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View Full Version : RELIGION, DISCUSS (Serious Questions)


'Chuffer' Dandridge
21st Apr 2006, 19:09
Why is it that if you portray the prophet 'Mohammed' in jest, we get riots, executions and bombs, yet when I watch the Vicar of Dibley, I just laugh.:confused:

Are Christians not fussed about taking the pi$$ out of their messiah, or is there a secret fundamentalist Christian movement that we don't know about?

Why can the Church quite openly discriminate against allowing women to become priests, bishops etc, yet as an employer, I can't discriminate against women at all! When can we expect a female Archbishop of Canterbury?

With the reported dwindling of people attending church, why do we think this is? Is it the old fashioned songs? The decor? The fashions? Not 'hip' to be seen in church?

Discuss.



PS, Before the God Squad come and arrest me, this is a serious question:ok:

Davaar
21st Apr 2006, 19:19
Discuss.
PS, Before the God Squad come and arrest me, this is a serious question:ok:

You will find, I venture from previous observation, that the anti-God squad have much more time, numbers, and fervour for spreading their agitprop than does the God-squad. Your fears of arrest by the God squad are vain; be wary of the doctrinaire atheists.

markflyer6580
21st Apr 2006, 19:28
I reckon the reason for the dwindling numbers is due to the bids slowly dying and like you say its not to hip to go to church!
The reason most youngsters don't go is because the church is out of touch with modern life-hence it is boring (ducking for cover)

I don't go as above and also because religion causes all the trouble in the world today and previously,I would like to say it is the beginings of terrorism,but in reality that is only down to the simple ones who take it a bit too seriously-you know who you are bin laden:p

As for the decor,every time I have been in a church I spend most of the time admiring the architecture and generally wondering how they built stuff like that without cranes and the like,when I can't live without my cordless screwdriver:} Much more interesting than hearing somebody talk about what in reality is 2006 years of chinese whispers with no proof of any of it ever happening? I am told by my wife that I am ignorant and apparently that is what faith is all about,however she thinks the moon landings were staged so that is a lack of faith in my eyes......

Send all the flak you like people,these are my opinions on things,what other individuals want to do is up to them,if every body took this line then the world would certainly be a better place,and anyway if you don't agree with me you can go to church/mosque/synagogue as I will not be there to wind you up:E

Gouabafla
21st Apr 2006, 19:30
OK, I'm a signed up member of the God squad and I'll bite.

I find jokes and television programmes that mock Jesus Christ and God offensive - so I switch them off. That's the simple answer, but let me expand a little.

The Vicar of Dibley doesn't bother me at all because it isn't mocking my God or Christ, it's just mocking people. I think people are (in most cases) fair game for comedy. I actually think that religious people (and yes, I'm a practicing Christian) are fairer game than most.

A fundamental tenet of my faith is that every individual is responsible for their own conduct before God. This is why I believe passionately in freedom of religion and freedom of expression. My freedom to worship is your freedom to take the mick out of me.

That being said; if you came round to my house, I'd expect you to be respectful to my faith - but I'm sure that no one would have a problem with this. One issue which has raised hackles on JB is the "Gerry Springer Opera" on the BBC. Now I believe in free speech and I would not want to have censored the programme. However, I pay for the BBC through my licence and I do object to being forced to pay for something which I find offensive. Hence, I wrote to the beeb and said that I believed that they shouldn't have shown it. I would not have objected to any of the independant channels showing it. That wouldn't have been my money.

The root of the issue for me is that I want full freedom for my faith in this country and this implies that others have freedom for their faiths and the freedom to attack or take the mick out of mine. Ultimately, I believe that the Christian faith is strong enough to live in a hurly burly where there is freedom of expression.

religion causes all the trouble in the world today

Yup, the twentieth century's greatest murderers: Pol Pot, Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin... were all good church going lads. I agree that religion has got a lot to answer for but to blame all of the world's problems on religion is a bit short sighted. The unifying feature in all of the world's problem spots seems to be people.

tilewood
21st Apr 2006, 19:45
The unifying feature in all of the world's problem spots seems to be people.

I think that's a fair observation, after all without people there wouldn't
be recorded problems.

However if religion didn't propagate the 'my god is
better than your god' routine then perhaps mankind would live in much
greater harmony on this beautiful little planet of ours. :hmm:

ExSimGuy
21st Apr 2006, 19:59
My God (and Gouabafla's) is better than yours, but that's your problem not mine, and if you don't want to listen then it's your lookout (in a few years!)


Bishop of Dibley? Great program - I've no problem with taking "humourous potshots", wish others didn't. Dawn does a great job as a comic, and it's more about "English villiage society" than religion


(Practicing Christian and sometime lay-preacher, when they are really desperate for someone :) )

tilewood
21st Apr 2006, 22:13
My God (and Gouabafla's) is better than yours, but that's your problem not mine, and if you don't want to listen then it's your lookout (in a few years!)





