Iman Kristen dan IPTEK

Amsal 1:7a, 3:5

Iman adalah dasar dari segala sesuatu yang kita harapkan dan bukti dari segala sesuatu yang kita tidak lihat (Ibrani 11:1). Karena iman Abraham taat, ketika ia dipanggil untuk berangkat ke negeri yang akan diterimanya menjadi milik pusakanya, lalu ia berangkat dengan tidak mengetahui tempat yang ia tujui (Ibrani 11:8). Karena iman ia juga dan Sara beroleh kekuatan untuk menurunkan anak cucu, walaupun usianya sudah lewat, karena ia menganggap Dia, yang memberikan janji itu setia (Ibrani 11:10).

IPTEK adalah akronim dari Ilmu Pengetahuan dan Teknologi. Ilmu pengetahuan adalah gabungan dari beberapa disiplin ilmu yang disusun secara sistematis dan logis dengan tidak mengabaikan sebab dan akibatnya. Teknologi adalah ilmu pengetahuan terapan. Jadi, IPTEK berarti penerapan dari beberapa disiplin ilmu.

Sejarah mencatat sering terjadi kontroversi antara iman dan ilmu pengetahuan. Salah satunya adalah kasus Galileo Galilei dengan Gereja Roma Katolik. Galileo Galilei dikenai hukuman tahanan rumah sampai akhir hayatnya karena mempertahankan pendapatnya bahwa matahari adalah pusat dari alam semesta atau heliosentris. Ia menentang teori Aristoteles yang diyakini Gereja Roma Katolik pada saat itu yaitu bumi adalah pusat dari alam semesta atau geosentris.

Apakah iman Kristen bertentangan dengan IPTEK? Apakah orang Kristen harus anti-teknologi? Tentu tidak. Bila semua orang Kristen adalah orang-orang yang anti-teknologi, sungguh menyeramkan dunia ini oleh karena kalangan cendiakawan akan dikuasai oleh  kalangan orang-orang ateis, kejam, dan tidak mengenal kasih Allah.

Sering ditemukan orang yang menjadi Kristen hanya pada Hari Minggu. Sebagai contoh, seorang pedagang berkata, “Saya dapat menjadi pedagang yang sukses dan Kristen yang baik karena saya memisahkan keduanya. Saat saya berdagang dari hari Senin sampai dengan hari Sabtu, saya melupakan iman saya. Saat saya beribadah pada Hari Minggu, saya melupakan pekerjaan saya. Saya melakukannya karena saya tidak mungkin mencampuradukan keduanya. Bila saya berdagang menurut prinsip kasih, itu berarti saya harus mengampuni para penunggak hutang. Wah, saya bisa bangkrut.”

Apakah sikap sang pedagang benar? Tentu saja salah. Akan tetapi, bila kita mencoba untuk menganalisa lebih jauh, perkataan pedagang tersebut masuk akal. Bila kita beribadah berdasarkan prinsip dagang dan berdagang berdasarkan prinsip Kristiani, itu mustahil. Kita tidak boleh mencari untung dalam pekerjaan di gereja. Pekerjaan di gereja dilakukan untuk memuliakan Allah. Bila kita berdagang tidak mencari untung, bersiaplah untuk bangkrut.

Karena itu, bagaimana seharusnya orang Kristen menyikapi IPTEK? Apakah keduanya terpisah seratus persen seperti ilustrasi tentang sang pedagang?

Kita tidak dapat memisahkan IPTEK dari kehidupan kita karena manusia diberikan akal budi oleh Allah. Maka Allah menciptakan manusia itu menurut gambarNya, menurut gambar Allah diciptakanNya dia (Kejadian 1:27a). Dengan anugerah akal budi tersebut, manusia mengembangkan teknologi untuk melaksanakan mandat Allah: beranakcuculah dan bertambah banyak; penuhilah bumi dan taklukanlah itu, berkuasalah atas ikan-ikan di laut dan burung-burung di udara dan atas segala binatang yang merayap di bumi (Kejadian 1:28).

Ada dua prinsip yang harus kita pegang dengan teguh. Pertama, takut akan Tuhan apapun yang kita lakukan. Takut akan Tuhan adalah permulaan pengetahuan (Amsal 1:7a). Salaupun kita seorang ilmuwan, kita tidak mengembangkan teknologi yang menyengsarakan umat manusia, seperti senjata pemusnah massal/senjata nuklir. Bila kita menjadi pedagang, kita berdagang dengan jujur dengan tidak menipu konsumen.

Kedua,  kita tidak boleh sombong atas anugerah akal budi yang Allah berikan kepada kita. Percayalah kepada Tuhan dengan segenap hatimu, dan janganlah bersandar kepada pengertianmu sendiri (Amsal 3:5). Dari tujuh dosa utama yang dikemukakan oleh teolog Yohanes Calvin yaitu sombong, iri, amarah, malas, boros, rakus, dan nafsu, maka sombong adalah akar daripada  ketujuh dosa tersebut.

Kesombongan akan kehebatan IPTEK akan berakibat pada perasaan tidak memerlukan Allah. Dengan kata lain, menjadikan IPTEK sebagai allah kita.

Dapat juga terjadi, kita tetap memerlukan Allah, akan tetapi Allah kita tempatkan hanya sebagai pembantu atau pelengkap saja . Kita menempatkan Allah sebagai ban cadangan.

Padahal, iman Kristen mengajarkan bahwa segala sesuatu adalah anugerah Allah (sola gratia). Anugerah itu hanya dapat diterima oleh karena iman (sola fide). Karena itu, selain takut akan Allah, kita juga tidak boleh sombong dengan IPTEK yang kita telah kembangkan, karena IPTEK itu sendiri adalah anugerah dari Allah.

IPTEK bersifat netral, tergantung bagaimana  seseorang menanggapinya. IPTEK bersifat netral oleh karena bukan ilmu yang berasal dari iblis untuk menghancurkan iman percaya kita. IPTEK bisa menjadi sesuatu yang baik apabila digunakan dengan baik, dan menjadi sesuatu yang buruk apabila digunakan dengan buruk.

Internet adalah teknologi yang sangat berguna untuk bidang sosialisasi, edukasi, komunikasi, pemerintahan, pertahanan, keamanan, dan lain-lain. Namun, apabila disalahgunakan, internet dapat digunakan untuk melihat gambar dan film porno.

Nuklir adalah pembangkit tenaga listrik yang sangat efisien. Nuklir juga lebih ramah lingkungan dibandingkan batubara. Namun, bila dibuat menjadi senjata nuklir, akan menjadi senjata pemusnah massal yang sangat destruktif.

Karena itu, Iman Kristen dan IPTEK  sepenuhnya tidak bertentangan. Umat Kristen seharusnya berpikir positif tentang IPTEK. IPTEK adalah salah satu anugerah Allah untuk umat manusia yang tidak dapat dikembangkan oleh mahluk ciptaan Allah yang lain. Bila kita hanya memandang IPTEK dari sisi negatif, itu ibarat memakai kacamata hitam, pandangan kita gelap, akan tetapi matahari yang kita salahkan.

Jadi, mari kita memanfaatkan dan mengembangkan IPTEK dengan tetap takut akan Tuhan dan tidak sombong dalam setiap tindakan kita.

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    • Quetzalcoatl
    • December 3rd, 2010

    Sorry, religion is about to obsolete

    Psalm 104:5 says, “the Lord set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved.” Ecclesiastes 1:5 states that “And the sun rises and sets and returns to its place” 1 Chronicles 16:30 (King James Version) 30Fear before him, all the earth: the world also shall be stable, that it be not moved.

    I cant imagine how divine verse can get wrong 😀 😀 😀 😀

    • Quetzalcoatl
    • December 6th, 2010

    Loh komentar saya kok ditolak, terguncang? 🙂

    Apakah Anda percaya heliosentris? Jika ya, Anda menampik kitab suci, karena:

    “Biblical references Psalm 93:1, 96:10, and 1 Chronicles 16:30 include text (depending on the translation) stating that “the world is firmly established, it cannot be moved.” In the same manner, Psalm 104:5 says, “the Lord set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved.” Further, Ecclesiastes 1:5 states that “And the sun rises and sets and returns to its place” etc”

    Ayo jelaskan 😀 Tapi jangan gunakan argumen Augustine dari Hippo ya, “itu kan perumpamaan”, karena perumpamaan dibuat berdasarkan fakta saat itu, misalkan di Barat tidak akan pernah ada “padi semakin berisi semakin merunduk”, hanya di Indonesia karena padi adanya di Indonesia, bukan di Barat 🙂

    Meyakini iptek, berarti harus mempercayai evolusi dan menampik kreatonisme. Manakah yang Anda percaya, kreatonisme atau evolusi? Jika kreatonisme, apakah karena dasar kisah Adam dan Hawa? Jika iya, bagaimana jika itu bukan kisah penciptaan? Dalam kitab suci disebut sungai Tigris dan Efrat, itu berarti mereka di taman gantung Babilonia! Buah terlarang sama dengan pengetahuan. Bukankah itu lebih kepada mitologi belaka? Selain itu, mengapa kitab suci mendukung incest, dengan membiarkan anak-anak Adam dan Hawa saling bersetubuh?

