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Introduction

 
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A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices. William James (1842-1910)
 

I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my work, and this was the reward for all my labor. Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless,

A chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.

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Since the dawn of time civilization, as defined by intellectual, cultural, and material development, has been a never ending a journey of change and expansion. From the days of organized agriculture, through the industrial revolution, human development has been marked by the emergence of complex political and social institutions, and progress in the arts and sciences, which wrought more change than all other factors combined. The technological development of the 20th century is unprecedented in the history of man - we have put men on the moon, transplanted hearts, cloned animals and unraveled the mysteries of DNA, but all our progress has yet to answer many of mankind's basic questions.

 

Who am I? Where am I going? What will happen tomorrow, next week? What happens when I die? Will this never ending race be all for naught?

 

We are all capable, to some extent, of fulfilling our earthly ambitions through hard work, luck and the indomitable human spirit. A boy practicing his swing may see his dreams of being a professional baseball player become a reality. A young woman with the hopes of a happy family life (and/or career) could also see that come to pass. While not everyone has a ‘rags to riches’ story, certainly some of us do attain some measure of success in a lifetime of smaller accomplishments.  And yet, one most often finds that people end up short of the very thing they, in some fashion, spent their lives chasing after … fulfillment. All too often success does not provide the satisfaction they dreamed about.

 

What do you really have that will be there come hell or high water and doesn't hang on by the most slender of threads depending on the right set of circumstances and 'luck' to stay intact? ... The Government? The Economy? Your Health? Your Career? Home? Family? Money? The Weather?

Which of these really gives you an unshakable anchor in today's fast paced and unstable world?

 

“And what about the long term? When old age creeps up and you review your life, is there any hope that something will come of all the labor and heartache... wins and losses? Was it all leading somewhere?” [1] Is there no culmination, no reward? You live, you do your best (according to your own standards of course) and you die. However the human spirit resists the idea that all we are will be cut off and ended -- annihilated, exterminated -- at death. Somehow it does not make sense. It insults us. Or are we supposed to take heart in the belief that we are rendered immortal through our offspring, or through those that remember us and preserve our stories?  That the best we can hope for is that our grandchildren remember our names ten years after we are gone. (Even this seems unlikely in this day and age).

 

There is something within us (most of us anyway) which continues to hope for some security beyond the present. The human spirit is always ready to grasp at the slightest straw of hope that there is something beyond the grave

 

So we scour the universe in search of that one 'indefinable' truth. That one gem that will give us hope, a reason for being, a reason to go on. Something to believe in. .

 

 

At some point in time, in one way or another, all of us embark on a quest to fill an unexplainable, and often little understood, void deep within ourselves. This never ending quest to have something real to believe in has spawned multi billiongypsy2 dollar industries which prey off man’s insecurities and needs.

We carefully read the weekly astrological forecasts in the newspapers (I don't really believe in it.. It's only for fun). Cross the gypsy's palm with silver, call the psychic hotline, (How did she know that?) shuffle the funny cards and leave the dregs in the bottom of the cup.

We dabble with strange and new philosophies, ways of life and religions. Trust in self proclaimed prophets, spiritual leaders, and gurus.

Retire to our inner sanctums to seek the divine or get in touch with ourselves.

The hope that someone out there has the answers causes the self-help and ‘spiritual’ books to fly off the bookshelves faster than any other.

 

 

Yet how many times do you ask yourself Who are these people?.  More importantly, if you intend to put your life (quite literally) into their hands... On what basis do I trust them?   And even more importantly...  How do I know they are right or even close to the truth?

 

 

The chances are you would do a very thorough investigation before investing hard earned money in the stock market, yet are you willing to gamble YOUR SOUL on something that you haven’t carefully investigated.. That you KNOW is the truth? Or is it enough that your beliefs sound pretty impressive and makes you feel good? That it doesn’t disturb your comfort level?

 

 

Have you ever considered that virtually all the information we have comes from a source outside of ourselves, making the reliability of the source all-important. (How many people would go to a historian to learn something about the intricacies of DNA?)

 

 

I recently read (on a New Age web site) that the soul makes a sacred contract before we are born.

Could we, just for a moment, not get carried away by the lofty and noble words, but take the time to dig below the surface and ask one simple question... How does the author know this? What is the basis for this claim? Was she there or know someone reliable who was...

 

 

Similarly Buddha taught re-incarnation. That you are relegated to rebirth after rebirth in an attempt to “get it right”. But Buddha was a man, so how did he know that this really happens? What was his source of information? With the trillions of people who have been supposedly reincarnated... Is there any evidence that any of us are re-incarnated in another form?

 

 

Has the atheist exhaustively searched every part of every universe and dimension with an infallibly accurate method of detecting every non-physical entity that could possibly exist?

 

 

In spite of loud protestations to the contrary the theory of evolution has yet to be backed up by any tangible evidence.

 

 

And who was the last person who has ‘met’ God and is therefore qualified to tell the rest of us exactly what He is like?

 

 

However if you happen to be one of those people who don’t believe in absolutes and can’t even be sure of reality, then you don’t know if you are really reading this page. Maybe you should give up and go home...

If it’s there.

 

 

Christianity has to be faced with the same hard questions. What is the evidence that what the Bible and Jesus said is true? What was the source of information for the authors of the Bible? What authority did Jesus have for making the claims He did?

 

 

IF the Bible is the Word of God and Jesus is the Son of God, then the case is closed. The ultimate authority.. God Himself.. has laid out the facts and we can accept them without question.

 

 

Belief and facts are two very different entities. Beliefs have changed innumerable time throughout history after a careful investigation of the facts. But without investigation beliefs in all manner of wrong things would have persisted, to our detriment.

 

 

You, me and everyone else on this planet has the right to ‘freedom of thought’ but what none of us have the right to is freedom from the consequences of believing wrong things. People did, at one time, sincerely believe the earth was flat, that bathing and fresh air were bad for you and that a pocket full of herbs would protect them from the plague. (People were buried with dead leaves in their pockets and, luckily, the earth ignored us, kept its shape and continued spinning).
 

 

Finally... if you believe that arsenic and sugar are interchangeable, but all the evidence points to arsenic being a deadly poison, would it be intolerant of me not to try and convince you to reconsider spooning arsenic into your coffee? Or would it be inhuman of me not to do so?

We are pretty certain that most humans would pick the latter option...

Which is this site’s reason to exist.

 

 [1] The Relevance of Christianity. Rick Wade. Probe Ministries

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