ExSimGuy: Can't see much humility or compassion in that! Thankyou for proving my point so succinctly!

markflyer6580
21st Apr 2006, 22:14
Nice one tilewood:} :E

Bern Oulli
21st Apr 2006, 22:25
Let's put it this way. I am a devout atheist. However, I will respect your religion if you have one, provided that you keep it to yourself and don't expect me to join. I expect you not to "pity me" for disbelieving all that you believe in, in the same way I will not pity you for needing an imaginary friend. Now that is cleared away let's get off the controversial stuff and get down to the serious philosophical discusions about speed cameras or Cheri Blair's hair stylist.

tony draper
21st Apr 2006, 22:57
I do not think Britain is a religious country at all now, the religiousity(is there such a word?)of a nation depends on a critical mass of it inhabitans subscribing in more ways than mere lip service to a faith,we passed below that critical mass quite a while back,it shall never return.
Not a bad thing IMHO.
:cool:

Howard Hughes
21st Apr 2006, 23:33
With the reported dwindling of people attending church, why do we think this is? Is it the old fashioned songs? The decor? The fashions? Not 'hip' to be seen in church?You obviously have'nt checked in at your local mosque (sp?) lately, the young people are pouring in, it's standing room only, so to speak....;)

Not all religions are experiencing a downturn.

niknak
21st Apr 2006, 23:43
As the late, great, Dave Allan used to say at the end of every show:
"May your God go with you".

Even as a complete non - believer, I think that that phrase gives no one cause to argue.

tony draper
21st Apr 2006, 23:51
Mr Hughes as I understand it Muslims make up 1.5 % of the population,not matter how pious they are or how loud they shout they are never going to make a difference, the vast majority of people will give no more thought to their particular brand of creation mythology then they do to the Christian Church,religion is finished in this land.

Unless of course someone comes up with a sensible new one,hmmm Nah! that can never happen.
:E

Howard Hughes
21st Apr 2006, 23:55
I was thinking more on a global scale, in this country they have increased their attendance ten fold, over the last few years.:ok:

Onan the Clumsy
22nd Apr 2006, 00:09
I just wonder why, when someone rattles offchurch/mosque/synagogue they invariably leave out coven

:*

tony draper
22nd Apr 2006, 00:11
True Mr Onan, after all its as valid.

CashKing
22nd Apr 2006, 08:10
The differences among cultures are of greatest interest here, and reading about ancient cultures is thus reading about other people whose lives were surely different from our own. The social organization of Socrates' Athens -- where a gimpy-legged man could hobble around interrogating citizens at will -- differs profoundly from today's world beset with modern media whereby people rarely get to see or literally hear their critics. How can we today understand the psychology of the thousands of Egyptian workers who, apparently unquestioningly, spent their lives dragging great blocks of stone across burning sands in the construction of staggering pyramidal edifices whose completion took many lifetimes? Interestingly, these differences may help us better to see -- and know -- the limits of our culture and the limits of our language and experience

BlueWolf
22nd Apr 2006, 08:44
How can we today understand the psychology of the thousands of Egyptian workers who, apparently unquestioningly, spent their lives dragging great blocks of stone across burning sands in the construction of staggering pyramidal edifices whose completion took many lifetimes?

Yeah, fair comment, but in all reality, what else did they have to do with their lives? :confused: ;)

rupert the bear
22nd Apr 2006, 09:59
have to do with their lives? :confused: ;)How insightful what does anyone :confused:

ExSimGuy
22nd Apr 2006, 10:27
ExSimGuy: Can't see much humility or compassion in that! Thankyou for proving my point so succinctly! * (which point would that be? that thinking you were following "the right one" causes strife? No, thinking that you can "raise hell" (pardon the pun) with someone because "he doesn't follow yours" is the cause.

Christians went through our own period of doing this (the "liberation" of Jerusalem, the inquisition, N. Ireland), but largely thanks to the Bible being translated into the current-day-languages so that the people can read and understand the message that it contains, as opposed to what the "establishment" would want themto believe was the message. (N.Ireland possibly being the exception there, but that was more about a religious/social group being oppressed by the other religious/social group, contrary to the teachings of the book that they both purported to believe and follow:confused: There was also a very strong influence of "organised crime" involvement in the conflict, with serious financial interest in seeing the conflict continue.

Digressing, but only slighty, there is probably a similarity in Iraq; in most areas, people of the 2 "versions" of Islam got on together. sometimes even inter-marrying. Now, with the security forces not fully staffed, not fully trained, and stretched to the limit, I suspect that there's a huge element of "organised crime". One hears regularly about Westerners being kidnapped and held hostage, but every day dozens or Iraqi citizens are kidnapped and held for ransom. Without the tensions between the Sunni and Shia, this ort of activity would be much more difficult, and nowhere near as lucrative.