    Hehehe, ini baru sedikit, masih buanyak lagi loh yang akan tidak sesuai dengan kitab suci 🙂 kesimpulannya, IPTEK adalah salah satu hal yang akan meruntuhkan agama, selain filsafat. Bukalah pandangan Anda, lupakan delusi agama 😀

  1. Ditolak? Mungkin masuk anda tidak kunjung di-approve. Maaf kalau saya baru update. :p

    Sebenarnya inti dari post saya adalah IPTEK tidak bertentangan dengan Iman Kristen, akan tetapi netral. Perspektif kitalah yang mempengaruhi netralitas dan membawa kepada pemahaman bahwa IPTEK akan meruntuhkan agama.

    Lalu, IPTEK diciptakan dengan akal budi manusia dan akal budi manusia adalah anugerah dari Allah. Apakah netralitas anugerah tersebut perlu dipertanyakan?

    Saya rasa tanggapan singkat saya sudah cukup jelas. Dan sebagai tambahan, tidak semua hal dapat kita pahami. Dan tidak semua hal yang tidak dapat kita pahami berarti irrasional karena akal budi manusia memang terbatas, tidak seperti hikmat Allah. Bukalah pandangan anda bahwa IPTEK adalah anugerah dari Allah yang bersifat netral. Tuhan memberkati.

    Nb: saya sangat senang ada juga yang tertarik pada blog saya dan memberikan comment seperti ini. 😀 Kalau boleh tahu anda mendapat informasi tentang blog ini dari mana? Thx.

    • R. C. Adjiputro
    • December 6th, 2010

    saya setuju dengan pendapat saudara Lucas, bagaimanapun, semua tergantung dari perspektif kita, masalah apakah IPTEK bertentangan dengan iman Kristen atau tidak, itu tergantung cara penggunaannya, jika IPTEK disalahgunakan oleh manusia, tentu itu bertentangan dengan iman Kristen, tapi, jika IPTEK digunakan untuk menyejahterakan kehidupan manusia, maka IPTEK tidak bertentangan dengan iman Kristen. Jika anda menganggap agama itu delusional, maka kita dapat menggunakan logika yang saya rasa cukup simpel, selama ini IPTEK dianggap sebagai perusak agama, betul? seringkali dikaitkan dengan IPTEK tidak mengakui adanya Tuhan, sedangkan sebagian besar agama, mempercayai adanya Tuhan. Manusia mampu membuat teknologi, manusia mampu membuat robot, rekayasa genetika, dll. Jadi, dapat disimpulkan bahwa robot, rekayasa genetika tersebut merupakan buatan manusia, nah, jika semua itu ada penciptanya, tentu saja dengan berdasarkan logika yang cukup simpel, maka, kita dapat berasumsi bahwa, ada “suatu makhluk/ fenomena alam” yang menciptakan manusia, jika IPTEK menyatakan bahwa manusia merupakan hasil evolusi dari kera, dan kera merupakan hasil evolusi dari 1 spesies organisme mikroskopis yang hidup pada zaman bumi baru terbentuk, maka, mengapa bumi ada? tentu, ada banyak sekali teori mengenai itu, kita ambil contoh, teori nebula, yang menyatakan bahwa alam semesta dulu merupakan gumpalan kabut, nah, apakah masuk akal jika, kabut tersebut tidak ada penyebab terjadinya kabut?

      • Quetzalcoatl
      • December 6th, 2010

      Argumen first cause? Itu klasik mas 😀 kalau memang ada yang namanya Tuhan, siapakah yang menciptakan TUhan? Lalu siapa penciptanya penciptanya Tuhan? Oh iya, jangan coba-coba menjawab dengan “misteri iman”, karena itu rasionalisasi buta :p Oh iya, coba deh baca bukunya Hawking The Grand Design, kalau perlu + ilmu termodinamika dan entropi, karena pertanyaan itu sudah dijawab, dan argumen first cause sudah lama terbantah.

    • Quetzalcoatl
    • December 6th, 2010

    Ya boleh saja mengklaim IPTEK tidak bertentangan dengan Iman Kristen, tapi faktanya sudah saya beberkan bahwa sebenarnya banyak sekali yang bertentangan 😀 Mau lagi? Mari kita tilik sejarah. Apakah ada catatan Mesir yang menyebutkan firaun penindas Musa? Tidak sama sekali! Bahkan dari hasil penanggalan radiokarbon, penyesuaian peristiwa dll, tidak ada satupun yang cocok dengan kisah eksodus Musa. Atau contoh lain, ilmu termodinamika dan fisika kuantum pada IPTEK telah menghancurkan semua kisah-kisah penciptaan Tuhan. Tidak percaya? Silakan baca karya Stephen Hawking, The Grand Design.

    Oh iya, sekadar informasi. Tidak adil kalau kita selalu diposisikan dibawah Tuhan, kenapa tidak sekali-kali kita katakan, “Tuhan diciptakan manusia?”. Memang faktanya begitu. Ribuan tahun yang lalu, orang-orang Aztek tak mampu menjelaskan hujan, maka lahirlah Dewa Tlaloc. Orang-orang Mesir tak paham kesuburan, lahirlah dewi Isis. Orang-orang Romawi kagum dengan keluarbiasaan matahari, lahirlah Sol Invictus. Ini sangat universal, terjadi di seluruh dunia, dan sesuai dengan teori evolusioner Comte. Dimulai dari animisme-dinamisme, lalu diantropomorfikasi menjadi dewa-dewi. Hanya saja, tidak tahu bagaimana, di Timur Tengah politeisme bisa berubah menjadi monoteisme yang kita kenal sekarang. Padahal itu semua tak lebih dari metafor belaka.

    Jadi ya, semua itu tidak bisa dibantah, bahwa IPTEK dan Agama tidak bisa disintesiskan. Gampangnya, Anda percaya bumi mengelilingi matahari? Kalau iya Anda sudah menampik kebenaran kitab suci 😀 Stephen Hawking berkata, ” “Terdapat perbedaan mendasar antara agama, yang berdasarkan pada otoritas, [dan] ilmu pengetahuan, yang berdasarkan pada observasi dan alasan. Ilmu pengetahuan akan menang karena memang terbukti.” Pengecualian, agama itu mau berubah, misalkan Katolik membuka diri dan menghapuskan extra ecclesiam nulla salus dalam Konsili Vatikan II, berbeda dengan kebanyakan sekte Kristen yang masih sangat eksklusif.

    • Quetzalcoatl
    • December 6th, 2010

    https://lucassebastian.wordpress.com/school/teori_lempeng_tektonik/

    Ini, ditambah dengan dinosaurus, bahkan sudah bertentangan dengan kitab suci, karena tidak sesuai dengan kreatonisme :3

    • Nah, dari segudang fakta yang anda beberkan, seharusnya anda dapat melihat satu hal: anda menggunakan IPTEK untuk membuktikan pertentangannya dengan Alkitab dan/atau Iman Kristen. Hal tersebut berarti IPTEK yang netral anda pandang dari perspektif negatifnya, sehingga tidak heran kalau anda mendapatkan kesimpulan akhir yang berbunyi bahwa IPTEK akan meruntuhkan agama 😉

        • Quetzalcoatl
        • December 6th, 2010

        Boleh tahu netral macam apa? Semua di atas sebenarnya tidak negatif loh, tetapi kok malah Anda labeli negatif? Te*gu*****? XD

      • Karena dari perspektif saya bahwa Iman Kristen dan IPTEK tidak bertentangan, semua yang anda tuliskan merupakan upaya untuk membuktikan kesalahan2/irasionalitas dalam Iman Kristen secara ilmiah (memanfaatkan ilmu pengetahuan yang ada). Itulah alasan mengapa saya melabelinya negatif.

    • masterreinaldo
    • December 6th, 2010

    ckck.. saya mau jawab yg mana nih? jadi bingung.. gini deh, Alkitab, bukan merupakan buku sejarah, Alkitab ditulis oleh lebih dari 1 orang, yang masing-masing memiliki perspektif sendiri, kalau tidak percaya saya persilakan kalian berdua, bertanya ke pendeta~

    • Saya percaya kok, dan saya kira pendapat saya tidak bertentangan dengan hal tersebut.

      Btw, saudara lusi, saya tidak melihat relevansi kuat antara diskusi kita dan link ke halaman lain blog saya tentang teori lempeng tektonik.

      • Quetzalcoatl
      • December 6th, 2010

      Selamat Anda sudah mengakui kitab suci dibuat oleh manusia, bukan diwahyukan oleh Tuhan!

      @Lucas itu namanya “bumbu” 🙂 teori lempeng tektonik bertentangan dengan kreatonisme ala Adam dan Hawa, dan itu berarti IPTEN tidak sejalan dengan kitab suci.

      • untuk bumbu saya juga mengerti, karena itu saya mengatakan relevansinya kurang kuat. Saya tidak mengatakan tidak memiliki relevansi. Well, biarlah bumbu berlalu karena hal ini bukan masalah substansial.

