View Full Version : Evil

13th Sep 2001, 06:12
Was this an evil act? Does anyone out there claim that the mass murder in America yesterday was not an evil act? If so why / why not?

Over to you...

Arm out the window
13th Sep 2001, 07:53
What sort of a bullshit question is that?!

(OK, hasty response above. It seems you are trying to stir up trouble - are you trying to be clever or controversial for the sake of it? Not very sensitive in my view.)

[ 13 September 2001: Message edited by: Arm out the window ]

Token Bird
13th Sep 2001, 19:05
Don't like the word 'evil' 'cos of it's religious connotations. Implies that the perpetrators were possessed or something. I think 'wrong' is a better word,


13th Sep 2001, 20:29
Evil? No, not really. more on the order of immoral.

These people have no clue as to how to actually sit down and resolve their issues with others, each side on any issue will not make concessions, and therefore the childish petty, COWARDLY actions of the extremists continue.

Do they really think that we will now just abandon Isreal? (That is the most likely reason we were attacked, our ties to Isreal, making us an un-islamic country)

The extremeists are whacked in the head, and will need another a$$ kicking into submission of for a period of time. hopefully very long.

for all their bravado, hmmm ... I don't se any one of them with the balls standing up now and proclaiming "WE did it!"
(for snakes will not stick their heads out into the open)

Celtic Emerald
13th Sep 2001, 20:40
Of course it was bloody evil. You don't think the bloody feckers should be canonised for the act do you :rolleyes:

Or is 'evil' a four letter word that is not politically correct to use. Jeez if some do-gooders start talking about how the poor men were not really responsible for their actions but it was the cause of their childhood/culture or etc I'll friggin haunt them :mad:

You sure mate you're not trying a wind up


Cyclic Hotline
13th Sep 2001, 23:19
Definition of EVIL, from Encarta.

Tell me that this is an inappropriate use of this word! :mad:


e∑vil [v'l ] adjective

1. morally bad: profoundly immoral or wrong

2. harmful: deliberately causing great harm, pain, or upset. This evil act is clearly the work of terrorists.

3. devilish: connected with the Devil or other powerful destructive forces evil spirits

4. causing misfortune: characterized by, bringing, or signifying bad luck an evil omen

5. malicious: characterized by a desire to cause hurt or harm an evil mood

6. disagreeable: very unpleasant What an evil smell!

noun (plural e∑vils)

1. wickedness: the quality of being profoundly immoral or wrong

2. e∑vil or E∑vil force causing harmful effects: the force held to bring about harmful, painful, or unpleasant events a struggle between good and evil

3. something evil: a situation or thing that is very unpleasant, harmful, or morally wrong

[Old English yfel . Ultimately from an Indo-European word meaning "exceeding due limits."]

e∑vil∑ly adverb
e∑vil∑ness noun

Bally Heck
13th Sep 2001, 23:27
Evil, wicked, malevolent, sinful, wrong, corrupt, abhorrent, misguided. How many adjectives do you need?

Unfortunately, evil begets evil. I am horrified by the calls for revenge as a catharsis for this atrocity. Are we going to get our planet into a spiral of reprisals. Turn it into a spinning ball of hate. Tit for tat atrocities.

Terrorists never exist in isolation. They always have a “cause”. Often they are oppressed and see terrorism as the only answer. The politicians must attack these “causes” around the world and not innocent people in some far off country who will be announced by the media as collateral damage.

How about these for a causes:

Last year, according to Amnesty International,

“More than 350 ****s, including nearly 100 children, were killed mostly through excessive use of lethal force by **** security services.”

“Between 25 and 28 June, at least 44 unarmed civilians were extrajudicially executed by soldiers in **** commune.”

“More than 4,000 people were victims of political killings, over 300 ''disappeared'', and an estimated 300,000 people were internally displaced.”

If we continue to allow atrocities like this to occur in the world, then can we be surprised when they turn up at our own doorstep.

Let’s find the sponsors behind these events and dispense JUSTICE. Not vengeance.

Let us not forget that politicians shape the world. They shaped a world where this kind of butchery can occur.

I hope these current incumbents get it right. They do not inspire me with confidence!

If our “leaders” get it wrong, we could end up in freefall to a greater disaster.

“Any man’s death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind;
And therefore never send to know for
whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”

Golden Monkey
14th Sep 2001, 02:55
Bally Heck,

I couldn't agree more. This event has brought out the best and worst in people, but the clamour for reprisals against whole nations purely to "make us feel better", as I've seen one contributor comment, is sickening. What is required is justice. As strong and as comprehensive as possible, but justice, not striking out at more civilians.

I've seen posters on the news calling for war against Afghanistan. Hell, the Afghan people aren't to blame for this. If the sadistic rulers of that province - the Taliban - are harbouring terrorists or sponsoring their actions then fair enough, go after THEM. But bear in mind these are not democracies, these governments do not speak for their people. Look at Iraq. During the Gulf war the West encouraged the people to rise up against Saddam and them left them in the lurch to suffer his wrath. He's still there, acknowledged to be unrepresentative of a nation. Afghanistan, it's far away, it's a convenient label. Easy pickings for the media. We need someone, right? Even the whole of the Muslim faith is being blamed in some quarters - some, shamefully, on this bulletin board - for this atrocity. If we take that view then every Catholic in Ireland is responsible for the IRA's atrocities. Let's bomb them. I have white supremacists in my country, so as a white Westerner I'm responsible for their actions, right? Well guess what, current acts of firebombing Muslim schools and attacking Sikhs in the streets of Western nations because they happen to be wearing turbans, that is religious fanaticism as bad as any other. Think, people.

If we go down the route of massive indiscriminate retaliation the end result will be a global equivalent of the Israel/ Palestine troubles. A never ending cycle of fanatical terrorist actions countered by large scale military reprisals. But the two can never counter each other, they are incompatible. Has the situation in Israel improved any over the last few decades? All military actions against civilians achieve is to recruit more to extremist terrorist causes; and all terrorist action achieves is to invite more military reprisals. Unless attitudes change I can see no end to it. The approach to international relations clearly needs to be altered to target the causes of this unrest. Once a cause exists that people are willing to die for, itís impossible to stop them, as has been proved time and time again.

The originator of this thread asked if these acts were evil. Yes, they were evil. To all of us in America, Europe and all those who follow western ideals (for lack of a better description), these were unspeakable, evil acts. Did the perpetrators of these acts think they were evil? Of course they didn't. Is it possible to destroy or convert every one in the world with alternate views? Of course not, nor should it be attempted. Is it possible to build new relationships without perceived injustices, from either side, strong enough to drive people of any religion or political belief to inhuman acts? Given human history, probably not, but I sure as hell hope we try.

Nail the scum RESPONSIBLE for this action yes, but prove to the world that we are better than this. Do not descend to their level of mass killings or not only will we, sadly, provoke future terrorist acts, but we will have no ground from which to preach, and absolutely no moral authority.

14th Sep 2001, 04:15
Let me start by saying I think this was a profoundly evil act.


Token Bird and RW-1,

Evil, wrong and immoral are much the same, as Cyclic Hotline has helpfully showed.


So if we are going to claim this act is evil, wrong and immoral, then there must be a universal definition of what is evil. Otherwise these men can be excused by their beliefs (alleged - we can't yet say for sure they were Islamic fundamentalists, but it sounds pretty likely), that what they were doing was not only good - but great and heroic.

Can people still stand in face of such evil, such wrong, such immorality and claim that it's all relative. That it's only evil from our angle?

That, then leads us to the next point. If their is an absolute moral imperative, then there must be one who has given us an absolute moral imperative. In other words, if there is something that is universally right or wrong, then someone universal must have implemented that universal right or wrong. ie. God.

I'll let you respond at this stage before I continue...

Just so I don't sound like a heartless wind - up merchant - my deepest remorse for what has happened and my thoughts and prayers go out to all affected by this tragedy.

15th Sep 2001, 07:20
Guyincognito, how DARE you use this dreadful crime against humanity to promote your personal religious beliefs.

I have said this before and I will say it again here ... before you even think of promoting any religion as being a good thing, you need to take a long, hard, cold, calculating look at the atrocities that have been committed and continue to be committed in the name of God.

This latest dreadful episode appears to be yet another example of how religious fanatics of ANY persuasion believe that their way is the only true way.

It is completely inappropriate for you to be promoting your version as the correct one while thousands of people out there are suffering as a direct result of another "faction's" identical belief.

They apparently believe sincerely they were doing God's will.

You probably maintain the same stance in relation to your own beliefs.

I suspect that neither of you is right.

15th Sep 2001, 07:36
Well said, Blue Diamond.

If Christianity is saying "Well, we told you, that goes to show what Muslims are like" then I think I'd rather be a Buddhist.

Furthermore, to say that there are absolute moral certainties, and that proves that God exists, because he must have given them to us is like saying "We all have bodies - someone must have given them to us, so that proves the existence of God."

It proves nothing. And I'm getting very tired of the jerks on here (mentioning no names) who insist on using this horrible series of incidents to get back on their old, tired hobbyhorses.

15th Sep 2001, 13:55
I don`t think anyone has used the word "obscene" yet, so I`m going to.

It was an obscene act.

Unfortunately, it was just another example in a long list of those acts perpetrated by people who misuse and misinterpret religion, philosophy, politics etc to justify their hatred.

16th Sep 2001, 12:26
This is not an opportunity for a Christian to say, 'See what those Muslims are like.' This is a chance for me to say, 'See what we are like.' See what a low-down, pitiful thing humanity allows itself to be. To think that the hijackers were some mad, psycho, sick singularities that were not members of the human race, is to miss what has happened. These are people. People who have been sold a lie - deceived, and have not held back from their terrible ends.

To think that it could not have been us is to ignore the lessons from Nazi Germany, Communist Russia, Communist China and a whole heap more incidents throughout the last century. Hate, murder, evil do not stem from religion. They stem from within human hearts. When they are legitimised by lies, of whatever base, they blow up in our face in horrors we can't even comprehend.

Is this an opportunity to bash every person who speaks now who you deem to be religious? This incident highlights our need for God. This is one of humanity's truly dark moments. It is no time to turn away from God and look to humanism for answers. It has none.

If there are absolute moral values than who else could have given them. Any human society seeking to implement moral values cannot do so on an absolute scale. They would only be values applicable to that society. Who would go so far as to say these actions we have witnessed could in some social setting be condoned? They are absolutely wrong. And if we have an absolute moral code, which this incident indicates, then where did it come from.