*Possibly proving my point that people seem to be posting arguments on the subject with very monotonous regularity, mainly for the sake of having arguments:*

There are a few posters who are seriously enquiring, but I'm afraid that most seem to be posting purely in order to provoke. I'm not going to rehash my posts from previous (lengthy) threads on the same subject, wasting my time and yours, as well as Danny's bandwidth. If anyone has a serious question, then plese feel free to PM me and I'll try to help.

markflyer6580
22nd Apr 2006, 10:58
they invariably leave out coven

Sorry Onan, I was thinking of places in my locality! Not many covens around here:ok:

acbus1
22nd Apr 2006, 11:27
Whereas Texas has lot.......

Maybe not. :rolleyes:

BDiONU
22nd Apr 2006, 12:26
I will respect your religion if you have one, provided that you keep it to yourself and don't expect me to join. I expect you not to "pity me" for disbelieving all that you believe in, in the same way I will not pity you for needing an imaginary friend.
Religion is all about 'belief', irrespective, or perhaps even because of, the total lack of evidence. I don't want to believe, I want to know.

BD

fmgc
22nd Apr 2006, 12:47
One issue which has raised hackles on JB is the "Gerry Springer Opera" on the BBC. Now I believe in free speech and I would not want to have censored the programme. However, I pay for the BBC through my licence and I do object to being forced to pay for something which I find offensive. Hence, I wrote to the beeb and said that I believed that they shouldn't have shown it. I would not have objected to any of the independant channels showing it. That wouldn't have been my money.


I am afraid that I disagree. I do not believe in god, I pay my licence fee and so why should I not be allowed to watch it on the BBC?

Religion is all about 'belief', irrespective, or perhaps even because of, the total lack of evidence

How can you have faith in something when there is a total lack of evidence?

When having a theological discussion, i find that the statement that religion is about faith in something for which there is no evidence at all insulting and above all a great cop out for something that there is no rational, intelligent explanation.

I am a practicing Antitheist.

Gouabafla
22nd Apr 2006, 16:55
I am afraid that I disagree. I do not believe in god, I pay my licence fee and so why should I not be allowed to watch it on the BBC?

Well we have a problem. I don't want to pay for something that I find offensive, but you want to watch it. The easiest answer is to come to some sort of compromise, whereby the programme is shown on a channel where my cash (except indirectly through advertising) is not used to make the programme. Your freedom to watch isn't compromised (apart from having to put up with said adverts). Neither of us loose out. However, you don't seem to want to compromise. This is the sort of thing that believers are always being condemend for; not being willing to make concessions so that others can get on with their lives. :confused:

By the way, before you ask, I don't think it's the BBC's job to broadcast lots of religious propaganda for Christianity (or any other religion) either. I fully support your right not to pay for 'Thought for the Day'.


When having a theological discussion, i find that the statement that religion is about faith in something for which there is no evidence at all insulting and above all a great cop out for something that there is no rational, intelligent explanation.

At this point, I agree totally with you. I think that the evidence for the life, death and ressurection of Jesus Christ is pretty solid. You choose to think otherwise, but both of us are presumably making informed decisions having examined the evidence in some depth.

BDiONU
22nd Apr 2006, 17:04
I think that the evidence for the life, death and ressurection of Jesus Christ is pretty solid.
Can you please state the sources for your 'evidence'. N.B The bible is not a factual source of evidence :D

BD

fmgc
22nd Apr 2006, 17:13
I think that the evidence for the life, death and ressurection of Jesus Christ is pretty solid.

But there isn't any evidence of that, just myths, like the 12 tasks of Hercules, do you believe that they actually happened, and that Apollo was the son of Zeus?

Gouabafla
22nd Apr 2006, 17:18
But there isn't any evidence of that, just myths, like the 12 tasks of Hercules, do you believe that they actually happened, and that Apollo was the son of Zeus?

Let me turn the question back. Do you believe in Julius Caesar? Because there is more contemporary documentary evidence for Jesus Christ (not just in the Bible) than there is for Caesar. Before you tell me this is rubbish - take a serious look at the question.

Of course, if you are able to write off anything you don't agree with as myth, it makes the questions very easy, but I thought it was religious people that were supposed to have closed minds.

BDiONU
22nd Apr 2006, 17:27
Let me turn the question back. Do you believe in Julius Caesar? Because there is more contemporary documentary evidence for Jesus Christ (not just in the Bible) than there is for Caesar.
I think it can quite fairly be said that a teacher named jesus existed at the time of the biblical stories. What is not proven is that this person was crucified and miraculously came back to life. Can you state the sources of your evidence for this miracle please?

BD

ExSimGuy
22nd Apr 2006, 18:54
We've surely been all through this before! I gave you the ISBN reference to "Who Moved the Stone" - did you buy it and read it?

