong. I don’t have the answers.
You can always prove something is wrong, but you can’t always prove something is right.

Qingu's avatar

@Ellis1919, so you’re really on the fence about Zeus’s existence?

Do you ever construct sacrificial hecatombs to him, just in case he does exist?

flutherother's avatar

@Qingu A superb game. I’m sure it draws on various myths but I didn’t think too much about that when playing.

digitalimpression's avatar

@AdamF The problem is in your understanding of evidence.
@FutureMemory As you’ll notice, in a round about way, I did too.

tom_g's avatar

@digitalimpression: ”@AdamF The problem is in your understanding of evidence. ”

I’d love to hear you elaborate on this one.

cockswain's avatar

you’re putting him/her in the unenviable position of needing to streeeeetch the usual definition of evidence.

Seek's avatar

I’m currently on a mission to deconvert the local Baptists who show up every Friday trying to get me to come to their Sunday service.

I figure they’re coming on my turf to proselytize, turnabout is fair play.

The poor guy who showed up today. “How would you feel if you died right now, and it turns out you’re wrong and you had to stand before God in heaven and answer to him?”

Ah.

“Well, about the same as you might feel if you died and found out that Huitzilopochtli was miffed at you for not feeding him the warm hearts of virgins each morning. Or if you woke up in the River Styx…at all. Or if you plopped on the cold, desolate ice of Niflheim, to realise your death hadn’t been heroic enough to warrant Valhalla. Shall I go on?”

AstroChuck's avatar

I’m good. I passed through ShiKahr on my journey to the family shrine to honor the gods.

bkcunningham's avatar

Did this question actually turn into some people making fun of pother eople who have faith in a higher power? Hhmmm, imagine that. lol There is nothing new under the sun.

mazingerz88's avatar

Uhm, it’s the usual “to each his own definition of evidence” friendly chinwagging. No big deal.

AdamF's avatar

@digitalimpression “The problem is in your understanding of evidence.”

Okay. That’s certainly one possibility.

If the problem is with me, and my “understanding of evidence” (as you suggest), then perhaps you could do me the favour of pointing out what I’m missing, or misunderstanding.

cockswain's avatar

I’m just going to put out the fact that ol’ Swain has had a few tonight.

But (and I hope I can articulate this) I wish we could deeply and fully explore what leads a person to have faith in a thread without malice, just introspection. My personal opinion (although obviously biased) is that upon scrutiny, no one can reasonably justify believing anything solely on faith alone.

I hope I don’t start a flame war.

Seek's avatar

I agree with your intoxicated self, in the most loving and jealous of passions. (Where’s my tequila?)

I was a believer for a long time.

I was never an idiot – that is, I was interested in science, knew the scientific method, understood why it works the way it does, etc. I even studied the bare basics of evolution and all of that in Biology and Earth Sciences classes (straight A’s!) in high school.

And for some reason, I was always able to throw in a suspension of disbelief. Like all of those classes were somehow removed from my own personal reality, as though I were studying the development of Middle Earth at the hand of the Valar.

It wasn’t until my 20s I realised the Valar were a lot more like my professed God than they were like the forces of nature.

Ellis1919's avatar

@Qingu I’ve been harassed before for arguing that there is a God. I’ve been harassed for arguing that there is no such thing as God. What do you want me to say? Because the truth of what I actually believe or don’t believe in isn’t something I talk about. I don’t really care to listen to either side because the longer that most people keep talking and defending their beliefs, the dumber they actually sound.

cockswain's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr I think for me it was the moment I realized the all the impossible logistics of the Noah’s Ark. Suddenly a book I’d been taught as the unquestionable Word of God became questionable. Things slowly but continually crumbled as I kept applying reason for the following years.

bkcunningham's avatar

@cockswain, what logistics of Noah’s ark?