If this incident does not send us searching for God, then what ever will?

16th Sep 2001, 12:48

You are a wise man.

16th Sep 2001, 22:13
So, guy which God do you think is the one to seek? Yours, Christian, or Allah, or Jehovah. Which God?

Each person who thinks he has the right to impose his viewpoint on others, especially if he concludes that they are evil because they do not believe as he does is one short step away from perpetrating evil on others.

Death to Islam was stated by OCB in his urge for vengeance; if someone then goes and murders in the name of that vengeance does that not make it evil, no matter what the justification, no matter which God you claim to represent.

Unlike you I do not believe that people are born or inherently bad, immoral or evil - nor do I believe that you become good by believing in a God, or converting to a belief. There is much evil carried out by people who do it in the name of the Christian God, they believe utterly that they have God on their side in the fight against evil and as such they are justified in torture, violence and murder to achieve their aims. The Muslims are completely convinced that Islam holds the keys to heaven and as such they are justified in carrying out torture, violence and murder in the name of Allah. What all fanatics and fundamentalists have in common is their complete and absolute belief that whatever they do is right.

Whilst people insist that only they have the path to heaven, and that only their view is the right one, there will be fanatics who think it is acceptable to carry out such atrocities against others.

This most appalling tragedy was not because of humanism nor atheism, but because people (yes, you are right they are people) believed they would go to heaven, that they would be rewarded for this by their God. This is wrong, of course, but I have known similar sentiments echoed throughout Christian communities. Even now people are calling for 'death to Islam', carpet bombing of innocent civilians, nuclear bombs dropped on Middle East countries if they don't fall into line with US policy. Destruction of a whole nation if one man is not delivered into American hands for justice.

Will you also be as condemnatory of those acts as you are of this.

People are not fundamentally evil, some are. People are not genetically programmed to be immoral, but there are people who are more likely to carry out brutal acts than others. Not all people descend to barbarism, just because they can.

If you talk of evil, then talk also of the goodness and bravery of people caught up in these events. Of the courage of the fire=fighters and rescue workers who risked and lost their lives to dig people out. Of the thousands of ordinary people who also put others before themselves. In the small acts of kindness and compassion that we meet every day from those around us.

Celebrate that guy, don't drag humanity into the dark depths of despair and hate - lead it into the light and love of the common bond we all have. God is Love and all are welcome - not just a select few who worship one aspect of that.

Maybe it's about time to concentrate on commonailty instead of differences.

16th Sep 2001, 22:36
There are millions of people whose faith is a great comfort to them at this time. But to invoke 'our' god as protection against 'their' god just perpetuates the same insane, atavistic conflict which has been going on for 900 years.
And those who believe in 'one'god' and still consider that god to be omniscient, omnipotent and merciful just aren't paying attention.

16th Sep 2001, 23:10
Yes Vel a lot of kindness, friendship, selflesness and heart warming events have resulted from the tragedy that hit first of all the USA and then all of us............

But also a Sikh being killed in Arizona, Muslims being hunted in Australia, Mosques being shot at in the UK, the list goes on and on........

And in the days since the day of the terrible happenings in the USA, I have started to think along the exact same lines as guyincognito.

To think that the hijackers were some mad, psycho, sick singularities that were not members of the human race, is to miss what has happened. These are people. People who have been sold a lie - deceived, and have not held back from their terrible ends............ Hate, murder, evil do not stem from religion. They stem from within human hearts. When they are legitimised by lies, of whatever base, they blow up in our face in horrors we can't even comprehend.

And it is these thoughts that make me wonder how, if ever, we will manage to rise above the evil which seems to be such an inherent part of our species.

And no amount of moving rememberance service or moments of silence can make me forget this fundamental and very disheartening truth.

17th Sep 2001, 03:40

I wish all would seek the truth. The truth is in the bible.

I do not seek to impose my views, but present them, along with all the other views in JB. People are not evil because they don't believe what I do. People are evil, including me, because of what they say, think and do.

At no time do I cry death to Islam, or probably more accurately, death to Muslims. If you read my previous post I have distanced Islam from the attacks. I do not think Islam is right, but also I don't think that the attacks were a particularly Islamic thing to do. They were a human thing to do.

We can all look at the world in rose-coloured glasses. But if we are to claim to be realists, which I hope we would, then we need to see things as they are. The world is a screwed up place, thanks to us - humanity. People do some good, but people are inherently selfish.

To claim that all the atrocities in the world come from people who believe they have the only way to heaven is to bury one's head in the sand and refuse to look at the facts. Religious tolerance isn't the issue here, it is evil. It is not the unknown face of evil however that we are seeing, but the very familiar, human face of evil, which we hate to see, but glimpse every time we look in the mirror.

I condemn the attacks done in the name of Islam, I condemn the attacks on Islam. I condemn the evil I see in my own heart, and in the hearts of everyone around me.

Send Clowns
17th Sep 2001, 03:53
The evil that seems to have begotten this act lies not in the core of Islam, but in a terrible distortion of the teachings of the Prophet. The terrible distortion is varied and is seen in different forms in different groups around the world, all of whom can legitimately be labelled moslem fundamentalists. All of these see their view as the truth, adn the only truth.

This is however only part of the story. There is nothing inherently worse about moslem fundamentalism than any other fundamental religious belief. These are all similar distortions of the widely-accepted religions. Christian fundamentalists still are willing to destroy other peoples minds and lives for their view of 'god'. We see the disgusting behaviour of fundamentalists towards those that disagree with them even here on Jet Blast. I understand even buddhism has had its fundamentalists, Huggy, though I agree with the sentiment. I would choose a pagan sect that holds the tenet 'Harm none, do what you will' were I to choose religion, though I do not really hold to the passifism of that statement.

The major difference in fundamentalism is that the corrupt commands of the mullahs instruct their followers to kill and accept their own deaths, whereas for example christianity, even fundamental, defines suicide as a sin, and most tend to political attacks, rather than terrorism. A lot more physical damage can be done if the perpetrator of a barbaric act intends to die, and their is a lot less that can be done to prevent that act. However some of the acts of US fundamentalist christians have done a lot of damage, psychologically and politically.

17th Sep 2001, 03:56
Once we see that humanity is basically evil and self-serving, it is only a small step further to see that that includes us - you and me. This is a great grief to me, and I hope to you also. It is to this situation that God rightly expresses his judgement upon us - that our evil will be punished - hell.

But it is to this situation that God also speaks his love, in that he sent his son, the God - man Jesus Christ, to take our punishment for us. Jesus was not evil, like us, but always considered others first, and always did the will of his father. He died on the cross to pay the price for our punishment, and rose triumphantly from the dead, conquering both evil and death. He is now in heaven, crowned the king of all creation, and will come again to judge on the last day.

All we need to do is trust Jesus, that his work was sufficient to secure our forgiveness and submit to his leadership, as king. This is Christianity. It is not that Christians aren't evil because of what they believe. We are just like everyone else, except we are forgiven. It is an offer open to all.

The bible's teaching at this time is to overcome evil with good - and to seek justice. All those who call for Islam to be turned into a glass carpark do not speak in accordance with the bible.

Send Clowns
17th Sep 2001, 04:01

Do you not see that at the centre of the control that these groups have over their followers is the same 'our view is right, all others are wrong' that you express? You express it with equal lack of evidence that your view is any closer to the truth than Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism or Sikhism.

I won't try to persuade you to my atheist view, as that would be hypocritical, but please do not make bald statements that the truth is in your particular myth, rather than in someone elses or in the theories of science. That is how this whole thing started.

17th Sep 2001, 04:37
I can't believe that either God or the Devil had any part to play in the recent appalling events.

There are just people - some with good in thier hearts and others with evil.

But it's all just people.

That's the really sad part - humans did this. Humans like any of us - but who for whatever reason have allowed fear, loathing and insecurity to fester into hatred.

Let's do whatever we can to keep from going down that road ourselves. :(

17th Sep 2001, 05:21
Guy, mate,

I'm not a Christian myself, but I have to say that your morally exclusive views don't look like those of the good honourable christians I know, respect and love for their humanity and beliefs. This line about the bible being the only source of truth is divisive, dangerous nonsense, I suppose you believe that fossils are the devil's creation, intended to make us doubt the truth of the Biblical account of creation?

Could we not just agree that this was evil and obscene, and that people of all religions (and none) will know this simply by listening to their consciences. Surely to god we don't need a degree in theology to recognise this barbarity as being evil?

Your posts don't do the Christian faith any favours, Guy.

17th Sep 2001, 09:42
Send Clowns,

At the centre of control of these groups has been the deceitful teaching that one is guaranteed heaven if they kill themselves while harming the 'infidels' at the same time.

Denying that anyone can know the truth and claiming that all is relative does not guarantee that people will behave in a self-efacing generous way. How lost are we all if no-one can know the truth?

17th Sep 2001, 17:05
Guy, your claim that all are basically evil and self-seeking belies the goodness of ordinary people, many who risk their lives all the time without thought for their own salvation, from atheist, agnostic, pagan, Jewish, Buddist, Hindu, Muslim and Christian. From what I can see of fundamentalist belief, it is a guarantee that you will only be generous towards those of whom you approve and condemnatory of anyone outside that magic circle.

I do not need your God, nor your Bible to know how to act with goodness and compassion. I do not need to follow your path to heaven to know that what I do is right. I do not need your moral parameters to guide my ethics. I am not lost because I do not subscribe to your view.

There are evil men who would kill in the name of their God, their religion, their righteous belief in their cause - they are not only Islam fundamentalists. It does not make it less evil just because a Christian kills only others and not himself, or that the act kills or harms only a few.

Did you really think that anyone would agree this was not an evil act. OCB, someone as fundamental in his views, as trenchant in his belief in the Bible as you did state 'Death to Islam'. Is condemning millions to death an act of generosity or compassion from someone who has supposedly found Jesus and been saved by him. It is one step beyond that to carry out acts of terrorism - that you believe others deserve it.

I do not agree that the 'truth' is in the Bible, nor that all atrocities come from people who believe it is the way to heaven. However, if you believe that people are inherently evil, that is what you will see.

I do not believe that if these evil men became Christians and repented that they deserve forgiveness for their acts, nor that they should be welcomed into your heaven - as opposed to some atheist who acted with goodness all his life deserves hell and damnation. I do believe they should be held accountable no matter what they say or do subsequent to any act of evil.

I do not look through rose-coloured spectacles, but I believe that only by breaking the circle of violence can we gain peace and safety, not by retribution and vengeance.