    • Quetzalcoatl
    • December 6th, 2010

    @masterreinaldo

    Silakan baca sepenggal esai Bertrand Rusell ini:

    The First-cause Argument

    Perhaps the simplest and easiest to understand is the argument of the First Cause. (It is maintained that everything we see in this world has a cause, and as you go back in the chain of causes further and further you must come to a First Cause, and to that First Cause you give the name of God.) That argument, I suppose, does not carry very much weight nowadays, because, in the first place, cause is not quite what it used to be. The philosophers and the men of science have got going on cause, and it has not anything like the vitality it used to have; but, apart from that, you can see that the argument that there must be a First Cause is one that cannot have any validity. I may say that when I was a young man and was debating these questions very seriously in my mind, I for a long time accepted the argument of the First Cause, until one day, at the age of eighteen, I read John Stuart Mill’s Autobiography, and I there found this sentence: “My father taught me that the question ‘Who made me?’ cannot be answered, since it immediately suggests the further question `Who made god?'” That very simple sentence showed me, as I still think, the fallacy in the argument of the First Cause. If everything must have a cause, then God must have a cause. If there can be anything without a cause, it may just as well be the world as God, so that there cannot be any validity in that argument. It is exactly of the same nature as the Hindu’s view, that the world rested upon an elephant and the elephant rested upon a tortoise; and when they said, “How about the tortoise?” the Indian said, “Suppose we change the subject.” The argument is really no better than that. There is no reason why the world could not have come into being without a cause; nor, on the other hand, is there any reason why it should not have always existed. There is no reason to suppose that the world had a beginning at all. The idea that things must have a beginning is really due to the poverty of our imagination. Therefore, perhaps, I need not waste any more time upon the argument about the First Cause.

    • masterreinaldo
    • December 7th, 2010

    “Cannot be answered”, heh? manusia selalu berusaha mencari jawaban untuk pertanyaan-pertanyaan mereka, dan menemukan pertanyaan-pertanyaan baru, jika tidak, maka, tidak akan ada kemajuan IPTEK.

    untuk lebih jelasnya mari kita baca “sepenggal” dari web berikut ini:

    Does God exist? Here are six straight-forward reasons to believe that God is really there.
    By Marilyn Adamson

    Just once wouldn’t you love for someone to simply show you the evidence for God’s existence? No arm-twisting. No statements of, “You just have to believe.” Well, here is an attempt to candidly offer some of the reasons which suggest that God exists.

    But first consider this. If a person opposes even the possibility of there being a God, then any evidence can be rationalized or explained away. It is like if someone refuses to believe that people have walked on the moon, then no amount of information is going to change their thinking. Photographs of astronauts walking on the moon, interviews with the astronauts, moon rocks…all the evidence would be worthless, because the person has already concluded that people cannot go to the moon.

    When it comes to the possibility of God’s existence, the Bible says that there are people who have seen sufficient evidence, but they have suppressed the truth about God.1 On the other hand, for those who want to know God if he is there, he says, “You will seek me and find me; when you seek me with all your heart, I will be found by you.”2 Before you look at the facts surrounding God’s existence, ask yourself, If God does exist, would I want to know him? Here then, are some reasons to consider…

    1. Does God exist? The complexity of our planet points to a deliberate Designer who not only created our universe, but sustains it today.

    Many examples showing God’s design could be given, possibly with no end. But here are a few:

    The Earth…its size is perfect. The Earth’s size and corresponding gravity holds a thin layer of mostly nitrogen and oxygen gases, only extending about 50 miles above the Earth’s surface. If Earth were smaller, an atmosphere would be impossible, like the planet Mercury. If Earth were larger, its atmosphere would contain free hydrogen, like Jupiter.3 Earth is the only known planet equipped with an atmosphere of the right mixture of gases to sustain plant, animal and human life.

    The Earth is located the right distance from the sun. Consider the temperature swings we encounter, roughly -30 degrees to +120 degrees. If the Earth were any further away from the sun, we would all freeze. Any closer and we would burn up. Even a fractional variance in the Earth’s position to the sun would make life on Earth impossible. The Earth remains this perfect distance from the sun while it rotates around the sun at a speed of nearly 67,000 mph. It is also rotating on its axis, allowing the entire surface of the Earth to be properly warmed and cooled every day.

    And our moon is the perfect size and distance from the Earth for its gravitational pull. The moon creates important ocean tides and movement so ocean waters do not stagnate, and yet our massive oceans are restrained from spilling over across the continents.4

    Water…colorless, odorless and without taste, and yet no living thing can survive without it. Plants, animals and human beings consist mostly of water (about two-thirds of the human body is water). You’ll see why the characteristics of water are uniquely suited to life:

    It has an unusually high boiling point and freezing point. Water allows us to live in an environment of fluctuating temperature changes, while keeping our bodies a steady 98.6 degrees.

    Water is a universal solvent. This property of water means that thousands of chemicals, minerals and nutrients can be carried throughout our bodies and into the smallest blood vessels.5

    Water is also chemically neutral. Without affecting the makeup of the substances it carries, water enables food, medicines and minerals to be absorbed and used by the body.

    Water has a unique surface tension. Water in plants can therefore flow upward against gravity, bringing life-giving water and nutrients to the top of even the tallest trees.

    Water freezes from the top down and floats, so fish can live in the winter.

    Ninety-seven percent of the Earth’s water is in the oceans. But on our Earth, there is a system designed which removes salt from the water and then distributes that water throughout the globe. Evaporation takes the ocean waters, leaving the salt, and forms clouds which are easily moved by the wind to disperse water over the land, for vegetation, animals and people. It is a system of purification and supply that sustains life on this planet, a system of recycled and reused water.6

    The human brain…simultaneously processes an amazing amount of information. Your brain takes in all the colors and objects you see, the temperature around you, the pressure of your feet against the floor, the sounds around you, the dryness of your mouth, even the texture of your keyboard. Your brain holds and processes all your emotions, thoughts and memories. At the same time your brain keeps track of the ongoing functions of your body like your breathing pattern, eyelid movement, hunger and movement of the muscles in your hands.

    The human brain processes more than a million messages a second.7 Your brain weighs the importance of all this data, filtering out the relatively unimportant. This screening function is what allows you to focus and operate effectively in your world. The brain functions differently than other organs. There is an intelligence to it, the ability to reason, to produce feelings, to dream and plan, to take action, and relate to other people.

    The eye…can distinguish among seven million colors. It has automatic focusing and handles an astounding 1.5 million messages — simultaneously.8 Evolution focuses on mutations and changes from and within existing organisms. Yet evolution alone does not fully explain the initial source of the eye or the brain — the start of living organisms from nonliving matter.

    2. Does God exist? The universe had a start – what caused it?

    Scientists are convinced that our universe began with one enormous explosion of energy and light, which we now call the Big Bang. This was the singular start to everything that exists: the beginning of the universe, the start of space, and even the initial start of time itself.

    Astrophysicist Robert Jastrow, a self-described agnostic, stated, “The seed of everything that has happened in the Universe was planted in that first instant; every star, every planet and every living creature in the Universe came into being as a result of events that were set in motion in the moment of the cosmic explosion…The Universe flashed into being, and we cannot find out what caused that to happen.”9

    Steven Weinberg, a Nobel laureate in Physics, said at the moment of this explosion, “the universe was about a hundred thousands million degrees Centigrade…and the universe was filled with light.”10

    The universe has not always existed. It had a start…what caused that? Scientists have no explanation for the sudden explosion of light and matter.

    3. Does God exist? The universe operates by uniform laws of nature. Why does it?

    Much of life may seem uncertain, but look at what we can count on day after day: gravity remains consistent, a hot cup of coffee left on a counter will get cold, the earth rotates in the same 24 hours, and the speed of light doesn’t change — on earth or in galaxies far from us.

    How is it that we can identify laws of nature that never change? Why is the universe so orderly, so reliable?

    “The greatest scientists have been struck by how strange this is. There is no logical necessity for a universe that obeys rules, let alone one that abides by the rules of mathematics. This astonishment springs from the recognition that the universe doesn’t have to behave this way. It is easy to imagine a universe in which conditions change unpredictably from instant to instant, or even a universe in which things pop in and out of existence.”11

    Richard Feynman, a Nobel Prize winner for quantum electrodynamics, said, “Why nature is mathematical is a mystery…The fact that there are rules at all is a kind of miracle.”12

    4. Does God exist? The DNA code informs, programs a cell’s behavior.

    All instruction, all teaching, all training comes with intent. Someone who writes an instruction manual does so with purpose. Did you know that in every cell of our bodies there exists a very detailed instruction code, much like a miniature computer program? As you may know, a computer program is made up of ones and zeros, like this: 110010101011000. The way they are arranged tell the computer program what to do. The DNA code in each of our cells is very similar. It’s made up of four chemicals that scientists abbreviate as A, T, G, and C. These are arranged in the human cell like this: CGTGTGACTCGCTCCTGAT and so on. There are three billion of these letters in every human cell!!

    Well, just like you can program your phone to beep for specific reasons, DNA instructs the cell. DNA is a three-billion-lettered program telling the cell to act in a certain way. It is a full instruction manual.13

    Why is this so amazing? One has to ask….how did this information program wind up in each human cell? These are not just chemicals. These are chemicals that instruct, that code in a very detailed way exactly how the person’s body should develop.

    Natural, biological causes are completely lacking as an explanation when programmed information is involved. You cannot find instruction, precise information like this, without someone intentionally constructing it.

    5. Does God exist? We know God exists because he pursues us. He is constantly initiating and seeking for us to come to him.