FutureMemory's avatar

@bkcunningham I would imagine he’s referring to the absurd notion that viable breeding pairs of all earth’s life forms would be collected and housed in a big boat, surviving for 40 days ‘at sea’, blah blah…you know the story I’m sure.

bkcunningham's avatar

Is that it, @cockswain? The size of the ship? Please, don’t think I’m trying to pull some Freudian crap on you. It’s just a question.

cockswain's avatar

Sure, that’s part of it. How a dude, his wife, and three kids built a ship large enough to house a pair of every creature. That ship would be so big those 5 people would have to clear a forest and shape all the lumber to construct it. So that’s not possible. Then you have the problem of gathering polar bears and other species not on that continent. Which takes away from the ship builders, by the way. Then you’d need to acquire food that wouldn’t spoil to survive and feed the animals. And how long would it take to feed those animals every day? Cleaning the cages? Etc…. I think you see my point. Similar logic for Jonah living in a fish/whale.

Anyways, some people say those stories aren’t to be taken literally. Sure, I guess one can rationalize that, but it seems like a justification to support a shaky theory to begin with. Plus none of this is scientifically derived information, so there’s just no reason to put a lot of belief into it as being real. But these are just my beliefs. Someone can believe it if they want. My whole point is once I realized this bible story was likely just a man-made falsehood, not a fact of the universe, it served as a catalyst for me to begin questioning everything I’ve ever been taught. So I’m very skeptical and thoughtful of all my beliefs in general now.

bkcunningham's avatar

How big was the ship?

cockswain's avatar

Bigger than a zoo.

But I’m uncertain what point you’re trying to make.

Qingu's avatar

@bkcunningham, when talking about the logistics of Noah’s ark, I like to limit it to just one specific thing:

How many insects did Noah bring on the ark?

There are at least 1.5 million species of insects alive today and probably tens of millions of additional species that are either undiscovered or extinct.

The answer to this question tells a lot about how fundamentalist Christians oppose the idea of evolution.

Qingu's avatar

@cockswain, I think the flood story is much cooler and more beautiful if you do take it literally… which, I would argue, fundamentalist Christians don’t even do all the way!

The flood story is basically lifted almost entirely from an earlier Mesopotamian flood story tradition. (The Epic of Atrahasis, written centuries before the Bible, has many identical details and an identical overall structure; Gilgamesh also included a flood story though it’s a little more vague).

The point of the “flood story template” is that
1. God(s) get pissed off at humans, aim to “press reset” on Earth
2. One god is on human’s side, tells him to load up a ship full of animals
3. Human survives, sacrifices animals to gods
4. God(s), after smelling/eating sacrifices, realize they need humans around for food
5. God(s) make fundamental changes so that problems in #1 don’t happen again

In Atrahasis (written by citydwelling Akkadians), the problem was overpopulation and noise pollution; the solution was limited lifestpans. In Genesis (written by tribal nomads) the problem is murder, the solution is laws.

Anyway, the flood story is really cool visually if you consider how Babylonian and Hebrew mythology works. These people thought the sky was a solid dome that holds up an ocean. That’s why God has to open “windows in the sky” to make the flood start. So basically, the entire world, as understood in the Bible, is supposed to be like this bubble under an ocean—and the flood essentially pops the bubble. This is why the ark had a roof sealed with pitch! It was supposed to be a submarine. Which is, I think, a lot radder than the way fundamentalist Christians tell the story today.

cockswain's avatar

That is cool told from that point of view. I’m not much of a mythological historian, but I’m aware that some stories from the Bible, even the story of Christ, are re-tellings of older myths. I could read up on it I suppose, but just haven’t. I think I’ve heard the Christ story has been told in multiple ways actually.

I know you know a lot about this. What are the ideas for how these myths got passed on in such specific detail across different cultures and many centuries?

bkcunningham's avatar

Geez, I didn’t mean to cause a flood of words that don’t answer my question, lol, how big was the ship?

mazingerz88's avatar

@Qingu Nice that you posted that. I knew that piece of info was out there and was going to look for it. There was also that similar story angle in some religions of a female bearing a child without a physical father. The movie Religulous pointed that out in one of its scenes.