Your truth is not absolute, my truth is not relative - they may well be the same and have the same ultimate outcome - but the difference is that I believe all are welcomed by God, not just a select few who happen to believe in a myth perpetrated by those who would control my very soul.

17th Sep 2001, 21:50
This is turning into another inspirational thread as sensible people try to grapple with the shock and revulsion of last week.

To say that “the truth is not in the Bible” is a fundamentalist statement which is surely just as divisive and wrong as the view that the Bible is the only truth. Surely, the whole of human experience contains much of the truth about God and man. The Bible is a unique story about one nation and how they painfully discovered the truth that God exists, that he is consistent, and that he is the source of love and holiness. (Yes Velvet, I believe that the love and goodness which is in ALL people is the God within each and every person –hijackers too.)

The Bible also tells us that the true love of God is seen when men lay down their lives for others and we have all been moved by the scenes of many doing just that in the last few days. We don’t need to question their religious or moral status before we acknowledge the goodness (godliness) of their actions. According to the Bible, this can only be exceeded when men lay down their lives for their enemies. The Bible gives this as an ideal for everything we do. None of us lives up to it - even those who end up in stained glass windows. Those who have got close to it, especially over a long life, have always inspired mankind to see the true nature of God. As a "fallen?" evangelical, I somehow don't think that many evangelical Christians(are you one, guy?)would readily see this quality in any non - Christian.

Any action which can be seen as truly selfless is inspiring and it is in the light of this inspiration that we should be considering our response to what is, yes, an evil act. I am just not sure that we can say that the people who did it are, on this basis, evil.

In a practical world we have to prevent evil acts which damage other people and, in our democracies, the laws are designed to do that. In the context of international terrorism, it seems to me that a more extreme and ruthless response is required. However, for me to be consistent, that response should be as clearly lacking in self interest (i.e. American interest) as is practically possible.

It is likely that we will be asking some of our servicemen to lay down their lives in the next few days or weeks. Do we not owe it to them to be sure of our intent?


Send Clowns
17th Sep 2001, 22:01

I never said no-one can know the truth, but no-one can know definitively that he knows the truth. You are right, we are lost. Realisation of this is the first step to enlightenment.

I said that you assume, like fundamentalists, that you know the truth and all who disagree must be wrong. You say that others must not know the truth simply because they do not accept your idea of the truth. It is a small step from this to accepting the deceitful teaching that heaven exists, so life on Earth matters little, and your religion and it's role as a key to 'heaven' is more important than other people's lives. It is a step that has been taken by christian fundamentalists, as you well know.

You don't know whether or not what you believe is truth. There is good, solid evidence that the bible is a collection of stories, some mythical, some allegorical and some historical. That is not the point of my post, it has been covered before in threads you contributed to, is immaterial here. The point is the bible has no more claim to truth than the Qu'ran (or Koran, however you prefer to transliterate) or the holy teachings of any other religion.

This is not my own original thought, but I would point out to you that we are both sceptics, I just believe in one fewer god than you do. Until you can show why your god is more real than any other then you cannot try to present your myths as more valid than theirs, let alone try to challenge scientific explanations.

Bally Heck
18th Sep 2001, 02:45
I think that the point is being missed here. People of all religions are capable of evil. Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, etc. etc. can all hang their heads in shame.

Religion may have given the perpetrators of this weeks events a bit of encouragement insofar as they thought they might have been off to a life of shagging 72 virgins for eternity because of their evil deed. I like to think they will be standing on their heads in a pool of faeces. I believe they are in oblivion.

However, religion is not the cause of these events. Humanity is. In this case, probably the plight of Palestinians. Now I like most other people see the Middle East as a far off problem that belongs to someone else. However, in my earlier post on this thread I posted:

“More than 350 ****s, including nearly 100 children, were killed mostly through excessive use of lethal force by **** security services.”

Well, this quote is from Amnesty International and the blanks are Palestinians and Israeli. If you push people hard enough, they will, if they can, resort to more and more desperate measures. Including mass murder and suicide. We have to attack these causes if we are to live in a safe world. Capture and kill Bin Laden and if you don't fix the cause, more and more Bin Ladens will appear.

I take no sides in the Arab Israeli conflict. I wish they could live in peace. I certainly don't want a total reversal of the situation with Israeli "terrorists" and Palestinian "security forces". The problem however must be addressed or we will all continue to suffer the consequences.

(With apologies if my perceptions of the cause of these events turns out to be wrong)

"Whatever it is that the Government does, sensible Americans would prefer that the Government does it to somebody else. This is the idea behind foreign policy" (P.J O'Rourke)

18th Sep 2001, 04:04

I'm not saying that people don't do good things Velvet. Deep down I believe we all know what is right, and that we do occasionally act selflessly only goes to show that we have no excuse when we act in our self-interested, evil ways.

You know nothing about my life and yet you have already determined how I act just because of my views on the bible. I do my best not to apply a 'magic circle' approach to relationships, and have many strong friendships with those who do not share my beliefs.

At no time have I claimed that a Christian is less evil than anyone else. At no time have I justified murder on the basis of any religious belief. If you read my posts you will also see that I don't claim anyone deserves forgiveness. That is the amazing thing about the gospel. No-one deserves it. If they did, it wouldn't be forgiveness. God forgives any who come to him.

I agree whole heartedly with the statement, 'I do not believe that if these evil men became Christians and repented that they deserve forgiveness for their acts, nor that they should be welcomed into your heaven - as opposed to some atheist who acted with goodness all his life deserves hell and damnation. I do believe they should be held accountable no matter what they say or do subsequent to any act of evil.' At no time does the bible say anything that contradicts this statement. Unfortunately the theoretical athiest who only ever acts with goodness is as fake as the theoretical Christian who only acts with goodness. All are accountable and all who call on God are freely forgiven, despite the fact that they don't deserve it.

'Your truth is not absolute, my truth is not relative'. What are you saying here. What is the alternative?

Our beliefs are mutually exclusive. I believe the bible. You believe the bible is wrong. Our beliefs are mutually exclusive. Either one or both of us are wrong.

'How do you explain to a caterpillar that it can become a butterfly, and will, regardless of its current belief system?' How do you explain anything to a caterpillar? Jesus said that our eternal future depends on our relationship with him. Life after death is not a compulsory coccoon which all pass through into blissfull eternity. What proof could anyone come up with for that view? It's hard enough just to believe that their is life after death, let alone to reject one who tells us that it exists (ie Jesus), preferring instead our own ideas.

18th Sep 2001, 04:17

The bible says that Jesus has exceeded all our best actions by never committing evil acts and dying on the cross for the evil acts of the entire world. Yes, the bible calls all people to trust Jesus, and then follow his example, primarily by giving up our lives in the service of God and therefore ultimately others.

I am an evangelical Christian. As I've already said, people are capable of extraordinary selfless acts. People know what is good and how to do it. The sad part is that we don't do the good we know we should do.

Send Clowns,

The step toward violent acts is a huge step away from biblical teaching. To believe that the bible is true is to turn aside one's own life in the service of he who laid down his life for the world and to love others as you love yourself. True following of this teaching can never lead to the picking up of weapons to destroy the infidels. Why compare them? Why associate me with the terrorists?

How do scientific explanations have anything to do with this? What experiment will you run to test if God exists?

Bally Heck
18th Sep 2001, 04:46

At then risk of getting off thread, people who choose to believe, tend to believe what they are conditioned to believe. For example, if the Archbishop of Canterbury or for that matter the Pope had been born in a Muslim country, they would have been Mullahs or Ayatolahs. And of course vice versa.

We are all products of our environment. I choose not to believe because I like to think I am a free thinker. I question everything. Others choose to follow what they are fed as children or young adults.

I follow the same principles in politics, morality and every other facet of my life.

The Bible, like the Koran says a lot of things which can be interpreted as one pleases. Not too keen on Revelations I have to say.

OK, bottom line. I don't have too much respect for the intellectual reasoning of those who accept without question the existence of something that there is no evidence for. Did I say no evidence loudly enough. Probably not. But you will continue to be taken in by an instrument of control used for years by leaders and despots.

"We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another" (Jonathon Swift)

Clever these guys who do quotes. :confused:

Send Clowns
18th Sep 2001, 21:58

There is only a very small step from the bible techings to teachings of violence. The bible describes a people at times violent and warlike, with a violent, easily-angered deity. I understand that if anything it is a smaller step than that from Islamic teachings to violence. True following of Islam never lead to the picking up of weapons to kill people, whereas yuor god commands execution of non-believers directly, I believe.

To infer a connection between your own religious fervence and that of Islamic terrorists you must have understood that connection, as I did not make it directly. That connection is the absolute refusal to accept that someone else may be right even though they disagree with you and even though you have no evidence for your viewpoint, and the belief that afterlife is more important than life, therefore life can be discarded in the name of religion.

I never claimed there was evidence against the existence of a god, only against the veracity of the biblical myths. Please read any post you are criticising, as it makes these discussions easier. I can use science and a little philosophy to prove that the bible is not absolute truth, but that is not the point of this (your) thread, and as you would not believe me seems a little pointless.

(Oh, and science is not experiments. It is observation and interpretation, prediction and testing of predictions, perhaps of experiments but not necessarily)

19th Sep 2001, 00:17

Just interested, but is the bible the actual authentic word of god, or merely human witness to God's teachings? In other words does it proclaim the whole truth - is everything it says true - or is some of it allegorical. C'mon mate, tell us where you stand on creation in seven days, 4,000-odd years ago, Adam and Eve, evolution etc. and we'll know whether to waste any more time arguing with you.

Send Clowns
19th Sep 2001, 01:31

I was not generally talking about the New Testament, though actually Jesus is said to have proclaimed that he had come to the world to bring strife and turn family against each other. You have no reason to believe Jesus was non-violent, as his history is written only by his supporters, and to use a cliche 'they would say that, wouldn't they?'.

I did not say Jesus had commanded that unbelievers should die - another Old Testament one, I understand it crops up in more than one place (the research I must admit is not my own - check out http://www.landoverbaptist.org/news0601/biblepunishment.html a very funny site in any case). Exciting stuff? I would say disgusting, horrifying and immoral, very much equivalent to the behaviour of Bin Laden. In fact I can't see the difference.

I never said the bible says life can be discarded in the name of religion (though it relates with approval many such incidants, and there are 'godly' commands to this effect). I said that people believe in the afterlife, and that it is more important than this life, therefore that life is less important than the religion necessary to reach the afterlife. This is why they can kill and die in the name of religion, as christians and moslems and most other faiths have been doing for years. Remember no-one ever killed for atheism, nor did many die for it.