Or are you so determined to rubbish Christianity that you felt you did not need to check the references that were offered?

Do you really have an open mind? I think that I do. I'll listen to you, if you can give me some evidence that Jesus was not what I claim Him to be, or didn't exist even. But will you listen to me - or are you determined to rubbish anyone and any experiences that are offered in His support??

Unfortunately, as I said before, I have lost (been "permanently borrowed" ;) my copy, and I live in a country where there is no bookshop allowed to supply me with a replacement - otherwise I could quote. As Gouf says, there is probably more evidence (documentary evidence) for Jesus than there is for Julius - but are you really interested in that?

Debate!

markflyer6580
22nd Apr 2006, 19:23
Aaah,but ceasar did not walk on water,turn said water to wine,part the red sea(I know that was allegedy moses but its all from the same set of stories!)etc etc.
He was just a warlord/dictator prototype model of a dubya/blair lovechild,not a miricle working figure hence why there is less cynicism with regards to him,iin my eyes anyway...

At this point, I agree totally with you. I think that the evidence for the life, death and ressurection of Jesus Christ is pretty solid. You choose to think otherwise, but both of us are presumably making informed decisions having examined the evidence in some depth.
That depends on how you look at things and I suppose wether you have faith or not and the point gouf makes here is exactly the way we should all see it-its up to the individual. Unless something miraculous happens before my eyes I will however continue to be a non-believer:ok:

ExSimGuy
22nd Apr 2006, 19:45
Can you please state the sources for your 'evidence'. N.B The bible is not a factual source of evidence :D
BDand what is the "evidence" for that statement, that the Bible is not factual?:confused:

4 different witnesses have stated what they saw and heard. In a modern (Western) Court of Justice, that would usually be adequate to convince a jury.

(In an Islamic Court, it would even be enough to convince the judges of an accusation of rape (the woman's evidence is disregarded; conviction relys on 4 male witnesses before a conviction can be obtained! - DRIFT)

Not only did they "write their memoires", but they put up with ridicule and even torture/death and stuck to the "stories" - why would YOU stick to a LIE when you were being tortured and/or executed, if the easy way out was to admit "it was all a lie"???

Are you suggesting that their memoires were put together as a trilogy (oops - a 4-ogy!) make them any less reliable as memoires?

Armageddon: The Battle for Germany, 1944-1945 (http://www.historynet.com/mhq/reviews/mhqreviewspring06-1)
By Max Hastings
Reviewed by Williamson Murray
Armageddon succeeds as a brilliant book because Hastings manages with great skill to put a human face on the horror of the darkest months in European history...

Is the above equally "not a factual source of evidence"??????

Discuss!!!!!!

tilewood
22nd Apr 2006, 20:20
Does one take everything written in the bible on face value,
and accept it completely, and without question?

The bible, written nearly 2000 years ago by man in an arcane language
has been translated, and re-translated over the centuries by man.

It has been amended, and utilised by politicians and the clerics for their
own ends. It can be read in such a way that makes it mean what ever
the reader wants it to mean, and is quoted as the authority of last
resort by those seeking power over the weak.

It offers no more moral certainties that any society would not have put in place without it, and many did before it. How can anyone be sure it is
any more factual or divine than the Norse sagas for example?

Faith is touching, and in some ways I envy the certainties enjoyed by those who have it.

But I also find the somewhat smug ' I know something
you don't know' attitude exhibited by some believers rather patronising
and unattractive.

Huck
22nd Apr 2006, 20:36
I'm a Bible-thumper, and I like the Vicar of Dibley....

Usually a not-so-bad point made. Like the idea of females leading. The gay guy gets a seat at the table. It pokes fun without hurting. The tele-tubbies in the wedding procession were priceless.

Like Alan Jackson sings: faith, hope and love are some good things He gave us, and the greatest is love. If you are missing any of the three, I truly feel sorry for you. (No smugness I promise.)

ExSimGuy
22nd Apr 2006, 20:51
Tilewood, You really don't want to listen do you? You have your "certainty" You're a bit like the "bad juror" that has already read that the accused is guilty because The Sun says so.

It's this type of attitude that puts me off contributing to this type of thread. "Question? - Discuss" We get no-where because you just aren't prepared to listen, understand, even investigate and question.

You are already convinced that "the Bible is bollix", and not even interested in checking your facts (e.g historical records) You're probably also convinced that Napolean was gay, that Attilla was a reformist, and that Hitler was elected on the "traveller support" ticket

I've said it before; "open your rmind" and we'll "discuss", but if you are determined to "rubbish", the what, really,is the point of you and I wasting our valuable time?

There are those who I have "discussed" with who have looked at what I have said, thought about it, looked into it, and decided that they agree, there are those who have thought about it and stlil don't agree - fair enough, I've failed to convince, but when someone doesn't think about it, doesn't check into the historical facts (yes, facts!) then I am really wasting my time.