Blackberry's avatar

@bkcunningham Well, some explorers supposedly found the ship (multiple times, was there more than one?), and from the pictures, it looked like a regular sized boat.

cockswain's avatar

@bkcunningham I wish you’d make your point. Are you asking how big the bible says it is, or how big a boat would have to be to realistically be able to house all animals and food for them? If it’s the latter, I don’t have a number of square feet calculated nor do I wish to undertake such a pointless task. But I think it’s reasonable to assume it would have to be enormous, and given the technology at the time, beyond the scope of a family to complete in less than many decades. But again, I don’t know what your point is.

FutureMemory's avatar

I believe it was 300 cubits long? So, 450 feet?

mazingerz88's avatar

It’s this big.

bkcunningham's avatar

My point is, @cockswain, and I mean this with no disrespect, but if you haven’t even tallied up how big Noah’s ark was, how would you be able to say it isn’t big enough to hold anything? I just thought that would be the first thing you would do in a scientific or logical or whatever kind of experiment to prove or disprove something.

I saw a comment the other day on Fluther, and it is someone whose comments I like to read and I give a lot of credibility to what they say. They said, basically, that they had never read the Bible. It just made me wonder how many others who argue against Biblical points have never even read the book. It is just how my mind works. It isn’t discounting anyone’s points, they are still interesting and all, but it just seems you would have to have read the book before you can review it. Does that make sense?

AdamF's avatar

Currently the best estimate of the number of species on this planet is 8.7 million (that’s just an estimate for the relatively well studied groups). Add in issues of food, water, hygiene, etc…. and boat size becomes the least of the problems

If this story isn’t mythology, then nothing is.

bkcunningham's avatar

Okay, so how many of the 8.7 million alive now are water species and/or microscopic that would survive in water or elsewhere without being taken onto the ark?

AdamF's avatar

You can subtract about 17% of species which are marine if you feel like it.

bkcunningham's avatar

I just read there are 1.7 million species of plants and algae, as of 2010.

http://www.currentresults.com/Environment-Facts/Plants-Animals/number-species.php

bkcunningham's avatar

I don’t know how reliable the website is, @AdamF, but it also says:

“Altogether the earth’s oceans, lakes, continents and islands support over 62,000 identified species of vertebrate animals and 320,000 species of plants.”

http://www.currentresults.com/Environment-Facts/Plants-Animals/number-species.php

AdamF's avatar

The most accurate count I am aware of is around 1.2 million total number of described species.

But that only takes into account currently known species, and no scientist believes that that’s anything more than a relatively small proportion of what’s there (primarily due to our capacity to discover new species (like insects), everytime we look somewhere new (and occassionally big stuff….I co-discovered a new species of monkey in 2003), or look a little harder in our own backyards, or use modern approaches to determine that what we thought was a single species is actually a cluster of distinct species that just looked alike).

Every estimate of the total number of species on earth has a wide error bar (hard enough time counting how many are actually described already, let alone estimating those that remain to be found), and there are different approaches to estimating the likely total. For instance the 8.7 million comes from a very recent paper in PLOS (came out in August), and that estimate has an error bar of over 1 million species (in simple terms (it’s more complex than this) but give or a take a million…not exactly precise). Nevertheless, it may well be the most justifiable estimate to date. You can read the original work here.

http://www.plosbiology.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pbio.1001127

cockswain's avatar

@bkcunningham I know how big the bible says it was. I contend that obtaining, housing, and caring for millions of animals on a ship that says is impossible. See my other points on the logistics too.

Let me ask you: do you think the Noah’s Ark story is true? And if so, how did they build the ship, as well as my other point? Because if you can show me valid reasoning how it could be plausible, I will have no choice but to reconsider my position.

choreplay's avatar

@cockswain I think he did it over a hundred year period between ages 500 and 600 or something like that. There does that clear up all the credibility issues for you, lol. Dude your getting hung up on the Noah story, , really?

cockswain's avatar

I don’t want to be hung up on it, I feel like @bkcunningham is hanging me up on it to show me I’m not being rigorous enough in my evaluation of the story. It’s pretty cut and dried to me that it’s pure myth.