My argument was that the bible does not hold the definitive truth and that its teachings are violent, not that Jesus was violent. I am not at all sure he even existed.

Please actually read my posts, not assume what you think I want to say.

19th Sep 2001, 03:45
Bally Heck,

You are very condescending. Basically you are saying that I only believe because I was brought up to believe. I forgive you friend.

There is plenty of evidence for what I believe. I do not believe without questioning. There is so much evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ that if you were to do a moderate amount of research, read both sides of the argument, than you would have little choice but to either believe or reject the facts. No-one who doesn't want to believe, however, bothers to check the facts. Did I say check the facts loud enough?

An orthodox rabbi looked into the facts about Jesus resurrection. His conclusion was that without reasonable doubt Jesus rose from the dead. His name is Pinktus Lapeed (sp?) and the name of his book is 'The Resurrection'. (I think). If anyone had an agenda not to believe it was him.

19th Sep 2001, 03:55

The bible is the word of God. It's message is true. It uses different literary types to convey its message. ie. poetry, narrative, apocalyptic prophecy, etc.

I do not hold that creation has to be seven 24 hour periods, but I don't hold unservingly to a purely evolutionary explanation to the existence of the world either. I can't see why creation couldn't have happened in a shorter time then seven twenty four hour periods. I think that the time God took to create the world is irrelevant to the message of the bible, but is an interesting debate nonetheless. I believe Adam and Eve were real people. And most importantly I believe Jesus Christ physically rose from the dead.

I don't know whether this means you'll need to waste time arguing with me. Does this mean you're going to lay down what you believe now as well?

19th Sep 2001, 05:01
I think I'd have to say that, based on that, there's not a lot of point arguing with you, guy.

You may recall all the fun we had with OCB back when he was trying to argue the exact literal (or literalistic) truth of the Bible. However, I think it was established to the satisfaction of everybody but him (and, it seems, you) that the Bible cannot be nothing but truth from cover to cover.

If you would like a recap on such subjects as:-

Where did Cain get his wife?
How did all the animals fit in the Ark?
How did Noah stop some animals killing and eating other animals?
Why is it not possible to cover all the surface of the Earth with water?
etc etc, I am sure there are people less tired of the preaching and unintelligent, unreasoning, blinkered nonsense from religious fundamentalists than I am.

PS:- Incidentally, according to the Bible, God created the world in six days, not seven.

[ 19 September 2001: Message edited by: HugMonster ]

19th Sep 2001, 05:21
Send Clowns,

If the time is taken to read the bible in its context then you will see that it does not teach violence to Christians. The majority of the quotes in your website come from Old Testament teaching to the nation-state Israel. God has a new agreement now, which includes both Jew and non-Jew, which his old agreement with Israel pointed towards. In his new agreement, God does everything we need to forge relationship with him, our obligations are to trust him (have faith) and repent from our rebellion to him (stop rebelling and seek to do his will). God's will is that we love one another as he has loved us. How has he loved us? He gave his life that we might live. So Christians hold their lives very cheaply, so that they can give them in the service of others. (Of the New Testament passages, one refers to the afterlife, ie. judgement after death, and the other is an angel talking to Zechariah.)

"My argument was that the bible does not hold the definitive truth and that its teachings are violent, not that Jesus was violent." The teaching of the bible is to imitate Jesus. We are arguing what the bible says here. The bible does not say that we should be violent.

Please provide us the proof that Jesus was violent. Given that the only eye-witness acount of Jesus we have is from his followers, you will be doing well to disregard it completely in favour of some other, more concrete proof.

"I am not at all sure he even existed." Your arguments are two centuries old. Modern anti-Christian scholars have conceded all the points that you currently hold against the bible.

I hate to repost your words, but you keep claiming I'm not reading what you have said. I quote, "There is only a very small step from the bible techings to teachings of violence. The bible describes a people at times violent and warlike, with a violent, easily-angered deity. I understand that if anything it is a smaller step than that from Islamic teachings to violence. True following of Islam never lead to the picking up of weapons to kill people, whereas yuor god commands execution of non-believers directly, I believe."

The bible describes Israel in the Old Testament. It also describes the early church. The early church exhibited none of the violence reported in the OT. The bible teaches self-sacrificing love for your neighbour. On the other hand, the Koran direcly teaches that the faithful, when called to war, are to pick up their weapons and fight. I have read the Koran. Repeatedly Mohammed calls his supporters to pick up arms and fight against the infidels, and condemns those not willing to do so. True following of Islam was founded by a series of battles. Christianity was founded on the sacrificial death of one man, and subsequent resurrection, followed by four centuries of persecution, often to the point of death, of all the followers of Jesus. All of this information is clearly available to anyone willing to look at the facts.

19th Sep 2001, 05:32

Everyone loves to hack on Genesis. The fact is that we just don't know about these details. Genesis was written a long time ago, by people who did not conform to our rules of recording history. It also describes a world that we cannot relate to. For example, who has lived for 600 years recently?

Are people really grappling with working out that the bible is true, or are they just trying to dismiss it with whatever argument fits their cause? The people in the latter category will never be happy with any answer, or any amount of evidence. The jury has made its decision before the evidence has been presented. There are just as many holes in the evolutionist account of the beginning of the world. Science does not drive us to conclude that God does not exist. Science came out of Christian doctrine. Some of the assumptions under which science operates are based on teachings from the bible. Without these assumptions science could not operate.

The greatest evidence for the truth of the bible, though, lies in the overwhelming evidence that Jesus rose from the dead. This evidence only ever gets looked at, however, by people in the former category. Most people, who fit into the latter category, refuse to look at the evidence, because they already have decided that it's all a lie. Which do you fit into?

19th Sep 2001, 06:24
I have several times laid out my beliefs. But, if you're genuinely interested, I'll do so again.

I am a believing Christian. I have no specific church. I was brought up as a catholic, but other doctrines have modified my beliefs, and my personal views and practices now include elements from several other areas, the Society of Friends being a significant influence.

As far as the Bible is concerned, I believe that a lot of it is true, as far as the writers were aware. Much of it is oral tradition. Consider, for example, that in the time of Abraham was during what I was taught in school to call the "Bronze Age". Not much writing went on then. So, oral tradition and story-telling accounts for much of the earier parts of the Old Testament. Oral tradition, of course, is notoriously unreliable.

Parts of the Bible are parables. They are used to provide merely a mental handle on God's love for us, and not intended to be analysed scientifically, since the events related did not actually happen. I include among these much of Genesis. I refuse to believe anyone was ever capable of living 600 years. I refuse to believe the literal existence of Adam and Eve, since the inescapable conclusion is that Cain's wife was either his sister or his mother.

I believe that much of the laws and instructions given in the Old Testament were specific for a people then, and not necessarily to be taken as God's instructions to mankind for ever afterwards. For example, the dietary laws (by the way, do you keep those?) make a lot of sense - refraining from shellfish and pork, for example - provided that food hygiene was not brilliant, especially if you're wandering around a desert for 40 years. Now that we understand what gives us food poisoning, I am quite happy to order a prawn cocktail. Some of the rules make sense even now - for example, the rules on how close a relative one could marry. Inbreeding was understood even then.

I suspect that these laws were not laid down by God, but worked out by men, and that they somehow later found their way into Holy Writ.

Much of what we now call the Books of the Prophets were not actually foretelling events yet to come, but were stories of what had happened in the past. It is not inconceivable that people later found a close parallel in then current events and what had been "prophesied", and the prophesy becomes "true". A lot of Nostradamus has been twisted to fit later events, if you'd like a more modern equivalent. Are you aware, for example, of whom the Prophet was referring to when he said (from memory - sorry, it's late and I can't be bothered to go downstairs and fetch a Bible) "He was like a thing despised, rejected by men ... surely he has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows"? Answers, please, on a postcard...

I believe that God does not want blind faith, and blind obedience. I believe he want us to search for Him with not only our hearts, but our minds as well, to see Him where He is. I believe that anyone who blindly follows others (include, if you like, the Nicaean Council) is laying a trap for himself, and for others. I will not look for God where others tell me. I will look for (and find) God where I see His work. Therefore, I believe that anyone who maintains that the Bible is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth has closed his eyes and his mind to everything and will miss God in many of His embodiments. He has closed his mind to scientists' attempts to understand God's creation and how God made it, capable of development and evolution. (Have you any idea why humans have an appendix?) He has closed his mind to the ways that God can work through the studies of scientists.

Science can never prove the existence of God. It can never, either, prove His non-existence. We can't even figure out much of this world. How can we ever encompass God? To claim that all the truth is in the Bible is a monstrous arrogance, and limits the relationship that other people can have with God.

[ 19 September 2001: Message edited by: HugMonster ]

19th Sep 2001, 13:33

Rather than continue the age old arguments about what is in the Bible it might be helpful if you could explain your justification for claiming it to be “the Word of God” and what exactly you mean by that. I have spent more than twenty years as an active member of various evangelical churches and can hear the old me in everything you say. In this time I have experienced myself the many inconsistencies there are in evangelical teaching. I have also watched many good friends adjust their theology, either when they have taken up theological studies, or when they have had to face the reality of the impact of these inconsistencies in their personal lives. If you are a hardened evangelical I think I can also predict your response to that.

The usual response by hardened evangelicals to these inconsistencies is to argue that you have to accept everything because once you start to leave things out, the whole thing falls apart. I have never met an evangelical who in some areas will compromise his belief that the Bible is the literal Word of God when it suits him. This can vary from things like making sure your women cover their heads while praying, to their attitude to the death of a loved parent or child who was not, in their view, a believer. Any theological scholarship will weaken this fundamental view and it seems to me that the evangelical sector of the church is weak in this area.

Having said all that, I still believe that, when the chips are down, I have a better chance of finding the true love of God in an evangelical church than anywhere else. Maybe I am also more likely to find judgement too. In other branches of the Christian church I have found a depth of Bible based spirituality which, because it is also God based, is truly loving, non-judgemental and much more tolerant of the “truth or God” they see in other people.

Guy, throughout your discussions, you have tended to take the typical evangelical attitude of distancing yourself from those who agree with you, by quoting your unique authority, The Bible. Please grace us with your explanation for this authority.