If your mind is really open, then enroll in an "Alpha", discuss, listen, weigh the "checks and balances". Then if you still don't agree, come back and give me some serious arguments.

fmgc
22nd Apr 2006, 20:54
4 different witnesses have stated what they saw and heard. In a modern (Western) Court of Justice, that would usually be adequate to convince a jury.

What about the conveniently lost dead sea scrolls?

There are many more than 4 gospels. just that there is only 4 in the bible.

I am not an Antitheist through ignorance. I went to a religious school and studies the 3 sciences.

The difference between the bible and Armageddon: The Battle for Germany, 1944-1945 is that the latter happened in recent history and doesn't ask you to believe in miracles and spirits.

Having said that I do not know if what he wrote was factually correct or not in the same way as I do not know whether the bible was factually correct or not, but Max Hastings isn't asking me to believe in the unbelievable.

fmgc
22nd Apr 2006, 20:55
Tilewood, You really don't want to listen do you? You have your "certainty" You're a bit like the "bad juror" that has already read that the accused is guilty because The Sun says so.


Just as you have your "certainty" just because the bible says so!!

Empty Cruise
22nd Apr 2006, 21:14
ExSimGuy,

I'm pretty convinced that none of the 4 evangelists ever claimed to have been present at the Resurrection.

They seem to agree that 2 women were the only persons to have given first-hand-accounts. Further, all 4 seem to agree that both women were in a mentally agitated state (this confirmed by 11 other persons to whom they first reported said miracle). They both seemed (initially) to question that the person that they encountered was in fact Jesus...

Now, any process lawyer worth half his title would be able to raise resonable doubt about weather the two women were not in a mental state susceptible to being persuaded to believe that the person they saw was Jesus. Therefore, all 4 gospels cast more than a little doubt on the value of the initial observation.

The fact that their story was told to 11 persons (OK, 10 + Thomas for the nitpickers) who were mentally prepped to hear of their leaders resurrection (Jesus had brought the possibility up with them more than once) - and then only the story was re-told to people already firm believers in order to have the story written down makes the gospel 2rd grade hear-say (no disrespect intended - I believe that to be the technical term) when it comes to the Resurrection.

Since we have no reliable eyewitness accounts of the Resurrection - applying Ockhams' Razor to the problem, I end up with the following:

1) Several sources agree that Jesus was a historical person. In world history, more tales have been told about actual than fictious figures. I therefore have no reason to believe that Jesus did not live.

2) Several sources agree that Jesus led a life sufficiently remarkable to attract many followers of various degrees of devotion. Many other people have done this, and I therefore see nothing suspicious about that claim either.

3) Jesus claimed to be the Son of God - 4 sources have written down hear-say to that effect. Weather Jesus actually made that claim or not cannot be determined with sufficient accuracy, since Jesus never left any written accounts of his life. However, since a large movement was gathering behind him, it is not unreasonable to believe that he might have made the claim. A verdict of "Not Proven" is the best we can hope for.

4) According to the same 4 sources, several miracles attested to the fact that Jesus was the Son of God. All the miracles described are supposed to have been witnessed by anywhere from 2 to 5000 people - however, no separate accounts of these miracles exist, highly unlikely if 5000 people witness a clearly miraculous event. All supposed miracles were orders of magnitude smaller than the supposed miracles of the Old Testament, and none were claimed to have been performed that could not be explained in at least as likely ways be sciense (the only exception from this is the Resurrection). A much more logical explainantion could be that Jesus was a very charismatic person, someone you could easily (as the myth replaced the man) attribute miracles to. If I have to weigh the probability of actual versus attributed miracles, I (for purely statistical reasons) come down on the side of attribution.

5) According to the Gospels, Jesus was cruxified in Jerusalem around 33 AD. He was dead when taken down from the cross, and subsequwntly buried in a cave. This seem likely, since Rome didn't particularily like trouble-makers.

6) A few days later, 2 women claim that they have found the grave empty and that they met a man they believed to be Jesus. In this case, we have (at least) two options a) one or more of his followers - knowing that Jesus had foretold his resurrection from the dead - removed the body in the early hours of Sunday or late hours of Saturday, and staged an "appearance" by a lookalike or b) Jesus rose from the dead. Since no hard evidence or first-hand-accounts of the occurence exists, "Not Proven Beyond Doubt" will be my verdict on that one.

As we can probably see, legal thinking does not go very well with beliefs...

As an atheist, I don't care for what people choose to believe in - but I respect their choices, even if I cannot understand them. However, atheism is not a cause that divides men - but religion is. And that's where my tolerance stops - the Beeb can air anything as far as I'm concerned, and I don't throw a tantrum when they air something I don't agree with, they can air the BNPs national conference for all I care, I just don't watch it. But I'd never write letters of complaint that my money is being used to give the BNP airtime (even though I much agree with mr. Camerons' assessment of what kind of people can be found in said party!).