Qingu's avatar

@bkcunningham, the ship would have had the same volume as a small skyscraper, but that’s not the point of this current thread of discussion, since we’re talking logistics, not volume.

Can you please answer this question? How many of the 1.5 million species of non-extinct, discovered insects do you believe Noah gathered and brought onto the ark?

bkcunningham's avatar

I haven’t been ignoring the question. I just got back from Duck Key with my husband and his brother and wife.

cockswain's avatar

Sooo….....?

FutureMemory's avatar

Obviously the story is pure bullshit.

cockswain's avatar

We have a winner!^

Seek's avatar

Are we pointedly ignoring the fact that the sky is indeed not a solid dome holding up an ocean, and that there isn’t enough water on the planet in order to create a “Great Flood” of global proportion?

Because once you take that into consideration, the argument about who’s feeding and housing the hyenas and gazelles is kind of pointless.

AstroChuck's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr- You are wrong. For the world is hollow and I have touched the sky.

Seek's avatar

Well, then you’ve gone where no man has gone before. Or since.

GabrielsLamb's avatar

GOD IS JUST! *He plays by the rules…

*Which means the devil challenged him to a game of hide and seek eons ago, and he can’t; come out, come out, wherever He is… because they forgot about him.

bkcunningham's avatar

@Qingu, where are you getting the “1.5 million species of non-extinct, discovered insects,” being on the ark? Yes, @cockswain, I do believe there was a man named Noah who was just, faith and obeyed God and built the ark by the specs he was told and provided for the animals God provided for the ark in the manner God instructed. @Seek_Kolinahr, what do you mean “the fact that the sky is indeed not a solid dome holding up an ocean and that there isn’t enough water on the planet in order to create a “Great Flood” of global proportion? (It has been so long since I followed this discussion…I’m just trying to get it revived in my mind with quick thoughts on the latest answers.)

Qingu's avatar

@bkcunningham, I made no claim as to how many species of insect Noah brought on the ark (I think the ark is fictional, of course).

I’m pointing out that, as of 2011, we have discovered almost 1.5 million species of (non-extinct) insects.

And I would like to know how many “kinds” of insects you think Noah brought on the ark.

Did Noah bring all 1.5 million? That seems a logistical nightmare.

Did Noah only bring a few hundred or thousand? then how do you explain the emergence of several orders of magnitude additional species of insects from the ark-survivors in a mere 6,000 years?

GabrielsLamb's avatar

Seriously though, I think it’s because he might have to actually SPEAK to people if He did that. If I were God, I wouldn’t want to take the Rock Star stance… I would be a hermit.

Seek's avatar

@bkcunningham

I hope I’m not stealing @Qingu ‘s thunder with this (I see he’s busily typing)

The Bible plainly states that “god opened the windows of heaven” to let the water flood the earth. The Creation myth in Genesis states that Biblegod created the firmament to divide one vast ocean into two. The Earth, according to Biblegod, is basically a snowglobe in reverse.

In reality, if you fly “up” (there’s no up in space), you don’t hit a “firmament”. You don’t hit anything except changes in the atmosphere, and maybe a satellite. So, if there’s no ocean “up there”, where did the flood waters come from?

Qingu's avatar

Might as well answer for Seek…

The Bible says the sky is a solid dome in Genesis 1:14. It says God created a “raqia” to separate the waters above it from the waters below it, and called this structure Sky. The Hebrew word “raqia” means “that which is hammered out.” It’s often translated as “firmament,” “dome,” or “expanse,” but it’s clearly meant to be a solid object.

And furthermore, we know it’s solid and holds up an ocean because of how it works in the flood story. God opens the “windows” of the raqia; these windows let the waters from the above-sky ocean flood the earth.

If you’ve ever played The Legend of Zelda: the Wind Waker, it’s a lot like Hyrule under the ocean. That’s how the Hebrews thought the whole world was like undersea-Hyrule: this sort of bubble with an ocean hanging above it, held up by a dome. And if the dome starts to leak (or a deity opens the windows), the world ends; the bubble pops.