    I was an atheist at one time. And like many atheists, the issue of people believing in God bothered me greatly. What is it about atheists that we would spend so much time, attention, and energy refuting something that we don’t believe even exists?! What causes us to do that? When I was an atheist, I attributed my intentions as caring for those poor, delusional people…to help them realize their hope was completely ill-founded. To be honest, I also had another motive. As I challenged those who believed in God, I was deeply curious to see if they could convince me otherwise. Part of my quest was to become free from the question of God. If I could conclusively prove to believers that they were wrong, then the issue is off the table, and I would be free to go about my life.

    I didn’t realize that the reason the topic of God weighed so heavily on my mind, was because God was pressing the issue. I have come to find out that God wants to be known. He created us with the intention that we would know him. He has surrounded us with evidence of himself and he keeps the question of his existence squarely before us. It was as if I couldn’t escape thinking about the possibility of God. In fact, the day I chose to acknowledge God’s existence, my prayer began with, “Ok, you win…” It might be that the underlying reason atheists are bothered by people believing in God is because God is actively pursuing them.

    I am not the only one who has experienced this. Malcolm Muggeridge, socialist and philosophical author, wrote, “I had a notion that somehow, besides questing, I was being pursued.” C.S. Lewis said he remembered, “…night after night, feeling whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of Him whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all of England.”

    Lewis went on to write a book titled, “Surprised by Joy” as a result of knowing God. I too had no expectations other than rightfully admitting God’s existence. Yet over the following several months, I became amazed by his love for me.

    6. Does God exist? Unlike any other revelation of God, Jesus Christ is the clearest, most specific picture of God revealing himself to us.

    Why Jesus? Look throughout the major world religions and you’ll find that Buddha, Muhammad, Confucius and Moses all identified themselves as teachers or prophets. None of them ever claimed to be equal to God. Surprisingly, Jesus did. That is what sets Jesus apart from all the others. He said God exists and you’re looking at him. Though he talked about his Father in heaven, it was not from the position of separation, but of very close union, unique to all humankind. Jesus said that anyone who had seen Him had seen the Father, anyone who believed in him, believed in the Father.

    He said, “I am the light of the world, he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”14 He claimed attributes belonging only to God: to be able to forgive people of their sin, free them from habits of sin, give people a more abundant life and give them eternal life in heaven. Unlike other teachers who focused people on their words, Jesus pointed people to himself. He did not say, “follow my words and you will find truth.” He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father but through me.”15

    What proof did Jesus give for claiming to be divine? He did what people can’t do. Jesus performed miracles. He healed people…blind, crippled, deaf, even raised a couple of people from the dead. He had power over objects…created food out of thin air, enough to feed crowds of several thousand people. He performed miracles over nature…walked on top of a lake, commanding a raging storm to stop for some friends. People everywhere followed Jesus, because he constantly met their needs, doing the miraculous. He said if you do not want to believe what I’m telling you, you should at least believe in me based on the miracles you’re seeing.16

    Jesus Christ showed God to be gentle, loving, aware of our self-centeredness and shortcomings, yet deeply wanting a relationship with us. Jesus revealed that although God views us as sinners, worthy of his punishment, his love for us ruled and God came up with a different plan. God himself took on the form of man and accepted the punishment for our sin on our behalf. Sounds ludicrous? Perhaps, but many loving fathers would gladly trade places with their child in a cancer ward if they could. The Bible says that the reason we would love God is because he first loved us.

    Jesus died in our place so we could be forgiven. Of all the religions known to humanity, only through Jesus will you see God reaching toward humanity, providing a way for us to have a relationship with him. Jesus proves a divine heart of love, meeting our needs, drawing us to himself. Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, he offers us a new life today. We can be forgiven, fully accepted by God and genuinely loved by God. He says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love, therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.”17 This is God, in action.

    Does God exist? If you want to know, investigate Jesus Christ. We’re told that “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”18

    God does not force us to believe in him, though he could. Instead, he has provided sufficient proof of his existence for us to willingly respond to him. The earth’s perfect distance from the sun, the unique chemical properties of water, the human brain, DNA, the number of people who attest to knowing God, the gnawing in our hearts and minds to determine if God is there, the willingness for God to be known through Jesus Christ. If you need to know more about Jesus and reasons to believe in him, please see: Beyond Blind Faith.

    If you want to begin a relationship with God now, you can.

    This is your decision, no coercion here. But if you want to be forgiven by God and come into a relationship with him, you can do so right now by asking him to forgive you and come into your life. Jesus said, “Behold, I stand at the door [of your heart] and knock. He who hears my voice and opens the door, I will come into him [or her].”19 If you want to do this, but aren’t sure how to put it into words, this may help: “Jesus, thank you for dying for my sins. You know my life and that I need to be forgiven. I ask you to forgive me right now and come into my life. I want to know you in a real way. Come into my life now. Thank you that you wanted a relationship with me. Amen.”

    God views your relationship with him as permanent. Referring to all those who believe in him, Jesus Christ said of us, “I know them, and they follow me; and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand.”20

    So, does God exist? Looking at all these facts, one can conclude that a loving God does exist and can be known in an intimate, personal way. If you need more information about Jesus’ claim to divinity, or about God’s existence, or if you have similar important questions, please email us.

    • Quetzalcoatl
    • December 7th, 2010

    Astaga, gua kira apaan, ternyata argumen klasik yang sudah dibantah! Silakan baca nih:

    Why I Am Not A Christian
    by Bertrand Russell

    Introductory note: Russell delivered this lecture on March 6, 1927 to the National Secular Society, South London Branch, at Battersea Town Hall. Published in pamphlet form in that same year, the essay subsequently achieved new fame with Paul Edwards’ edition of Russell’s book, Why I Am Not a Christian and Other Essays … (1957).
    As your Chairman has told you, the subject about which I am going to speak to you tonight is “Why I Am Not a Christian.” Perhaps it would be as well, first of all, to try to make out what one means by the word Christian. It is used these days in a very loose sense by a great many people. Some people mean no more by it than a person who attempts to live a good life. In that sense I suppose there would be Christians in all sects and creeds; but I do not think that that is the proper sense of the word, if only because it would imply that all the people who are not Christians — all the Buddhists, Confucians, Mohammedans, and so on — are not trying to live a good life. I do not mean by a Christian any person who tries to live decently according to his lights. I think that you must have a certain amount of definite belief before you have a right to call yourself a Christian. The word does not have quite such a full-blooded meaning now as it had in the times of St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas. In those days, if a man said that he was a Christian it was known what he meant. You accepted a whole collection of creeds which were set out with great precision, and every single syllable of those creeds you believed with the whole strength of your convictions.

    What Is a Christian?

    Nowadays it is not quite that. We have to be a little more vague in our meaning of Christianity. I think, however, that there are two different items which are quite essential to anybody calling himself a Christian. The first is one of a dogmatic nature — namely, that you must believe in God and immortality. If you do not believe in those two things, I do not think that you can properly call yourself a Christian. Then, further than that, as the name implies, you must have some kind of belief about Christ. The Mohammedans, for instance, also believe in God and in immortality, and yet they would not call themselves Christians. I think you must have at the very lowest the belief that Christ was, if not divine, at least the best and wisest of men. If you are not going to believe that much about Christ, I do not think you have any right to call yourself a Christian. Of course, there is another sense, which you find in Whitaker’s Almanack and in geography books, where the population of the world is said to be divided into Christians, Mohammedans, Buddhists, fetish worshipers, and so on; and in that sense we are all Christians. The geography books count us all in, but that is a purely geographical sense, which I suppose we can ignore.Therefore I take it that when I tell you why I am not a Christian I have to tell you two different things: first, why I do not believe in God and in immortality; and, secondly, why I do not think that Christ was the best and wisest of men, although I grant him a very high degree of moral goodness.
    But for the successful efforts of unbelievers in the past, I could not take so elastic a definition of Christianity as that. As I said before, in olden days it had a much more full-blooded sense. For instance, it included he belief in hell. Belief in eternal hell-fire was an essential item of Christian belief until pretty recent times. In this country, as you know, it ceased to be an essential item because of a decision of the Privy Council, and from that decision the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Archbishop of York dissented; but in this country our religion is settled by Act of Parliament, and therefore the Privy Council was able to override their Graces and hell was no longer necessary to a Christian. Consequently I shall not insist that a Christian must believe in hell.

    The Existence of God

    To come to this question of the existence of God: it is a large and serious question, and if I were to attempt to deal with it in any adequate manner I should have to keep you here until Kingdom Come, so that you will have to excuse me if I deal with it in a somewhat summary fashion. You know, of course, that the Catholic Church has laid it down as a dogma that the existence of God can be proved by the unaided reason. That is a somewhat curious dogma, but it is one of their dogmas. They had to introduce it because at one time the freethinkers adopted the habit of saying that there were such and such arguments which mere reason might urge against the existence of God, but of course they knew as a matter of faith that God did exist. The arguments and the reasons were set out at great length, and the Catholic Church felt that they must stop it. Therefore they laid it down that the existence of God can be proved by the unaided reason and they had to set up what they considered were arguments to prove it. There are, of course, a number of them, but I shall take only a few.