If the Beeb could only air things not assured to offend anybody (or make them feel their money was being used to promote unworthy views), Beeb 1 would look like Beeb 2 - pottery, auctions & gardening, nothing else! :D - and there might still be a few that hadn't made their minds up about the gardening bit! Hands off the Beeb, please - you can buy a Sat package that includes The God Channel if you don't like watching - but that'll be your choice, not you affecting my choice!

Rant over - Empty :cool:

ExSimGuy
22nd Apr 2006, 21:20
Just as you have your "certainty" just because the bible says so!!If you'd read some of my previous posts, you'd have understood that I don't just take the Bible as fact "because it says so", but because I have seen events that I cannot explain with "conventional wisdom"

Oh, I give up, why bother?

fmgc
22nd Apr 2006, 21:28
Oh, I give up, why bother?

This is the reaction that always comes from people with "faith" whenever questioned due to the lack of any reasonable ability to explain said "faith"!

Thank you for not using the stock phrases such as "God moves in mysterious ways" or "you just don't understand"!

Please tell me though why only people with "faith" are the ones with an open mind? I consider that I have opened my mind studied much information and have based my beliefs and (more importantly) non-beliefs on such information.

My God (and Gouabafla's) is better than yours, but that's your problem not mine, and if you don't want to listen then it's your lookout (in a few years!)

Doesn't seem particularly open minded.

I take it that by your comment "its your look out (in a few years)" that you are an "end of the worldist"?

ExSimGuy
22nd Apr 2006, 21:29
Empty Cruise,

Can I come back to you later - it's 12:30 (a.m.) here, and I really have to get to bed for work tomorrow (no, not work "in the pulpit", I'm in a country where we work Saturday-Wednesday!)

Can I just respond quickly to your Item 6 - If you get the book that I referred to previously, ("Who Moved the Stone?") it goes into all the possibilities, and likelihoods, and comes out with the view (from a previously devout atheist) that the story is true!

Meanwhile, to all of you, a very good, and safe, night.

Empty Cruise
22nd Apr 2006, 21:33
...but because I have seen events that I cannot explain with "conventional wisdom"

If you - as your handle implies - have worked with sims, then yes, I've seen plenty of events that cannot be explained - using any kind of wisdom :D

The difference being that you can print a record of the events when the student says "But we were stabilised - scouts honour!" ;) :E

Empty

Edited to say: yep, come back anytime :ok:

LongWayHome
22nd Apr 2006, 21:48
Hi ‘Chuffer’ Dandridge.


I forwarded your query to one of my brothers, (he is a Jesuit Priest). You ask a lot of questions, but what exactly is your question? Discrimination, fact finding, self nourishment/enrichment?

I mean no disrespect, I’m just confused.

Bill

ExSimGuy
22nd Apr 2006, 22:03
This is the reaction that always comes from people with "faith"
Thank you for not using the stock phrases such as "God moves in mysterious ways" or "you just don't understand"!

Please tell me though why only people with "faith" are the ones with an open mind? I consider that I have opened my mind studied much information and have based my beliefs and (more importantly) non-beliefs on such information.

Doesn't seem particularly open minded.

I take it that by your comment "its your look out (in a few years)" that you are an "end of the worldist"?
Okay - one more post before I head for my bed. definitely the last post tonight!!

No, I don't quote "God moves in" - although I don't profess to know how he moves and why always. But by putting my faith in Him, things don't always work out too bad;) (so I've found)

'Explain "faith"' - Well, in my case, it's not just "faith" but "proof". I've talked about this in previous threads but there are always some who will "pooh-pooh". Sorry if you don't believe me, or think I'm raving-looney-mad, that's just the way it is. I've seen things that, although not "100% certain conviction evidence", are certainly "circumstantial evidence beyond fairly reasonable doubt" - especially when it happens a lot more than once.

A few years ago, my mind was really open. Despite being "brought up Christian", I was seriously doubting the "Church", as it was being portrayed to me by someone, and came very cose to dumping the whole concept.

As someone with an engineering training, scientific background, I looked into the whole thing and realised that the "message" that was being given to me was "false Christianity". That the person who professed to be a "practicing Christian" was totally deluded about the teachings of the Man who lived on earth 2000 years ago (as is well- documented)

End-of-the-worldist No, although we all understand that the physical End Of World (Earth) will come when the sun goes "death star", I was referring (rather badly at the time) to the day that we leave the Earth and have to account for our doings. I'll probably get a bit of criticism that I've not handled my replies on this thread too well! (but Christianity does tell me that Jesus gives me a "get out" for that!!)