Send Clowns
19th Sep 2001, 21:49
:D Guy, dear boy, if you don't see the gaping inconsistencies and deep falacies in what you say this is not the forum for pointing them out. You have gone right off the subject of your own topic already. I will point out that I was referring to the bible, as you said the truth was there. I was not referring primarily to Jesus. The majority of the bible relates to before Jesus, so does not teach imitation of Jesus, as it's early readers had no-one to imitate! Read your own posts and mine.

To answer that, yes I see this as an evil act, but with no religious meaning to the term evil. I just mean it was very, very wrong. I believe the act was made possible by the fundamentalism, arrogance and intolerance of the perpetrators and planners. I see these characteristics in many of various faiths, but mostly in the world we see from christians and muslims. I see fundamentalism and arrogance in some of your posts, though only mild intolerrance (before you accuse me of arrogance, remember most of us are pilots, and pilots are arrogant. I however do not consider pride to be a deadly sin).

The Guvnor
20th Sep 2001, 01:45
All religions preach peace, love and happiness.

Why is it then that religion is the biggest cause of conflict throughout history?

Christians, Muslims and Jews have common roots - we're all "People of the Book". Yet that doesn't stop them all from doing their utmost to kill each other.

The fundamentalists of any hue are the worst - with their pious "God's on my side and since you don't agree with my interpretation of the Bible/Torah/Koran I'm going to kill you to prove it".

If God hasn't given up on this pitiful little planet in disgust, He must be pretty p1ssed off with all of those people who are doing unto others before they get it done unto them - rather than living by the rules that were established all those millenia ago.

Pretty good rules they were, too - and interestingly used by every known religion in one form or another.

Bally Heck
20th Sep 2001, 01:47

Yes I am afraid I am a bit condescending. Can’t help it. In mans brief time on this planet, he has created a million gods. But he can’t create a maggot. Evidence of Christ’s resurrection is at best apocryphal. History is the desired interpretation of the historian.

Evidence for the existence of a god is nil. Military leaders have always encouraged religion in their armies because it makes it easier for the troops to die. Adolf Bin Laden uses the same tactics.

The standard argument for the existence of a god is that “something” must have created us. The perpetrators of this argument do not apply it to the alleged creator. Therefore theire argument fails the most basic scientific principle of consistency.

If you had been born in Iraq or Iran or Saudi Arabia sir, you would be a Muslim. In India a Hindu and in Indo China perhaps a Budhist. You, in common with a large number of very learned, very clever and very good people, (and sometimes very bad people) manage to suspend your critical faculties when discussing religion.

I am not clever enough to understand quantum physics or the big bang theory. But it sound much more intellectually attractive than choosing one of many many myths and legends available to believe in.

tony draper
20th Sep 2001, 02:06
I've never understood why people don't worship the Sun, if a large percentage of people need something outside themselves to direct prayers at and worship and it appears that they do, why not worship the Sun it is the real lifegiver,our very bodies are made of the same stuff star stuff.
Of course it will be as completely indifferent to your prayers as any other man made god,but what the hell it warms you,it is highly visible.
We could make up a new holy book devoid of supersticion and the usual nonesence and a set of rules to live by more applicable to the 21 first century.
Most important of all, no priests mullahs,vicars, rabbi's,or holy men of any sort.

20th Sep 2001, 02:18
You say (to Guy)"You in common with a large number of very learned, very clever and very good people, (and sometimes very bad people) manage to suspend your critical faculties when discussing religion."

Surely the flaw in that proposition is that it's based upon your opinion that they came to the wrong conclusion? Circular reasoning?

Perhaps, being very learned and very clever, they did apply their critical faculties and came to the conclusion there is a God.
And, after exploring further, came to the conclusion that Jesus not only existed, but was the son of God.

Is that a possibility you've considered and rejected?

[ 19 September 2001: Message edited by: Hoverman ]

20th Sep 2001, 02:41
Tony, would sun block be considered the work of the devil? Sun glasses an instrument of evil? What would happen to the people of the northern climes during extended periods of darkness.

Needs a little work.

tony draper
20th Sep 2001, 03:39
See, we already have a rift, the sunblock heresy shall be stamped out and we shall return our bretheren to the path of richousness with the sword. ;)

Bally Heck
20th Sep 2001, 03:53

Granted, that is a possibility. That is why I am an agnostic rather than an athiest. However, I have yet to see any evidence.

But tell me Hoverman, which of the large number of very learned, very clever and very good people are correct. Is it the Christians and if so which denomination. Or is it the Muslims, and if so which denomination. Or the Budhists, tree worshipers? Druids perhaps? Satan afficionados? Thor? Jupiter? Jesus? Mohammed? David Koresh? Adolph Bin Laden even?

Show me the proof! I warn you that I have taken Jehovah's Witnesses into my home. Listened to their case. Presented them with logical and tenable counter arguments and had them leave under their own steam scratching their heads. A first?

Tony. As ever you have cut to the quick. The sun, trees or carrots. All are necessary to a greater or lesser extent to support life on earth. More so than faith and the promise of an afterlife.

I believe it was Bertrand Russell who said that religion in most of it's forms was the belief that the gods are on the side of the government. And old Bertrand was a very wise and learned man. (And an Atheist)

"So many Gods, So many creeds.
So many paths that wind and wind.
While just the art of being kind,
Is all the sad world needs"

tony draper
20th Sep 2001, 04:15
I came to the conclusion that the human race is collectivly insane years ago.
Small groups can be every thing that all religions advocate, altruistic, kind, careing compassionate,unselfish get them together in numbers and they achive some kind of critical mass and turn in to a bunch of bastards.
I also believe that somewhere deep down in the human phyche, that individuals know that the stuff they believe is probably not true, they derive comfort from worshiping in large goups because it brings comfort to know that others also pretend to believe the same flawed superstition as themselves.
Perhaps this helps explain the deep hatred between peoples that say they believe in the same god but worship in slightly different ways, no straying from the path can be allowed or the whole edifice collapses.

Sorry I didn't word that very well ,what I mean is if only people would worship whatever gods they follow quietly and preferable alone, this world might be a much happier place.

[ 19 September 2001: Message edited by: tony draper ]

20th Sep 2001, 04:37
Hoverman, if they came to that conclusion based solely on a book, which of itself cannot provide proof, but is held up as the proof that it is right, then no they cannot be considered as objective. They have suspended belief, for their belief is what they are told is true, with no independent, nor verifiable external evidence.

There is nothing wrong with accepting on faith that the Bible is the word of their God, but to insist that it is the only true path to heaven and that God wrote it is so self-evidently flawed as to defy logic.

It is not the belief in God, but the insistence that the Bible be accepted as true, merely because it says so within the Bible. Now that's circular reasoning.

If you accept it, you have to accept that the world started around 4004BC and that after the deluge Noah and his family spread civilisation across the world within a couple of hundred years including somehow sailing to Australia and America (with a boat load of unique flora and fauna).

When you deny all the evidence which proves much of the bible false, and insist that only you are right then yes I think one can say with confidence that you have suspended belief.

Tony, does that mean that we would have to worship on a Sun day.

tony draper
20th Sep 2001, 04:44
We will of course have a dress code, young ladies between the ages of 18 to 26 must not cover their bodies from the rays of the great one, this will be ridgidly enforced ,hey I'm starting to enjoy laying down these laws,see the road to hell is indeed paved with good intentions. ;)

Bally Heck
20th Sep 2001, 05:14

Juat read Send Clowns link at http://www.landoverbaptist.org/news0601/biblepunishment.html

I'm outta here.

If you don't hear from me tommorow you'll know I was wrong.

Tony, I like your last post. I am a Sun worshipper.

"It is the final proof of God's omnipotence that he need not exist in order to save us " (I hope)

20th Sep 2001, 05:43

Word of God. By this I mean that although the bible was written by human authors the ultimate author of the bible was God. This information is primarily gained from within the bible itself. It is a position held by Jesus Christ. It is taught by the disciples. The bible is also a unique book. It is a collection of writings over a one thousand year period by very different authors, which contains a strong unifying theme. Where we can check the bible against other historical evidence its record stands up well.

Now, most of you will no doubt say 'Aha! A circular argument. You are using the bible to prove it is the word of God!' But what do you demand as proof that something is the word of God? Do you want God to tell you that its his word? Will you believe that subsequent word of God? Besides, God has already arrived on the scene and told us clearly that it is so. His name: Jesus Christ. Jesus unashamably claims divine authorship for the scriptures. He also promises the Holy Spirit to write the New Testament through the apostles.

BTW pulse1, thanks for the support.

20th Sep 2001, 05:56

Thanks. I don't keep the dietary laws. I read the bible as it is written. If one reads it from cover to cover, one understands that dietary laws "do not taste, do not touch" are no longer in force for Christians. I think Jesus has a lot to instruct us in our use of the bible. He believed the OT accounts, and he knew the truth. He claimed the prophecies in the OT were about him. One must be careful what they make of the OT because it has implications on the nature of Jesus Christ.

I have never claimed that all the truth is in the bible, but that the bible is the truth. That will therefore be naturally limiting on anything inconsistent with the truth revealed in the bible. But one can gain truth apart from the bible. To put words like that in my mouth is to make me sound like a fundamentalist lunatic. I'm sure you didn't mean it that way. ;)

I am growing a little tired of the Nicaean Council conspiracy theories. If people check into the facts they will see no decisions about the content of the bible were made at the council. It was purely to decide on doctrinal issues - teachings from the bible. These teachings are summed up in the Nicaean creed.

I'm happy for science to do its work. I think it's great. I suspect when people try to use science to disprove the existence of God, though, they are waisting their time and money.

20th Sep 2001, 06:01
So, guy, just so as I can get your position clear in my head...

If anything disagrees with the Bible, it must be false?

Bally Heck
20th Sep 2001, 06:08
You Guy are a lost cause. I however will listen to the voice of reason. I would love to believe. It makes life so much simpler. But you give me the same nonsense I've heard before so many times before. Answer the challenges man. Make me believe. Convince me!! You have not answered a single question. I want my life to be as simple and as easy as yours.

PS. After the events of the last week, with so many events in the name of God, Allah or whatever, you are going up a very steep hill in top gear.

[ 20 September 2001: Message edited by: Bally Heck ]

20th Sep 2001, 06:18
Send Clowns,

The 'majority of the bible', by which you mean the OT I assume, is the Jewish Scriptures. Do you see no difference between Jews and Christians? I wonder what the Jews would say about such an association. If you would then grant us the teachings of Jesus (very generous of you ;) ), then you would see that Jesus teaches (among many other things) firstly that the OT is all about him and secondly that the moral code for Christians is the imitation of Christ. Ask me and I will quote the relevant verses. (Most people on this forum are deeply allergic to quotes from the bible. If you are one then you'll just have to take my word for it. Maybe I can give a link to a site that has quotes.)