    The First-cause Argument

    Perhaps the simplest and easiest to understand is the argument of the First Cause. (It is maintained that everything we see in this world has a cause, and as you go back in the chain of causes further and further you must come to a First Cause, and to that First Cause you give the name of God.) That argument, I suppose, does not carry very much weight nowadays, because, in the first place, cause is not quite what it used to be. The philosophers and the men of science have got going on cause, and it has not anything like the vitality it used to have; but, apart from that, you can see that the argument that there must be a First Cause is one that cannot have any validity. I may say that when I was a young man and was debating these questions very seriously in my mind, I for a long time accepted the argument of the First Cause, until one day, at the age of eighteen, I read John Stuart Mill’s Autobiography, and I there found this sentence: “My father taught me that the question ‘Who made me?’ cannot be answered, since it immediately suggests the further question `Who made god?'” That very simple sentence showed me, as I still think, the fallacy in the argument of the First Cause. If everything must have a cause, then God must have a cause. If there can be anything without a cause, it may just as well be the world as God, so that there cannot be any validity in that argument. It is exactly of the same nature as the Hindu’s view, that the world rested upon an elephant and the elephant rested upon a tortoise; and when they said, “How about the tortoise?” the Indian said, “Suppose we change the subject.” The argument is really no better than that. There is no reason why the world could not have come into being without a cause; nor, on the other hand, is there any reason why it should not have always existed. There is no reason to suppose that the world had a beginning at all. The idea that things must have a beginning is really due to the poverty of our imagination. Therefore, perhaps, I need not waste any more time upon the argument about the First Cause.

    The Natural-law Argument

    Then there is a very common argument from natural law. That was a favorite argument all through the eighteenth century, especially under the influence of Sir Isaac Newton and his cosmogony. People observed the planets going around the sun according to the law of gravitation, and they thought that God had given a behest to these planets to move in that particular fashion, and that was why they did so. That was, of course, a convenient and simple explanation that saved them the trouble of looking any further for explanations of the law of gravitation. Nowadays we explain the law of gravitation in a somewhat complicated fashion that Einstein has introduced. I do not propose to give you a lecture on the law of gravitation, as interpreted by Einstein, because that again would take some time; at any rate, you no longer have the sort of natural law that you had in the Newtonian system, where, for some reason that nobody could understand, nature behaved in a uniform fashion. We now find that a great many things we thought were natural laws are really human conventions. You know that even in the remotest depths of stellar space there are still three feet to a yard. That is, no doubt, a very remarkable fact, but you would hardly call it a law of nature. And a great many things that have been regarded as laws of nature are of that kind. On the other hand, where you can get down to any knowledge of what atoms actually do, you will find they are much less subject to law than people thought, and that the laws at which you arrive are statistical averages of just the sort that would emerge from chance. There is, as we all know, a law that if you throw dice you will get double sixes only about once in thirty-six times, and we do not regard that as evidence that the fall of the dice is regulated by design; on the contrary, if the double sixes came every time we should think that there was design. The laws of nature are of that sort as regards a great many of them. They are statistical averages such as would emerge from the laws of chance; and that makes this whole business of natural law much less impressive than it formerly was. Quite apart from that, which represents the momentary state of science that may change tomorrow, the whole idea that natural laws imply a lawgiver is due to a confusion between natural and human laws. Human laws are behests commanding you to behave a certain way, in which you may choose to behave, or you may choose not to behave; but natural laws are a description of how things do in fact behave, and being a mere description of what they in fact do, you cannot argue that there must be somebody who told them to do that, because even supposing that there were, you are then faced with the question “Why did God issue just those natural laws and no others?” If you say that he did it simply from his own good pleasure, and without any reason, you then find that there is something which is not subject to law, and so your train of natural law is interrupted. If you say, as more orthodox theologians do, that in all the laws which God issues he had a reason for giving those laws rather than others — the reason, of course, being to create the best universe, although you would never think it to look at it — if there were a reason for the laws which God gave, then God himself was subject to law, and therefore you do not get any advantage by introducing God as an intermediary. You really have a law outside and anterior to the divine edicts, and God does not serve your purpose, because he is not the ultimate lawgiver. In short, this whole argument about natural law no longer has anything like the strength that it used to have. I am traveling on in time in my review of the arguments. The arguments that are used for the existence of God change their character as time goes on. They were at first hard intellectual arguments embodying certain quite definite fallacies. As we come to modern times they become less respectable intellectually and more and more affected by a kind of moralizing vagueness.

    The Argument from Design

    The next step in the process brings us to the argument from design. You all know the argument from design: everything in the world is made just so that we can manage to live in the world, and if the world was ever so little different, we could not manage to live in it. That is the argument from design. It sometimes takes a rather curious form; for instance, it is argued that rabbits have white tails in order to be easy to shoot. I do not know how rabbits would view that application. It is an easy argument to parody. You all know Voltaire’s remark, that obviously the nose was designed to be such as to fit spectacles. That sort of parody has turned out to be not nearly so wide of the mark as it might have seemed in the eighteenth century, because since the time of Darwin we understand much better why living creatures are adapted to their environment. It is not that their environment was made to be suitable to them but that they grew to be suitable to it, and that is the basis of adaptation. There is no evidence of design about it.
    When you come to look into this argument from design, it is a most astonishing thing that people can believe that this world, with all the things that are in it, with all its defects, should be the best that omnipotence and omniscience have been able to produce in millions of years. I really cannot believe it. Do you think that, if you were granted omnipotence and omniscience and millions of years in which to perfect your world, you could produce nothing better than the Ku Klux Klan or the Fascists? Moreover, if you accept the ordinary laws of science, you have to suppose that human life and life in general on this planet will die out in due course: it is a stage in the decay of the solar system; at a certain stage of decay you get the sort of conditions of temperature and so forth which are suitable to protoplasm, and there is life for a short time in the life of the whole solar system. You see in the moon the sort of thing to which the earth is tending — something dead, cold, and lifeless.

    I am told that that sort of view is depressing, and people will sometimes tell you that if they believed that, they would not be able to go on living. Do not believe it; it is all nonsense. Nobody really worries about much about what is going to happen millions of years hence. Even if they think they are worrying much about that, they are really deceiving themselves. They are worried about something much more mundane, or it may merely be a bad digestion; but nobody is really seriously rendered unhappy by the thought of something that is going to happen to this world millions and millions of years hence. Therefore, although it is of course a gloomy view to suppose that life will die out — at least I suppose we may say so, although sometimes when I contemplate the things that people do with their lives I think it is almost a consolation — it is not such as to render life miserable. It merely makes you turn your attention to other things.

    The Moral Arguments for Deity

    Now we reach one stage further in what I shall call the intellectual descent that the Theists have made in their argumentations, and we come to what are called the moral arguments for the existence of God. You all know, of course, that there used to be in the old days three intellectual arguments for the existence of God, all of which were disposed of by Immanuel Kant in the Critique of Pure Reason; but no sooner had he disposed of those arguments than he invented a new one, a moral argument, and that quite convinced him. He was like many people: in intellectual matters he was skeptical, but in moral matters he believed implicitly in the maxims that he had imbibed at his mother’s knee. That illustrates what the psychoanalysts so much emphasize — the immensely stronger hold upon us that our very early associations have than those of later times.
    Kant, as I say, invented a new moral argument for the existence of God, and that in varying forms was extremely popular during the nineteenth century. It has all sorts of forms. One form is to say there would be no right or wrong unless God existed. I am not for the moment concerned with whether there is a difference between right and wrong, or whether there is not: that is another question. The point I am concerned with is that, if you are quite sure there is a difference between right and wrong, then you are in this situation: Is that difference due to God’s fiat or is it not? If it is due to God’s fiat, then for God himself there is no difference between right and wrong, and it is no longer a significant statement to say that God is good. If you are going to say, as theologians do, that God is good, you must then say that right and wrong have some meaning which is independent of God’s fiat, because God’s fiats are good and not bad independently of the mere fact that he made them. If you are going to say that, you will then have to say that it is not only through God that right and wrong came into being, but that they are in their essence logically anterior to God. You could, of course, if you liked, say that there was a superior deity who gave orders to the God that made this world, or could take up the line that some of the gnostics took up — a line which I often thought was a very plausible one — that as a matter of fact this world that we know was made by the devil at a moment when God was not looking. There is a good deal to be said for that, and I am not concerned to refute it.

    The Argument for the Remedying of Injustice

    Then there is another very curious form of moral argument, which is this: they say that the existence of God is required in order to bring justice into the world. In the part of this universe that we know there is great injustice, and often the good suffer, and often the wicked prosper, and one hardly knows which of those is the more annoying; but if you are going to have justice in the universe as a whole you have to suppose a future life to redress the balance of life here on earth. So they say that there must be a God, and there must be Heaven and Hell in order that in the long run there may be justice. That is a very curious argument. If you looked at the matter from a scientific point of view, you would say, “After all, I only know this world. I do not know about the rest of the universe, but so far as one can argue at all on probabilities one would say that probably this world is a fair sample, and if there is injustice here the odds are that there is injustice elsewhere also.” Supposing you got a crate of oranges that you opened, and you found all the top layer of oranges bad, you would not argue, “The underneath ones must be good, so as to redress the balance.” You would say, “Probably the whole lot is a bad consignment”; and that is really what a scientific person would argue about the universe. He would say, “Here we find in this world a great deal of injustice, and so far as that goes that is a reason for supposing that justice does not rule in the world; and therefore so far as it goes it affords a moral argument against deity and not in favor of one.” Of course I know that the sort of intellectual arguments that I have been talking to you about are not what really moves people. What really moves people to believe in God is not any intellectual argument at all. Most people believe in God because they have been taught from early infancy to do it, and that is the main reason.
    Then I think that the next most powerful reason is the wish for safety, a sort of feeling that there is a big brother who will look after you. That plays a very profound part in influencing people’s desire for a belief in God.