This is why the ark is described as having a roof sealed with pitch. It wasn’t just meant to float on the water: it was meant to act more like a submarine.

Seek's avatar

Here you go, take your thunder back. ^_^

Qingu's avatar

And it seems stupid to us to describe the sky as a solid object; just like it seems stupid to us to say the sun revolves around the earth and not the other way around.

But if you were living in 1200 BC, how would you know otherwise? A solid sky-dome makes a great deal of sense. You know that water falls from the sky. You know the sky is blue, like large bodies of water. So it’s perfectly reasonable to think there’s a large ocean up there. But water doesn’t float! So it’s perfectly reasonable to think that there’s some kind of solid structure that holds up the ocean. Leaks or windows in the structure could let down rain. And it would also make sense to describe the sky-structure as a “raqiya” because the same word is used to describe hammered out metal; other cultures described the sky as metal or glass, which were both considered semi-magical at the time and would probably be within the power of a deity to construct.

choreplay's avatar

He did, his name was Christ. He came, said he was God and than did something completely unexpected, he let himself be led to a death on a cross. Doesn’t make sense does it?

Seek's avatar

Not even a little.

bkcunningham's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr, in my mind, I think of the firmament like a terrarium. It wasn’t a solid lid or dome. More like a thick ozone of clouds. It It is gone. It was put in place to control the earth when it was made to be Eden. God didn’t replace it after the flood. With the terrarium cover, firmament, whatever you want to call it in place; it acted like a mirror as well. and could help explain the Nazca lines in Peru. I dunno.

@Qingu, I just wondered if you could show me a source for the number of insects you say exist. I couldn’t find that number you cited. God didn’t instruct Noah to bring two of every species anyway.

Qingu's avatar

Ah, I was thinking of animals total. 1.5 million total animals, of which 1 million are insects.

Of the approximately 1.5 million named species of animals, about 1 million are insects.

(Though those are just the one’s we’ve found so far and named. Scientists estimate there are between 6 and 10 million existing species of insects, according to Wikipedia. And for the sake of simplicity I’m leaving out all the extinct insects.)

But let’s not overcomplicate this. I just want to hear a direct answer from you. How many insects do you think Noah brought on the ark? I understand the Bible doesn’t specify “every species,” it says “kind” (whatever that means). So how many kinds? Can you give me a ballpark estimate, at least?

Qingu's avatar

Also, where do you see in the Bible that the raqiya was “not replaced”?

The flood story says God opened the windows of the raqiya to let the floodwaters in. It doesn’t say the raqiya was destroyed.

Seek's avatar

You need about 3.33 TIMES the amount of water currently on Earth in order to flood the earth entirely.

The Vapor canopy is thoroughly debunked in this video: (I’m dyscalculic. If I tried to transpose the numbers, I’ll look like an idiot)

Suffice it to say, if there was that much water floating in the air, the sudden air pressure change would have caused Noah and company to spontaneously explode, implode, and boil simultaneously.

Flood of Evidence against a flood

Seek's avatar

Oh, and the vapor cloud would be the size of Neptune.

Qingu's avatar

(Not to mention the Bible doesn’t say “vapor,” it says “raqiya,” which clearly means a solid object. You can’t hammer out vapor.)

Seek's avatar

Oh, and God didn’t only tell him to bring two of every species. All the kosher species required seven. Noah had to eat, you know.

Qingu's avatar

Not just Noah… Yahweh had to eat, too. Don’t forget Noah makes a big ol’ sacrifice at the end of that story, the smell of which greatly pleases Yahweh. And then Yahweh regrets killing all the humans—presumably because he realized they’re his source of sacrificial food—and promises to never again flood the earth, creating a rainbow to act as impulse control.

That’s the exact same template in Atrahasis’ flood story. Humans piss off gods; gods kill all humans in flood; sole survivor loads up ark with animals, sacrifice them; gods enjoy the sacrifice and realize they like having humans around after all; gods make a few rule changes so humans don’t piss them off anymore.

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