It was after much research, both in the Bible and "unrelated writings", that I realised The Truth. I invite you to investigate also. I'm really too tired now - almost 1 a.m. (after 1 when I have proof-read the post!) - I'll try to check in for any responses tomorrow some time, or feel free to PM, but I have to say "goodnight" now as I haven't discovered yet how to do "wakefullness and alertness miracles" - work tomorrow - (today?);)


Peace:ok:

ExSimGuy
22nd Apr 2006, 22:08
If you - as your handle implies - have worked with sims, then yes, I've seen plenty of events that cannot be explained ;)

Okay - Yes, we certainly learn how to "fool you" on the sims! will try to make it again tomorrow - can't even get my colour right at the moment - long day - 'night all zzzzzzzzzzzz

Keef
22nd Apr 2006, 22:10
Having just found this thread, and since I'm out again at some ungodly hour of the morning, I'm not going to join in the debate now.
However, I would refer learned questioners to this thread (http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?t=211804) where much midnight oil was burned and many questions debated.

tilewood
22nd Apr 2006, 22:11
Sleep tight ExSim, we all love you really. Even us heretics!! :ok:

BDiONU
23rd Apr 2006, 07:52
We've surely been all through this before! I gave you the ISBN reference to "Who Moved the Stone" - did you buy it and read it?

Or are you so determined to rubbish Christianity that you felt you did not need to check the references that were offered?

I already responded in the Convince Me thread about that book, its a circular argument in that it it quotes the bible for source material.
The biggest problem with relying on the bible for 'facts' or evidence about jesus is that the main sources of information regarding Jesus' life and teachings are the four canonical Gospels of the New Testament: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. These Gospels were not written immediately after his death and there is little external documentation. Most scholars agree the Gospels were written shortly before or after the destruction of the Jewish Temple by the Romans.
They were initially communicated by oral tradition, and were not committed to writing until several decades after Jesus' crucifixion. The earliest extant texts which refer to Jesus are Paul's letters, which are usually dated from the mid-1st century. Paul wrote that he only saw Jesus in visions, but that they were divine revelations and hence authoritative (Galatians 1:11-12). The earliest extant texts describing Jesus in any detail were the four New Testament Gospels.
As a result of the several-decade time gap between the writing of the Gospels and the events they describe, the accuracy of all early texts describing the details of Jesus' life can hardly be accurate. When the original oral stories were written down, they were transcribed, and later translated into other languages. The written gospel accounts cannot be described as objective or accurate, since they were written or compiled by his followers and they seem to exclusively portray a positive, idealized view of Jesus. Additionally there is a distinct lack of contemporary non-Christian sources.

In essence the stories which comprise those gospels were passed on by word of mouth (remember the old saw 'Send two and six pence we're going to a dance!') by 'followers' over decades before being transcribed. There are very few 'external' sources.

I have stated previously that the bible does contain some good lessons but lets leave all the supernatural and mythical nonsense out of it. Thomas Jefferson the US President had that idea and compiled the Jefferson Bible (or as its formally known The Life And Morals of Jesus of Nazareth Extracted textually from the Gospels).

BD

ORAC
23rd Apr 2006, 08:26
Books that didn't make the bible (http://gbgm-umc.org/umw/Bible/outside.stm)

PTT
23rd Apr 2006, 09:25
ORAC - link doesn't work :(

ExSimGuy - A few posts back you asked for non-believers to prove that Jesus wasn't who he claimed to be. That is an impossibility: you cannot prove a negative. As an example, I ask you to prove that unicorns do not exist. If you can't, then I shall believe that they do as there are plenty of books out there with unicorns in them.

BlueDiamond
23rd Apr 2006, 09:49
... that Jesus wasn't who he claimed to be.

Actually, PTT, ESG said, "that Jesus wasn't who I claim him to be." But on that point, who do you claim him to be, ESG? King of the Jews? The Messiah? The son of God? Did Jesus himself make any claims, and if so, what actually were those claims said to have been?

BDiONU
23rd Apr 2006, 09:50
Books that didn't make the bible (http://gbgm-umc.org/umw/Bible/outside.stm)
Shame the Gnostic Gospels never made the cut ;)

BD

PTT
23rd Apr 2006, 11:07
Fair point BD. The issue of proof of a negative still stands. The burden of proof lies with the believer to prove whatever it is he believes in to the non-believer.

ex_matelot
23rd Apr 2006, 12:46
Just found this thread!

Incidentally,I was reading a book on forensics last night and read something which actually used the biblical accounts of the crucifixion of Christ as an example.

The gospels clearly state that Jesus died relatively early on the cross,normal crucifixions taking up to 2 days to kill apparently.Looking at this from a modern day forensics aspect,and todays known medical and pathological knowledge,taking into account the descriptions in the gospels and the fact that,at that time they had no such foresight or knowledge then...