    The Character of Christ

    I now want to say a few words upon a topic which I often think is not quite sufficiently dealt with by Rationalists, and that is the question whether Christ was the best and the wisest of men. It is generally taken for granted that we should all agree that that was so. I do not myself. I think that there are a good many points upon which I agree with Christ a great deal more than the professing Christians do. I do not know that I could go with Him all the way, but I could go with Him much further than most professing Christians can. You will remember that He said, “Resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.” That is not a new precept or a new principle. It was used by Lao-tse and Buddha some 500 or 600 years before Christ, but it is not a principle which as a matter of fact Christians accept. I have no doubt that the present prime minister [Stanley Baldwin], for instance, is a most sincere Christian, but I should not advise any of you to go and smite him on one cheek. I think you might find that he thought this text was intended in a figurative sense.
    Then there is another point which I consider excellent. You will remember that Christ said, “Judge not lest ye be judged.” That principle I do not think you would find was popular in the law courts of Christian countries. I have known in my time quite a number of judges who were very earnest Christians, and none of them felt that they were acting contrary to Christian principles in what they did. Then Christ says, “Give to him that asketh of thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.” That is a very good principle. Your Chairman has reminded you that we are not here to talk politics, but I cannot help observing that the last general election was fought on the question of how desirable it was to turn away from him that would borrow of thee, so that one must assume that the Liberals and Conservatives of this country are composed of people who do not agree with the teaching of Christ, because they certainly did very emphatically turn away on that occasion.

    Then there is one other maxim of Christ which I think has a great deal in it, but I do not find that it is very popular among some of our Christian friends. He says, “If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that which thou hast, and give to the poor.” That is a very excellent maxim, but, as I say, it is not much practised. All these, I think, are good maxims, although they are a little difficult to live up to. I do not profess to live up to them myself; but then, after all, it is not quite the same thing as for a Christian.

    Defects in Christ’s Teaching

    Having granted the excellence of these maxims, I come to certain points in which I do not believe that one can grant either the superlative wisdom or the superlative goodness of Christ as depicted in the Gospels; and here I may say that one is not concerned with the historical question. Historically it is quite doubtful whether Christ ever existed at all, and if He did we do not know anything about him, so that I am not concerned with the historical question, which is a very difficult one. I am concerned with Christ as He appears in the Gospels, taking the Gospel narrative as it stands, and there one does find some things that do not seem to be very wise. For one thing, he certainly thought that His second coming would occur in clouds of glory before the death of all the people who were living at that time. There are a great many texts that prove that. He says, for instance, “Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel till the Son of Man be come.” Then he says, “There are some standing here which shall not taste death till the Son of Man comes into His kingdom”; and there are a lot of places where it is quite clear that He believed that His second coming would happen during the lifetime of many then living. That was the belief of His earlier followers, and it was the basis of a good deal of His moral teaching. When He said, “Take no thought for the morrow,” and things of that sort, it was very largely because He thought that the second coming was going to be very soon, and that all ordinary mundane affairs did not count. I have, as a matter of fact, known some Christians who did believe that the second coming was imminent. I knew a parson who frightened his congregation terribly by telling them that the second coming was very imminent indeed, but they were much consoled when they found that he was planting trees in his garden. The early Christians did really believe it, and they did abstain from such things as planting trees in their gardens, because they did accept from Christ the belief that the second coming was imminent. In that respect, clearly He was not so wise as some other people have been, and He was certainly not superlatively wise.

    The Moral Problem

    Then you come to moral questions. There is one very serious defect to my mind in Christ’s moral character, and that is that He believed in hell. I do not myself feel that any person who is really profoundly humane can believe in everlasting punishment. Christ certainly as depicted in the Gospels did believe in everlasting punishment, and one does find repeatedly a vindictive fury against those people who would not listen to His preaching — an attitude which is not uncommon with preachers, but which does somewhat detract from superlative excellence. You do not, for instance find that attitude in Socrates. You find him quite bland and urbane toward the people who would not listen to him; and it is, to my mind, far more worthy of a sage to take that line than to take the line of indignation. You probably all remember the sorts of things that Socrates was saying when he was dying, and the sort of things that he generally did say to people who did not agree with him.
    You will find that in the Gospels Christ said, “Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of Hell.” That was said to people who did not like His preaching. It is not really to my mind quite the best tone, and there are a great many of these things about Hell. There is, of course, the familiar text about the sin against the Holy Ghost: “Whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven him neither in this World nor in the world to come.” That text has caused an unspeakable amount of misery in the world, for all sorts of people have imagined that they have committed the sin against the Holy Ghost, and thought that it would not be forgiven them either in this world or in the world to come. I really do not think that a person with a proper degree of kindliness in his nature would have put fears and terrors of that sort into the world.

    Then Christ says, “The Son of Man shall send forth his His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity, and shall cast them into a furnace of fire; there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth”; and He goes on about the wailing and gnashing of teeth. It comes in one verse after another, and it is quite manifest to the reader that there is a certain pleasure in contemplating wailing and gnashing of teeth, or else it would not occur so often. Then you all, of course, remember about the sheep and the goats; how at the second coming He is going to divide the sheep from the goats, and He is going to say to the goats, “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire.” He continues, “And these shall go away into everlasting fire.” Then He says again, “If thy hand offend thee, cut it off; it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into Hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched; where the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched.” He repeats that again and again also. I must say that I think all this doctrine, that hell-fire is a punishment for sin, is a doctrine of cruelty. It is a doctrine that put cruelty into the world and gave the world generations of cruel torture; and the Christ of the Gospels, if you could take Him asHis chroniclers represent Him, would certainly have to be considered partly responsible for that.

    There are other things of less importance. There is the instance of the Gadarene swine, where it certainly was not very kind to the pigs to put the devils into them and make them rush down the hill into the sea. You must remember that He was omnipotent, and He could have made the devils simply go away; but He chose to send them into the pigs. Then there is the curious story of the fig tree, which always rather puzzled me. You remember what happened about the fig tree. “He was hungry; and seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, He came if haply He might find anything thereon; and when He came to it He found nothing but leaves, for the time of figs was not yet. And Jesus answered and said unto it: ‘No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever’ . . . and Peter . . . saith unto Him: ‘Master, behold the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away.'” This is a very curious story, because it was not the right time of year for figs, and you really could not blame the tree. I cannot myself feel that either in the matter of wisdom or in the matter of virtue Christ stands quite as high as some other people known to history. I think I should put Buddha and Socrates above Him in those respects.

    The Emotional Factor

    As I said before, I do not think that the real reason why people accept religion has anything to do with argumentation. They accept religion on emotional grounds. One is often told that it is a very wrong thing to attack religion, because religion makes men virtuous. So I am told; I have not noticed it. You know, of course, the parody of that argument in Samuel Butler’s book, Erewhon Revisited. You will remember that in Erewhon there is a certain Higgs who arrives in a remote country, and after spending some time there he escapes from that country in a balloon. Twenty years later he comes back to that country and finds a new religion in which he is worshiped under the name of the “Sun Child,” and it is said that he ascended into heaven. He finds that the Feast of the Ascension is about to be celebrated, and he hears Professors Hanky and Panky say to each other that they never set eyes on the man Higgs, and they hope they never will; but they are the high priests of the religion of the Sun Child. He is very indignant, and he comes up to them, and he says, “I am going to expose all this humbug and tell the people of Erewhon that it was only I, the man Higgs, and I went up in a balloon.” He was told, “You must not do that, because all the morals of this country are bound round this myth, and if they once know that you did not ascend into Heaven they will all become wicked”; and so he is persuaded of that and he goes quietly away.
    That is the idea — that we should all be wicked if we did not hold to the Christian religion. It seems to me that the people who have held to it have been for the most part extremely wicked. You find this curious fact, that the more intense has been the religion of any period and the more profound has been the dogmatic belief, the greater has been the cruelty and the worse has been the state of affairs. In the so-called ages of faith, when men really did believe the Christian religion in all its completeness, there was the Inquisition, with all its tortures; there were millions of unfortunate women burned as witches; and there was every kind of cruelty practiced upon all sorts of people in the name of religion.

    You find as you look around the world that every single bit of progress in humane feeling, every improvement in the criminal law, every step toward the diminution of war, every step toward better treatment of the colored races, or every mitigation of slavery, every moral progress that there has been in the world, has been consistently opposed by the organized churches of the world. I say quite deliberately that the Christian religion, as organized in its churches, has been and still is the principal enemy of moral progress in the world.

    How the Churches Have Retarded Progress

    You may think that I am going too far when I say that that is still so. I do not think that I am. Take one fact. You will bear with me if I mention it. It is not a pleasant fact, but the churches compel one to mention facts that are not pleasant. Supposing that in this world that we live in today an inexperienced girl is married to a syphilitic man; in that case the Catholic Church says, “This is an indissoluble sacrament. You must endure celibacy or stay together. And if you stay together, you must not use birth control to prevent the birth of syphilitic children.” Nobody whose natural sympathies have not been warped by dogma, or whose moral nature was not absolutely dead to all sense of suffering, could maintain that it is right and proper that that state of things should continue.
    That is only an example. There are a great many ways in which, at the present moment, the church, by its insistence upon what it chooses to call morality, inflicts upon all sorts of people undeserved and unnecessary suffering. And of course, as we know, it is in its major part an opponent still of progress and improvement in all the ways that diminish suffering in the world, because it has chosen to label as morality a certain narrow set of rules of conduct which have nothing to do with human happiness; and when you say that this or that ought to be done because it would make for human happiness, they think that has nothing to do with the matter at all. “What has human happiness to do with morals? The object of morals is not to make people happy.”