So to summarise your argument, Send Clowns, there really is no difference between the terrorists and me, except that they are more intolerant. That's a rather crude argument, not to mention a little insulting. I forgive you as well.

Evil always has a moral element. Whenever anyone claims a moral judgement they must have a basis to do so. What is your moral basis to claim this act as evil?

Bally Heck
20th Sep 2001, 06:22
Looking on the bright side, the fortunate part of the world which thinks, is becoming more and more Godless. Looking on the dark side, the part which doesn't, isn't.

Is Islam going through what Christianity went through around the times of the crusades, or the Spanish inquisition, or the witch hunts.

Isn't it funny that the most God fearing country in the western world is the one that practises capital punishment the most.

"Vengeance is mine said the lord" or something. :confused:

20th Sep 2001, 06:22

You seem pretty happy to bundle all religions together and claim they basically say the same thing. I have heard it said that anyone who does that has not looked very hard at the world's religions. Even claiming that all religions teach 'peace, love and happiness' is demonstrably false. Most of the time I find people who say this just want an excuse to ignore religion altogether. I trust this is not the case for you. ;)

20th Sep 2001, 06:35
Bally Heck,

Please explain what you mean by 'apocryphal'. I take it, if you're willing to throw away all the written history of the ancient world along with the evidence of Christ's resurrection. It all fits into exactly the same categories.

When one does not want to believe in God one is never convinced by any evidence. If God is true (use your imagination if you have to ;) ) then the evidence of his existence is all around us, since he created everything and sustains everything he has created, even life.

There have been some notably large armies that have discouraged religion. eg. the Nazis, USSR, China. They are upright examples of restraint for us all. I think you may mean Osama Bin Laden, in lieu of Adolf. (Or this may be a play on names which I have geekily misunderstood).

By your creator argument, scientific explanations of the beginning of the universe also fail the basic scientific principle of consistency.

If I had been born in a Muslim country who knows what I would have believed. I know of people in those countries though that have become Christian, some of whom payed for their beliefs with their life. (ie. they were killed for becoming Christians). You are pretty much guaranteed to at least be exiled from your family and friends.

Of course quantam physics and the big bang theory sound intellectually actractive. No-one wants to believe in God, because then they would be accountable to him. They might even have to hand over control of their lives. What is more important than intellectual attractiveness is truth. And lets be frank - the big bang theory is just as equally unlikely to be true as the most scathing attack on Genesis, not to mention the fact that it still does not prove that God does not exist.

20th Sep 2001, 06:39
Hoverman :)

Bally Heck,

Your argument is very clever. Basically you say that there are so many different beliefs in this world, so many different people claiming to have the truth that no-one can possibly know. Or worse still, that there is no truth, that it is all wrong.

This completely ignores the nature of truth, however. Something is not less true because of a certain percentage of people who don't believe it. Truth is not compromised by mass unbelief. Truth is identified by revelation and investigation, not by a survey. You ask for proof, but are you willing to do research? Do you really want proof, or do you just want us to go away, like your JW friends?

20th Sep 2001, 06:43

Your argument is inconsistent. You are happy for people to believe that the bible is the word of God, but not willing to have people believe that God wrote it.

Please explain how you would go about deciding if a document was the word of God. (Feel free to read my previous post to pulse1 on the topic as well).

20th Sep 2001, 06:51

Your intelligence does you credit. If the bible is true, then anything that contradicts it is false. Simple logic.

Let me pre-emptively strike before you start going on about Genesis. Like I said before, we cannot relate to both the world and the literature from those times. Ok, now you can start.

bubba zanetti
20th Sep 2001, 07:32
I have always recoiled at the characterization of any thing as "evil". It implies an aspect beyond human control and is, as such, an abdication of control and socialized norms.
These acts are behaviour, for which we are all ( save a few loonies, who should be locked up until there is a cure ) responsible for our behaviour.

What you have now is "Corruption" ( the west ) vs. "Evil" ( Islam ) sounds like the scripting for a bloody holy war.
In reality it is about power, politics and a lust for control and domination. "Barbaric yes, even an attrocity of the highest order. That describes acts and behaviour. I think evil has nothing to do with it and is more a symptom of America's own self portrayal than anything.

Bally Heck
20th Sep 2001, 07:55
Hi Guy

I agree with you completely. Truth is not compromised by mass disbelief. But what makes your truth the correct truth.

Don't get me wrong. I am not out to destroy your God, or your belief system. But in a democratic society your God is slipping into second place compared to Allah. (Who apparently is the same God) (But how can they be?)

My current belief system denies both. I think I am a Humanist. We (Humanists) Don't (by definition) screw anyone up.

Dark Knight
20th Sep 2001, 08:21
When the Leaders of Islamic countries and their Religious Leaders issue Fatwa condemming this and similar Evil acts; agree to join the fight to stamp out terrorism and associated ills then, and only then, will I begin to be convinced.

20th Sep 2001, 17:14

Yes, you have used a circular argument and no, I do not want proof that the Bible is the Word of God. I wanted you to tell us what authority YOU had for telling us that it was.

I certainly agree that it is a unique book and that it has a strong unifying theme which, as far as I understand it, is to some extent consistent with the basic themes of several other major religions, which are also based on mans’ discovery of the nature of God, however imperfect they all may be, distorted by centuries of translation and self interest. I know here you might jump in and claim that Jesus said “The Word” was perfect, but scholarship through the ages has shown that such a simplistic, literal interpretation of that is difficult to apply to the King James or any other version of the Bible. Surely, He was the Word and was perfect.

The arguments, such as on this forum, have been going on for centuries and will, no doubt, continue for the rest of time. Every one believes what, at the time, they want to believe. Because of this, our beliefs are based on our deep, individual needs and, at this level, must be a very personal thing. When belief systems are dictated by the church, state or peer group pressure, as throughout history they have been, the problems start.

It is fairly obvious that what any of us wants to believe can be changed in an instant or over a whole lifetime. (This even seems to happen to evangelicals). There are countless testimonies to that. I suspect that few change their beliefs through the power of argument although that may be an important part of the process. The writings of people like C. S. Lewis are good examples of that.

The overall unifying theme of the Bible is that God exists and loves every single one of us whether we want it or not, and that not one of us deserves it.

Incidentally, I actually believe that this can be proved scientifically by any one who really wants to know the truth, not just as an academic issue, but as a basis for action.

Scientific method is based first on hypothesis, then on action based on the premise that the hypothesis is true. As long as experience is consistent with the hypothesis, you go on accepting that it is true.

Anyone I know who has had the courage to act on the hypothesis that God loves them, as they are, has quickly discovered that God is not a concept or idea, but is a very real, personal power who changes our desires to be more consistent with His, but in a way which is personal, and right for us. It is the start of a journey, not the end.

Send Clowns
20th Sep 2001, 21:44
Ah, Guy, in the same post you can twist around so many corners ...

I am happy to accept that the bible ascribes the meaning you put to Jesus. However, I am quoting you and you said that the truth is in the bible. Now you are saying that some of it should be ignored? Then you say that the bit we should ignore refers to Jesus?

If we should ignore it, then why was it written? If we should ignore the bits you no longer like, then why not ignore the rest?

These are just the most obvious of the dozen or so inconsistencies you have presented to us as some kinds of 'beautiful truth'.

Do not automatically take my comparrison of you with others as an insult - you have, I assume, never killed someone because you thought your religion more important than that person's life. The description is only insulting if you consider your fundamentalist, arrogant, intolerant view that your culturally-inspired belief is and must be the definitive truth to be a detrimental characteristic. That is all I ascribed to you. If you feel that this is an insult then you should perhaps change the way you approach interactions with other people.

(Hey, I notice you are even starting to talk about 'evidence' of Christ's resurection. Clearly you are making up your own meaning for the word evidence?)

21st Sep 2001, 04:29
Bubba, this was not a self-portrait of America, but of the twisted, evil minds of those men who murdered thousands of innocents.

Well guy, you can't pick and choose the bits of the Bible that support what you believe and then state categorically that the whole is the Word of God, that because you believe it true, it has to be so.

You cannot just dismiss the bits that don't make sense and still expect it to be accepted without question.

Do I remember you stating somewhere that you actually believed the Bible's chronology ie creation started 4004BC; do you believe that and if not, why not. Do you believe in the sons of God who came to earth and fancied the daughters of man (actually there should only have been one woman at that time); if not, why not? Do you really believe that Noah was able to repopulate the earth in a matter of a couple of hundred years, not only in Africa, Asia but America and Australia; if not, why not?

Do you really believe that God would plant evidence just to test your belief in the Bible; what a strange notion you have of God. Don't you think it odd that God couldn't manage to write a book that was at least consistent. Inconsistencies abound and not just in the old testament.

As there are many contradictions in the Bible, and it is a simple matter to find them, this would mean by your premise that the Bible is self-evidently false. Yes, Genesis is indeed a mass of contradictions including that there are two versions.

Once again we come to the core of your dilemma; you need proof of your God, but proof denies faith and so you look to support that faith by writings which state that God exists - so now you can rest easy, for you have proof. However, your proof is based on your faith in something that only exists because you believe it is the proof you search for.

Have you not thought that perhaps God would prefer that you found your own truth, not that of someone who wrote several thousand years ago. No, oh well, back to the Bible, it's such a comfort isn't it. Yes, I know we're such a trial to you, never mind if you keep hammering away you might someday get close to understanding.......... Not today though.

tony draper
21st Sep 2001, 04:44
I think the human race has a lemming gene inserted somewhere in our instruction set,that old mommy nature was one smart cookie.
There are six billion of us swarming over this tired old planet now, thats probably five billion more than nature intended.
No natural preditors for us humans, apart from disease, famine and war, in the west at least we have done away with two of them.
Mutually assured destruction held the other at bay for sixty years.
I tell you Draper aint optimistic right now.

[ 20 September 2001: Message edited by: tony draper ]

21st Sep 2001, 04:55
Here is some scary stuff

Sollogs Predictions (http://www.sollog.com)

I think I am more afraid of this guy than I like to admit, but his predictions are frightening.

21st Sep 2001, 05:05
Bally Heck,

That belief in the true God is slipping into second place for Allah worries me only for the sake of the people who do not believe. If no-one believed in God that would not make him cease to exist. I need say nothing about the influence of Islam, since people are already hating and abusing Muslims in our society, much to my dissapointment.