    Fear, the Foundation of Religion

    Religion is based, I think, primarily and mainly upon fear. It is partly the terror of the unknown and partly, as I have said, the wish to feel that you have a kind of elder brother who will stand by you in all your troubles and disputes. Fear is the basis of the whole thing — fear of the mysterious, fear of defeat, fear of death. Fear is the parent of cruelty, and therefore it is no wonder if cruelty and religion have gone hand in hand. It is because fear is at the basis of those two things. In this world we can now begin a little to understand things, and a little to master them by help of science, which has forced its way step by step against the Christian religion, against the churches, and against the opposition of all the old precepts. Science can help us to get over this craven fear in which mankind has lived for so many generations. Science can teach us, and I think our own hearts can teach us, no longer to look around for imaginary supports, no longer to invent allies in the sky, but rather to look to our own efforts here below to make this world a better place to live in, instead of the sort of place that the churches in all these centuries have made it.

    What We Must Do

    We want to stand upon our own feet and look fair and square at the world — its good facts, its bad facts, its beauties, and its ugliness; see the world as it is and be not afraid of it. Conquer the world by intelligence and not merely by being slavishly subdued by the terror that comes from it. The whole conception of God is a conception derived from the ancient Oriental despotisms. It is a conception quite unworthy of free men. When you hear people in church debasing themselves and saying that they are miserable sinners, and all the rest of it, it seems contemptible and not worthy of self-respecting human beings. We ought to stand up and look the world frankly in the face. We ought to make the best we can of the world, and if it is not so good as we wish, after all it will still be better than what these others have made of it in all these ages. A good world needs knowledge, kindliness, and courage; it does not need a regretful hankering after the past or a fettering of the free intelligence by the words uttered long ago by ignorant men. It needs a fearless outlook and a free intelligence. It needs hope for the future, not looking back all the time toward a past that is dead, which we trust will be far surpassed by the future that our intelligence can create.

    • Quetzalcoatl
    • December 7th, 2010

    ^
    ^
    Silakan dibaca esai diatas 🙂 sejak tahun 1920an Bertrand Rusell sudah berhasil membantah rancangan cerdas, argumen dari rancangan dan argumen hukum alam 🙂 Oh iya, artikel yang Anda beri juga konyol karena mengasumsikan kitab suci adalah kisah sejarah yang pasti benar. 🙂 Tidak adakah sumber lain selain kitab suci yang menyebutkan Yesus melakukan keajaiban? Adanya Talmud yang mengatakan “Jeshu” sebagai penyihir yang dihukum mati.

    • Quetzalcoatl
    • December 7th, 2010
    • masterreinaldo
    • December 8th, 2010

    Nah, saya copas dari website ya..:

    Ini yg masalah Yesus: (copas dari website yg sama tpi dari 2 page blog)

    JESUS COMPLEX:
    Is Jesus God?
    Have you ever met a man who is the center of attention wherever he goes? Some mysterious, indefinable characteristic sets him apart from all other men. Well, that’s the way it was two thousand years ago with Jesus Christ. But it wasn’t merely Jesus’ personality that captivated those who heard him. Those who witnessed his words and life tell us that something about Jesus of Nazareth was different from all other men.

    Jesus’ only credentials were himself. He never wrote a book, commanded an army, held a political office, or owned property. He mostly traveled within a hundred miles of his village, attracting crowds who were amazed at his provocative words and stunning deeds.

    Yet Jesus’ greatness was obvious to all those who saw and heard him. And while most great people eventually fade into history books, Jesus is still the focus of thousands of books and unparalleled media controversy. And much of that controversy revolves around the radical claims Jesus made about himself—claims that astounded both his followers and his adversaries.

    It was primarily Jesus’ unique claims that caused him to be viewed as a threat by both the Roman authorities and the Jewish hierarchy. Although he was an outsider with no credentials or political powerbase, within three years, Jesus changed the world for the next 20 centuries. Other moral and religious leaders have left an impact—but nothing like that unknown carpenter’s son from Nazareth.

    What was it about Jesus Christ that made the difference? Was he merely a great man, or something more?

    These questions get to the heart of who Jesus really was. Some believe he was merely a great moral teacher; others believe he was simply the leader of the world’s greatest religion. But many believe something far more. Christians believe that God has actually visited us in human form. And they believe the evidence backs that up.

    After carefully examining Jesus’ life and words, former Cambridge professor and skeptic, C. S. Lewis, came to a startling conclusion about him that altered the course of his life. So who is the real Jesus? Many will answer that Jesus was a great moral teacher. As we take a deeper look at the world’s most controversial person, we begin by asking: could Jesus have been merely a great moral teacher?

    Are the Gospels true?
    Are the New Testament gospels the true eyewitness history of Jesus Christ, or could the story have been changed through the years? Must we simply take the New Testament accounts of Jesus by faith, or is there evidence for their reliability?

    The late ABC News anchor Peter Jennings was in Israel broadcasting a television special on Jesus Christ. His program, “The Search for Jesus,” explored the question of whether the Jesus of the New Testament was historically accurate.

    Jennings featured opinions on the Gospel accounts from DePaul professor John Dominic Crossan, three of Crossan’s colleagues from the Jesus Seminar, and two other Bible scholars. (The Jesus Seminar is a group of scholars who debate Jesus’ recorded words and actions and then use red, pink, gray, or black beads to cast votes indicating how trustworthy they believe statements in the Gospels are.)1

    Some of the comments were stunning. There on national TV Dr. Crossan not only cast doubt on more than 80 percent of Jesus’ sayings but also denied Jesus’ claims to divinity, his miracles, and his resurrection. Jennings clearly was intrigued by the image of Jesus presented by Crossan.

    Searching for true Bible history is always news, which is why every year Time and Newsweek go on a cover story quest for Mary, Jesus, Moses, or Abraham. Or—who knows?—maybe this year it will be “Bob: The Untold Story of the Missing 13th Disciple.”

    This is entertainment, and so the investigation will never end nor yield answers, as that would eliminate future programming. Instead, those with radically different views are thrown together like an episode of Survivor, hopelessly convoluting the issue rather than bringing clarity.

    But Jennings’s report did focus on one issue that ought to be given some serious thought. Crossan implied that the original accounts of Jesus were embellished by oral tradition and were not written down until after the apostles were dead. Thus they are largely unreliable and fail to give us an accurate picture of the real Jesus. How are we to know if this is really true?

    Click here to read page 2 of 10 about “Is the New Testament reliable?”

    yg ini back to topic 😀

    Are Science and Christianity Compatible?
    Atheist Richard Dawkins from Oxford and leading geneticist Francis Collins debated the subject of God versus Science in a Time magazine feature article.1 At issue was whether belief in Science and God are compatible.

    Dawkins, author of The God Delusion, argues that belief in God has been made irrelevant by new scientific discoveries. Collins, a Christian who led 2400 scientists in mapping the human genetic blueprint, sees it differently, stating that belief in both God and science is totally reasonable.

    Although the Bible clearly states that God created the universe, it reveals nothing about how He did it. Yet its message that God is rational and personal profoundly influenced scientists such as Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, Pascal and Faraday. Their belief that the world was created by a reasonable God gave them confidence in scientific observation and experimentation.

    As Christians, these scientists believed in an all powerful, all knowing Creator who, although not limited by natural laws, chose to use them in the universe. These brilliant men and women were fascinated with the world around us, and sought to discover the mysteries behind what they deemed as God’s creation.Are Science and Christianity Compatible?
    Atheist Richard Dawkins from Oxford and leading geneticist Francis Collins debated the subject of God versus Science in a Time magazine feature article.1 At issue was whether belief in Science and God are compatible.

    Dawkins, author of The God Delusion, argues that belief in God has been made irrelevant by new scientific discoveries. Collins, a Christian who led 2400 scientists in mapping the human genetic blueprint, sees it differently, stating that belief in both God and science is totally reasonable.

    Although the Bible clearly states that God created the universe, it reveals nothing about how He did it. Yet its message that God is rational and personal profoundly influenced scientists such as Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, Pascal and Faraday. Their belief that the world was created by a reasonable God gave them confidence in scientific observation and experimentation.