If you label yourself humanist, then you join a long and distinguished list, along with Hitler, Stalin and Mao. Make no mistake - humanist philosophy was the backbone of both the fascist and communist regimes. Humanism, in just one century, has stacked up an enormous death toll. Who would put their trust in human nature now anyway, given the shocking state that the world is in?

21st Sep 2001, 05:19
Along with those you label as "humanists", guy, would you like to add Petrarch, Dante, Cosima Di Medici, John Fisher and Bertrand Russell?

Your trick of trying to link evil to those beliefs that you feel threaten yours is no different from those numbskulls who are currently persecuting innocent peace-loving Muslims (and shooting Sikhs and Christian Egyptians) for the horrible acts committed by a few twisted lunatics. It is no different from OCB's cry of "Death to Islam", and no different from condemning the entirety of Christianity for the Crusades and the Inquisition.

Now, would you care to answer a few of Velvet's very astute questions, or are you simply going to continue twisting and turning, desperately trying to avoid the point?

21st Sep 2001, 05:22

The basic themes of the bible are to some extent shared with Judaism. Apart from that relationship, the basic themes of the bible differ greatly to the other religions of the world. For a very readable investigation of some of those differences check out Ravi Zacharias' "Jesus among other Gods".

The bible does not detail how man has discovered the nature of God, but rather that God has progressively revealed himself to man, that final revelation being in Jesus himself. Many people think that the bible is basically just about a set of rules to follow to be good. That would make it very much like the other religions. At the centre of the bible however is the assertion that humanity is beyond being good enough to please God, and that God himself has come to earth to do something about it. This is not shared in Islam, or hinduism or Buddhism. It is not shared in Judaism, even.

When Jesus refers to the truth of the OT he doesn't use 'The Word'. He says statements like 'Scripture cannot be broken', and 'As the Holy Spirit said, <OT quote>', and 'As God has said, <OT quote>'. Your claim that centuries of translation and self interest have distorted the bible is demonstrably false as well. Even basic archeology and textual historical research has upheld that the bible we read today is for all intents and purposes the bible that was written originally, especially the NT.

Congrats for jumping on this thread and taking the perilous stand of supporting Christianity. I hope you're finding this discussion helpful.

21st Sep 2001, 05:29
Send Clowns,

Let's twist again, like we did last summer...

Sorry, couldn't help it.

I'm not ignoring large portions of the bible. I think the OT is very important, and significant, especially in terms of our understanding the NT. But we must let the bible be its own interpreter. The OT has been interpreted for us in the NT. There we find out, for example, that the moral, cultural and ceremonial rules of the OT were an expression of God's nature, the nature of his people, and how they are to relate to him. This obviously points forward to JC, since he is God, is the perfect example for God's people and is the only way by which people may have access to God.

I do think that holding to an absolute truth, especially the correct one, is a very beneficial characteristic for an individual. Thank you for your description of me as 'fundamentalist, arrogant [and] intolerant'. It is very generous. You are entitled to your opinions. That does not sound like a very tolerant thing to say, though. (small bit of feedback)

21st Sep 2001, 08:28

For a response to the charge of picking and choosing parts of the bible, refer to my reply to Send Clowns.

Yet again all the attacks on Genesis come out. Like I have already said, we cannot relate to either the literature or the world of Genesis. I cannot give you easy and smug answers to all your questions, because there are no easy answers. We know very little about the world of Genesis. eg. we cannot relate to 600 year-olds and mists that rise to water the earth.

Genesis is a mass of contradictions with modern science, not within itself. I don't confess to being an expert on earth chronology, but I don't think that the answer has to be in terms of millions of years. I don't know who the 'sons of God' are, the bible does not say. Genesis is not always written in chronological order. eg. The line of Cain is fleshed out in detail, and then the line of Seth is reported after that, even though Seth came centuries before the last in the report of Cain's descendants.

Alas, I am but a lowly pilot. People, no doubt have answers to your questions. If you are serious about them, and they are not just the manifestation of unyielding scepticism, then I'm sure some research would yield more satisfactory results.

Have you not thought that perhaps God would prefer that you found your own truth

I quote this in full, because I think it is a rather strange thing to say. If God really does exist then why would he want me to find my 'own truth'. Wouldn't he want me to find out the truth about him? In fact, in this scenario, wouldn't my 'own truth' just be a self-deluded coccoon of lies and half-truths unless it was the truth? And if God has revealed himself in the bible, then wouldn't he be dissapointed if I decided to make up my own version of who he is and ignore his own self-declaration?

21st Sep 2001, 08:43

I throw those names in so that people no longer claim that when no-one believes in religion, the world would be a wonderful place. People have committed atrocities under every banner under the sun, yes including Christianity, and yes including humanism. I wish that all false religions would disappear, but not by me killing them. I wish they would all learn the truth and become Christian - not because it would make me feel any better, but it would be in the best interests of their eternal well-being.

I suspect Velvet's 'very astute questions' are asked with no intention to listen to very astute answers.

I assume the 'point' I am desparately trying to avoid is that you have to be a moron to take the bible seriously.

Bally Heck
21st Sep 2001, 10:16

Hitler, Stalin and Mao were certainly not humanists. They may have been Atheists although I believe Adolf was a Christian.

21st Sep 2001, 17:57

I hope that I would always have the courage to stand up for Christianity. What I will not do is stand up for any limitations or conditions which are based on selected evidence and reasoning which you keep presenting.

For example I believe that any serious historian (Josephus, for example) will accept the evidence for the existence of a prophet called Jesus Christ who was put to death in Jerusalem. This is not proof however for the truth of everything he said as recorded in various translations of the Bible. This sounds like the sort of way you argue your case.

As for his physical resurrection, on which His authority to speak as God is based, there seems to be very little hard proof but the subsequent events, which turned a few ordinary, disillusioned men and women into a world revolution on a totally non-violent basis BTW, must give any reasonable person very profound cause for thought. Many cleverer people than me have set out to destroy the Christian “myth” by disproving the resurrection and have ended up as enthusiastic believers. (Ref: “Who Moved the Stone”, sorry can’t remember the author). This is very solid evidence which would probably stand up in a court of law but it is not proof and should not, in my view, be quoted as such. Truth is worth dying for, evidence is not, and should be handled with more humility and a little less certainty

Guy, you are obviously spending a lot of time dealing with the various arguments which have assailed you on this forum and you present your views well and very tolerantly, as I would expect from someone with your beliefs. I must however join with those who find your ability to be selective or dismissive in your arguments particularly irritating and it gives the impression that you are more interested in winning the argument than in helping people to explore the truth. Over the years I have heard, and been involved in, many religious arguments and I cannot remember one which has achieved anything positive. They can be quite enjoyable though. However, most have negative outcomes as they are based on winning and losing, not on loving.

To quote Velvet’s excellent signature again, “How can you explain to a caterpillar that it will turn into a butterfly?”. Certainly not by the power of argument. The recent tragic events have demonstrated that, unlike the natural instinctive metamorphic change of the caterpillar, human change is usually triggered by an experience of reality, none more powerful than the threat to life itself. Now, many more people seem prepared to make some kind of sacrifice in order to defeat terrorists than there were. Similarly, I suspect that many will now want to know more about God and the God I read about in the Bible will meet them wherever they are, and without the conditions which your literal interpretation of scriptures implies.

To everyone’s relief I’m sure, I think I will say no more on the subject and concentrate on the more fruitful campaign on another forum, with Mr Draper, against the sustained, and devious attempts to undermine good eating standards (See Light Relief).

The Lord be with you.


21st Sep 2001, 21:21
Guy, if you cannot relate to parts of the Bible, and yet still claim it is irrefutably the Word of God, then your God has a problem in communicating. If you do accept without question that which is written, despite much evidence that is is inaccurate and based on myth and oral tradition, then of course you will not be able to find the answers.

As for my questions, they have been asked and discussed with many learned and well-researched masters, one of whom I studied with for several years. In the process of which I studied many religions and faiths and I came to understand that they are very similar in their core belief structure. There are no definitive answers, just a process of learning and study.

What authority (apart from the Bible) gives you the utter confidence that it is God's self-declaration. Why would God be disappointed if you you truly have faith and believe - surely, you are imposing your emotions and feelings on God. For it seems you would be disappointed if there were another way. Why don't you trust God without the need for a written confirmation. I do, and I don't need a book, nor an intermediary to stand between us.

Genesis is not just contradictory with science, but within itself, as is much of the rest of the Bible.

Pulse is right, debating is fun and especially so when it is of the quality and consideration that has been shown recently.

As for whether they are 'false religions' well who's to say - wouldn't it be the most delicious irony if you arrived in Heaven and found Allah and Jehovah and were just aspects of the one true God and that Christianity / Islam / Buddism / Paganism / Agnosticism / Hindu etc are but individual strands in the fabric of God's Love and each one is needed to weave pattern for the cloth of Life.

Like Pulse, who has the most excellent reasoning - I think this has run its course, for you cannot see past your absolute faith and belief in the Bible, and we cannot understand your blindness.

If you are able to give any 'astute' answers to my questions, I would indeed by prepared to listen (do you think I pull these out the air, just to bug you). I would though expect you to have properly researched those answers, don't just quote something from the Bible and expect me to accept it as proof. So far you have merely repeated that you are unable to explain and imply it is not for us to understand nor question any part of the Bible.

[ 22 September 2001: Message edited by: Velvet ]

Send Clowns
21st Sep 2001, 21:22
hahahaha, if the bible is truth then why must it be interpreted? Surely the fact that it must be means that it can be interpreted in several different ways, Guy, therefore no one of them can be determined to be the truth. Try to follow your own arguments to their logical conclusion, you will find most of them to be absurd :D

I tolerate anything, guy, except intolerance. This is my personalphilosophy, and better than the disgusting intolerance of much of the bible, and some of its adherents (more extreme than you, your intolerance is an amusing oddity, not to the revolting levels shown by OCB).

I can't believe you still have the arrogance to moan about belief in the 'true god' falling below belief in Allah. Is pride no longer a deadly sin? Who are you to say that you are right and Moslems wrong? This is in line with my previous point that you seem to fear to answer, that we both disbelieve in gods, I just disbelieve one more than you do.

Then you present an irrelevant lie : Nazism was based on a mix of spiritualist philosophies, not humanism. Since humanism accepts that peoplpe are more important than philosophy, the fact that people were killed for fascist and communist philosophies prove they are not humanist. Of course most Nazis were themselves Christian, as were most people in Europe at the time.

The fact that communists were atheists is a bizarre irrelevance in your post. They killed people for politics, not for atheism :rolleyes: . Atheism has no god to kill people for : it means no god!

Humanism and atheism are irrelevant to your death toll mentioned. On the other hand, your religion demands that you kill none-believers. That is a straight command in the old Testament, how do you interpret that another way?

Talking of your claim that the NT interprets the OT, how does it interpret the flood and creation myths? How does it interpret your god's murder of people just for not worshipping him? How does it interpret your god sacking a city just because some other people wanted to pass? Your god killing children because of the act of a pharoah? I interpret the first two as stories, and the rest as stories of an evil god, to explain natural disasters.

Finally, from your answer to Velvet, having never studied geology how can you possibly have the arrogance to say the Earth need not be millions of years old? :rolleyes:

22nd Sep 2001, 08:09
We may not believe in the same GOD
But surely we believe in the same GOOD.

Send Clowns
22nd Sep 2001, 13:47
Elegantly put, Jazzi :)

23rd Sep 2001, 00:24
Saying the WTC terrorist attack was the work of Muslims is like saying Waco was the fault of Christians.The hijacking of religion to justify fanaticism is hardly something new.Unfortunately the language used in the major religious texts lends itself to selective interpretation.

What the world needs to look at is how some countries can degenerate to the state where the general populace can be swayed by extremists.

What America needs to look at is why some Muslims hate them so much that their outrage at this atrocity is tempered by the niggling feeling that they had it coming.

Lets hope they're going after the right people.

24th Sep 2001, 11:21

Sorry pulse, never did understand the difference between very solid evidence and proof. Thanks for pointing it out. ;) Josephus is a very strong support for the biblical accounts, but historical support for the existence of Jesus does not rest purely on his testimony. There is also independant Roman testimony to Jesus, his influence and his death under Pontius Pilate.

The Lord be with you.

And also with you. :D

Bally Heck
24th Sep 2001, 16:57
Why can't you chaps take responsibility for your own lives. The world is shaped by what you, I and the next guy do. All the praying and devotions in history have achieved nothing. Platitudes like "It's the will of God" "God works in mysterious ways" do not hide the fact that He didn't have anything to do with them.

Not taking responsibility is a very dangerous thing. I recall a training accident at a UK professional flight training organisation. A student of middle eastern origin was involved in an fatal accident. His last radio transmission was to lay the responsibility for his current situation at the feet of God whilst doing absolutely nothing to resolve his difficulties. I understand that this is not an uncommon trait in people of certain faiths.

The good and bad things that happen in the world on a daily basis are, with the exception of natural disasters, shaped by man.

Does anyone on this forum believe the works of Shakespeare are true? They are pretty amazing!

"The more I practise, the luckier I get".

26th Sep 2001, 20:58
On the 11th a number of people laid down their lives for what they obviously had a deep belief in, though I suppose that there could is some cases been other compelling factors that may have influenced their actions. Since they, in laying down their lives, took massive numbers of others lives, their action have been condemned by the majority of the worlds people and religions as being evil and contrary to what is generaly preached by the majority of todays religions. As such it will in all probability be accorded it's approriate reward.
I have no doubt that most of us believe in a creator or higher power than ourselves just what form that higher power takes, I am not completely clear about. There are those of us who are more fortunate in having a clearer picture. I will simply say that I am content that at an appropriate time more will be revealed to me than is now, and at that time, if it is so desired, I will share that knowledge with anyone who desires to know, on the understanding that it may not apply to them. Tony, you're in that other line with the tanned babes.

27th Sep 2001, 13:11
Theatre of Good and Evil
by Eduardo Galeano
Adult Learning Commentary Number 28, 26 September 2001

In the struggle of Good against Evil, it's always the people who get killed.

The terrorists killed workers of 50 countries in NYC and DC, in the name of Good against Evil. And in the name of Good against Evil President Bush has promised vengeance: "We will eliminate Evil from the world".
Eliminate Evil? What would Good be without Evil? It's not just religious fanatics who need enemies to justify their insanity. The arms industry and the gigantic war machine of the US also needs enemies to justify its existence. Good and evil, evil and good: the actors change masks, the heroes become monsters and the monsters heroes, in accord with the demands of the theatre's playwrights.

This is nothing new. The German scientist Werner von Braun was evil when he invented the V-2 bombers that Hitler used against London, but became good when he used his talents in the service of the US. Stalin was good during World War Two and evil afterwards, when he became the leader of the Evil Empire. In the cold war years John Steinbeck wrote: "Maybe the whole world needs Russians. I suppose that even in Russia they need Russians. Maybe Russia's Russians are called Americans." Even the Russians became good afterwards. Today, Putin can add his voice to say: "Evil must be punished."

Saddam Hussein was good, and so were the chemical weapons he used against the Iranians and the Kurds. Afterwards, he became evil. They were calling him Satan Hussein when the US finished up their invasion of Panama to invade Iraq because Iraq invaded Kuwait. Father Bush that particular war against Evil upon himself. With the humanitarian and compassionate spirit that characterizes his family, he killed more than 100 000 Iraqis, the vast majority of them civilians.

Satan Hussein stayed where he was, but this number one enemy of humanity had to step aside and accept becoming number two enemy of humanity. The bane of the world is now called Osama bin Laden. The CIA taught him everything he knows about terrorism: bin Laden, loved and armed by the US government, was one of the principal 'freedom fighters' against Communism in Afghanistan. Father Bush occupied the Vice Presidency when President Reagan called these heroes 'the moral equivalents of the Founding Fathers.' Hollywood agreed. They filmed Rambo 3: Afghani Muslims were the good guys. Now, 13 years later, in the time of Son
Bush, they are the worst of the bad guys.

Henry Kissinger was one of the first to react to the recent tragedy. "Those who provide support, financing, and inspiration to terrorists are as guilty as the terrorists themselves," he intoned, words that Son Bush would repeat hours later.

If that's how it is, the urgent need right now is to bomb Kissinger. He is guilty of many more crimes than bin Laden or any terrorist in the world. He provided 'support, financing, and inspiration" to state terror in Indonesia, Cambodia, Iran, South Africa, Bangladesh, and all the
South American countries that suffered the dirty war of Plan Condor.

On September 11 1973, exactly 28 years before the fires of last week, the Presidential Palace in Chile was stormed. Kissinger had written the epitaph of Allende and Chilean democracy long before when he commented on the results of the elections: "I don't see why we have to stand by
and watch a country go communist because of the irresponsibility of its own people."

A contempt for the people is one of many things shared by state and private terror.

There is much common ground between low- and high- tech terrorism, between the terrorism of religious fanatics and that of market fanatics, that of the hopeless and that of the powerful, that of the psychopath on the lose and that of the cold-blooded uniformed professional. They all
share the disrespect for human life: the killers of the 5500 citizens under the Twin Towers that fell like castles of dry sand-- and the killers of 200 000 Guatemalans, the majority of whom were indigenous, exterminated without television or the newspapers of the world paying any attention. Those Guatemalans were not sacrificed by any Muslim fanatic, but by terrorist squads who received 'support, financing, and inspiration' from US governments.

All these worshipers of death are in agreement as well on the need to reduce social, cultural, and national differences to military terms. In the name of Good against Evil, in the name of the One Truth, they resolve everything by killing first and asking questions later. And, they strengthen the enemy they fight.

Although the leader of the Civilized World is pushing a new Crusade, Allah is innocent of the crimes committed in his name. At the end of the day, God did not order the Holocaust against the followers of Jehovah, nor did Jehovah order the massacres of Sabrah and Shatila or the expulsion of Palestinians from their land. Aren't Allah, God and Jehovah are, after all, three names for the same divinity?

A tragedy of errors: nobody knows any more who is who. The smoke of the explosions forms part of the much larger curtain of smoke that prevents all of us from seeing clearly. From revenge to revenge, terrorism obliges us to walk to our graves. I saw a photo, recently published, of graffiti on a wall in NYC: "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind."

The spiral of violence creates violence and also confusion: pain, fear, intolerance, hatred, insanity. In Porto Alegre, early this year, Ahmed Ben Bella warned: 'This system, that has already made mad cows, is making mad people too." And these mad people, mad from hate, act as the
power that created them.

A three year old child, named Luca, told me: "The world doesn't know where its house is." He was looking at a map. He could have been looking at a reporter.

by Eduardo Galeano, edited from the Mexican newspaper La Jornada, 21 Sept 2001, translated by Justin Podur.

27th Sep 2001, 14:37
Whether or not these people were true, believing Muslims, whatever various branches of Islam may or may not teach, basically God, Jehovah or Allah (and He alone), not some crazed, twisted Mullah, will decide if they get into Paradise. Christians believe that God is a God of Mercy; all Surahs of the Quran start "Bismillah al Rahim al Rahman (In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate)".

I expect to be judged according to my deserts - but I hope pray to be judged also with mercy.

I can't expect to know the mind of God. But I know how I hope he will deal with these men.

Bally Heck
27th Sep 2001, 15:00
Interesting to note that as both God and Allah are all merciful and all forgiving, the perpetrators of the recent atrocities are likely to suffer the same fate in the afterlife as Mother Theresa?

Celtic Emerald
28th Sep 2001, 15:19
I've just read about the Bible of Terror that these hijackers kept and believe me they were truly evil, they followed it to the word. I can't understand what would turn a man like Osama Bin Laden from a teenager who has been described by someone who lived under the same roof "as a lovely man" into a man who could preach such evil and encourage his followers to engage in such no matter how upset he is over his perceived desecration of his homeland (I believe tears comes to his eyes when he talks about it, he feels so badly about it).

I believe when people still meet him at first impressions he is still the civilsed, shy (can't even look you in the face when he's talking to you) & hospitable man but there's a hardness about him underneath till he opens his mouth and all this evil rectoric spills out. Evil comes in all guises I suppose.

I've just discovered what was done to some of those pilots on board the hijacked aircraft. It beggars belief, how anyone could do that to a fellow human being can have no justification. Anyone who think those pilots weren't tortured physically before the planes went down are wrong, they must have suffered terribly. Infact the whole Bible of Terror they followed to a tee makes one sick read, thought up by sick evil twisted minds.

If they all really believe there heading to some paradise with loads of virgins at their disposal (I thought Islam was supposed to respect the modesty of women) if there is an afterlife, hellfire will be more like it. My aren't those [email protected] in for a nasty surprise :mad:


[ 28 September 2001: Message edited by: Celtic Emerald ]