    As Christians, these scientists believed in an all powerful, all knowing Creator who, although not limited by natural laws, chose to use them in the universe. These brilliant men and women were fascinated with the world around us, and sought to discover the mysteries behind what they deemed as God’s creation.

    cape copasnya buka http://www.y-jesus.com/bornid_1.php aja ya 🙂

      • Quetzalcoatl
      • December 8th, 2010

      Penutup
      ================
      Bauer menyatakan bahwa Injil Yohanes bukan catatan sejarah, tetapi merupakan adaptasi gagasan politik dan religius tradisional Yahudi mengenai Mesias dari konsep filosofis Philo mengenai logos. Beralih ke Injil Matius dan Lukas, Bauer mengikuti kritik sebelumnya mengenai ketergantungan injil-injil tersebut pada narasi Markus, sementara menolak pandangan bahwa injil-injil tersebut berasal dari tradisi umum selain Markus yang dinyatakan hilang oleh para ahli (sumber Q). Bagi Bauer, kemungkinan ini dikesampingkan karena kisah mengenai kelahiran Yesus yang bertentangan pada Matius dan Lukas, dan juga karena sifat pada materi non-Markus kemungkinan masih berkembang dari gagasan Markus. Bauer menyimpulkan bahwa Matius bergantung pada Lukas untuk isi yang hanya ditemukan pada dua injil tersebut. Maka, karena dalam pandangannya tradisi kitab suci berasal dari satu pengarang (Markus), Bauer merasa bahwa hipotesis karakter buatan sangat mungkin. Ia lebih lanjut meyakini bahwa tidak ada harapan akan datangnya Mesias diantara orang Yahudi pada masa Tiberius, dan penggambaran Markus mengenai Yesus sebagai Mesias merupakan retrojeksi kepercayaan dan praktik Kristen selanjutnya – interpretasi yang diperluas oleh Bauer pada banyak kisah spesifik yang diceritakan kembali pada injil. Sementara Bauer tetap terbuka pada pertanyaan apakah Yesus ada atau tidak, pandangannya cukup tidak lazim sehingga pada tahun 1842 ia kehilangan kariernya sebagai pengajar di Bonn

  2. Pertama-tama saya ingin mengucapkan terima kasih atas tanggapan positif saudara-saudara.

    Kedua, saya kira diskusi kita tentang Iman Kristen dan IPTEK sudah mencapai tahap kesimpulan. Kesimpulan itu sendiri adalah:
    1. Saya menganggap akal budi dan/atau ilmu pengetahuan sebagai anugerah dari Allah bersifat netral, karena itu perspektif dan bagaimana kita menanggapinya yang membuat IPTEK bersifat konstruktif atau destruktif, sejalan atau menyebabkan kehancuran iman Kristen itu sendiri.
    2. Saudara Lusi menganggap akal budi dan/atau ilmu pengetahuan sebagai anugerah dari Allah bersifat destruktif, menghancurkan iman Kristen, menyebabkan delusi agama. Hal tersebut dikarenakan iman Kristen menjadi irasional apabila dikaji secara ilmiah, dan hikmat Allah yang lebih besar daripada hikmat manusia tidak dapat dijadikan alasan bagi adanya Misteri Allah (Mysteries of God).*

    Berkaitan tentang eksistensi Allah, saya rasa hal tersebut sudah agak keluar jalur/out of the point sehingga pembahasan serius dan mendalam tentang hal tersebut alangkah baiknya dilakukan Saudara Adjiputro dan Lusi di lain kesempatan.

    Terima kasih dan semoga post ini beserta komentar-komentarnya dapat membuka wawasan kita semua dan memberikan pengertian komprehensif dan mendalam mengenai hubungan antara Iman Kristen dan IPTEK. Tuhan Yesus memberkati kita semua.

    *Misteri Allah (Mysteries of God) adalah hal-hal yang tidak dapat dimengerti oleh manusia karena keterbatasan akal budi manusia apabila dibandingkan dengan hikmat Allah, Sang Pencipta yang tidak terbatas.

    • Quetzalcoatl
    • December 8th, 2010

    Sebenarnya masih bisa dilanjutkan, tapi karena pemilik blog sudah memutuskan untuk menyimpulkan, ya saya ngikut aja 😛 Terima kasih atas hiburannya.

    • brother88
    • December 9th, 2010

    wah kok yang dibahas hubungan iman kristen sama IPTEK sich,, jauh amat

    klo boleh usul:
    mending kalo mau berbicara IPTEK membahas kesesuaian alkitab dengan IPTEK

    atau kalau mau membahas iman dijabarkan saja fondasi iman kristen,, gitu

    tapi pake referensi kitab bukan opini,, terima kasih

    • Terima kasih, bisa untuk ide berikutnya. Dan tentu akan dilengkapi dengan referensi-referensi dari Alkitab, tak lain seperti dalam artikel ini. 🙂

        • brother88
        • December 10th, 2010

        silakan,, ditunggu kabarnya 🙂

    • brother88
    • December 18th, 2010

    saya masih menunggu tulisan Anda bertema

    ” kesesuaian ajaran kristen/alkitab dengan ilmu pengetahuan ”

    atau

    ” akar pondasi keimanan kristen menurut alkitab ”

    terima kasih

    • Pertama-tama, saya ingin meminta maaf karena post mengenai fondasi dari Iman Kristen yang saya janjikan belum kunjung dibuat karena kendala kertebatasan waktu dan ide. Saya juga berterima kasih untuk kesabaran anda. Bila post tersebut sudah dibuat, saya akan memberi tahu anda lewat email atau anda dapat memperoleh perkembangan terbaru dari post-post yang ada dengan memilih opsi subscribe. Tks & Tuhan memberkati.

  3. brother88, saya baru membuat artikel tentang wahyu. Barangkali anda tertarik, sesuai dengan ketertarikan anda terhadap hal-hal yang bersifat fudamental dalam Iman Kristen.

  4. Bagi para pembaca, kesimpulan di atas yang menutup diskusi dengan Sdr. Quetzalcoatl tidak berarti komentar tidak diterima. Kritik dan saran tetap diterima, hanya saja diskusi ditutup karena sudah mencapai kesimpulan . Sedangkan masalah eksistensi Allah antara Sdr. Quetzalcoatl dan Satudara Adjiputro sudah mulai out ouf the point dan lebih baik dilakukan di lain kesempatan yang lebih sesuai.

      • masterreinaldo
      • January 12th, 2011

      itu menurut anda, bukan? karena kalau menurut saya, eksistensi Allah ada hubungannya dengan topik ini. Tapi, bagaimanapun ini blog anda, you’re the boss deh, have a nice evening.

    • Semar
    • April 15th, 2011

    “Karena dari perspektif saya bahwa Iman Kristen dan IPTEK tidak bertentangan, semua yang anda tuliskan merupakan upaya untuk membuktikan kesalahan2/irasionalitas dalam Iman Kristen secara ilmiah (memanfaatkan ilmu pengetahuan yang ada). Itulah alasan mengapa saya melabelinya negatif.”

    Bagaimana hubungan antara (kita ambil satu contoh dari ilmu pengetahuan) teori evolusi dengan penciptaan menurut kitab kejadian? Analoginya sederhana. Misalkan saya tinggal di pulau terpencil di Kep. Solomon. Penduduknya semuanya Negroid, sehingga kulitnya hitam. Maka muncul premis “semua manusia kulitnya hitam”. Namun tiba-tiba datang orang Eropa yang berkulit putih. Tidak perlu saya menggunakan manusia berkulit putih itu untuk membuktikan bahwa premis “semua manusia berkulit hitam” itu salah, karena dengan keberadaan orang Eropa itu sendiri, premis itu sudah terhapus kebenarannya. Pembuktian itu (harus) dilakukan apabila ingin menyebarkan pencerahan bahwa warna kulit manusia tidak hanya hitam.

    Begitu pula dengan hubungan antara penciptaan dan evolusi. Awalnya orang-orang Eropa tidak tahu bagaimana mereka ada, sementara ada banyak keajaiban alam di mata mereka, maka untuk menjawab rasa ingin tahu itu, lahirlah paham bahwa dunia disulap dalam tujuh hari. Namun tiba-tiba datang Darwin yang memperkenalkan evolusi. Tanpa perlu saya menggunakan evolusi untuk membuktikan bahwa penciptaan menurut kejadian itu salah, keduanya sudah bertentangan, karena keduanya memunyai nilai yang juga saling bertentangan satu sama lain. Penganut evolusi otomatis percaya kalau dunia ini tidak disulap dalam tujuh hari, penganut kreatonisme tidak percaya kalau nenek moyang manusia dan kera itu sama. Pendukung evolusi baru menyodorkan bukti-bukti untuk menyebarkan pencerahan.

    Jadi pertentangan itu sebenarnya tidak negatif, tapi netral, karena itu memang gagasan dasarnya, dan keduanya faktanya secara hakiki memang bertentangan. Kalau ada evolusionis yang menyodorkan bukti paruh burung Finch untuk memojokkan penciptaan, baru itu bisa dibilang negatif, tapi hubungan seperti di atas sama sekali tidak negatif, karena tanpa perlu digunakan untuk memojokkan, keduanya sudah bertentangan.

    • Pertama-tama saya meminta maaf atas comment diatas yang rancu / dapat menjadi multitafsir.

      Yang saya maksudkan negatif bukanlah kepada pertentangan yang mereka miliki, akan tetapi penggunaan pertentangan-pertentangan yang ada untuk mengirasionalisasi Iman Kristen dengan ilmu pengetahuan. Dan, patut kita ingat, hal tersebut (adanya pertentangan-pertentangan) disebabkan tak lain karena akal budi kita sebagai manusia sangatlah terbatas dibandingkan dengan akal budi Allah.

      Oleh karena itu, saya setuju dengan pendapat anda bahwa hubungan yang ada antara Iman Kristen dan IPTEK tidaklah negatif mengingat siapakah yang memberikan akal budi yang “terbatas” namun luar biasa kepada manusia?

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