Jesus was hanging on the cross,crucifixion by its nature positions the chest muscles in such a way that breathing becomes very difficult.Short inhalations of breath are only possible due to the strain on the chest muscles.(I dont have the book at hand at the moment but will quoute verbatim later).Apparently pontious the pilot ordered a centurion to check if Jesus was still alive and somebody passed a sponge on a stick covered in vinegar to jesus's mouth.The forensic analysis deduces that the natural reaction to this occurring would be a sharp,full intake of breath but due to the positioning of the chest muscles and strain etc it would not be possible to exhale.Jesus was noted to have let out a long scream or cry as the sponge was passed up to him.This can be associated with said inhalation and him being unable to exhale it has been deduced that he died of asphyxia shortly after.

Bear in mind...

At the times of these gospel's writing,the authors had no foresight to know that in 2000 years they would be subject to scrutiny.They merely wrote as they found.The sequence of events depicted correlates with known medical knowledge (today) that would cause the premature death by crucifixion of a person,and the events that caused this premature death.

Sceptics are obviously going to say ''well that does not prove a thing''.Well it doesnt really but,it proves that an account of a crucifixion took place,and the snippets of information given agree with what we know today would occurr-in those days they did not know.Why would somebody go to such lengths to fabricate a story 2000 years ago,and have the luck of sheer coincidence that what seemed like irrelevant facts back then (the sponge) would support the event having actually occurred??!

BDiONU
23rd Apr 2006, 13:48
it proves that an account of a crucifixion took place,
Crucifixion was a 'normal' occurence in those days. So you have an account of one. It does not prove that the person called jesus was the person crucified :) It certainly does not prove that this person who died through being crucified miraculously came back to life later :)

BD

ex_matelot
23rd Apr 2006, 14:03
BDIoNU,

You appear to have cunningly disregarded my last paragraph in order to facilitate your get out clause which I predicted would occur!

Why would somebody fabricate this story 2000 years ago,unknowing of the future interest in it,using observations at the time to explain the story and those little pieces of info,using todays known knowledge,make the story plausable?

You demand proof of a ressurection....what proof are you after??Photographic??
The accounts stated lend truth to the crucifixion part of the story,are you going to agree that a guy called Jesus WAS crucified but until you are shown proof he was ressurected disagree with that part??

I cannot prove 100% it actually occurred but the circumstantial evidence is in favour that it did.As far as you disproving it..you so far have nothing!

BDiONU
23rd Apr 2006, 15:46
BDIoNU,
You appear to have cunningly disregarded my last paragraph in order to facilitate your get out clause which I predicted would occur!
Making it plausible to todays audience? Well as I stated crucifixion was a common method used in those days. There was no need to make anything up, they wrote about what was observed.
Why would anyone fabricate the story? Well lets see. There have been many hundreds of gods and religions over the years. This one has persisted longer than most and one reason is the very clever propaganda which it uses, the bible is a brilliant example :)
You demand proof of a ressurection....what proof are you after??Photographic??
If you make a statement or assertion then the burden of proof is on you, just as in a court of law. Here we have people stating that an event which is known to science to be impossible, actually occured. What evidence is there for this miracle other than that written in a book (the bible) which is based completely on hearsay and written decades after the actual event? I don't believe there is any and thats why I have asked other contributors who say they have evidence and firmly believe in this event. I don't think thats an unreasonable request and its not a demand. If contributors don't wish to make their evidence available it does tend to rather reduce their credability in my eyes.
are you going to agree that a guy called Jesus WAS crucified but until you are shown proof he was ressurected disagree with that part??

I thought I had made that plain ;)
I cannot prove 100% it actually occurred but the circumstantial evidence is in favour that it did.As far as you disproving it..you so far have nothing!
I disagree that there is circumstantial evidence of any kind ;) I'm not trying to disprove it, I'm asking for proof that this miraculous event occured. Maybe after that proof has appeared I'll try and disprove but so far the ball remains in the court of the believers :D

BD

tilewood
23rd Apr 2006, 16:11
Not so much resurrection as resuscitation!

Then once it had occurred, it was used to further the political ends of the Romans, and the religious extremists that the then early Christians were perceived to be.

And so the myth was allowed to grow, and it has been sold as the greatest
after-life insurance policy ever since. If you let your payments slip
you won't get your bonus when your policy matures!

So many have written in these posts 'the gospels clearly state'. What does
that prove? The Labour Party Manifesto 'clearly states,' but we all know
that is a tissue of lies, my local newspaper 'clearly states' and I light
the fire with it. Unless there is proof the gospels can be carved
ten feet high and flood lit, but it won't mean they are true.

As I have stated before, I have an admiration for those who have a faith.
I had one once too, I used to preach as a Baptist lay preacher many many years ago. Until I realised that what I was asked to preach did not make sense, and if I couldn't believe it whole heartedly, then I couldn't be true to myself and try to sell the insurance policy to others.

If there is a God worth having then, in my opinion, He would not demand
blind faith as a pre-requisite to an afterlife. And if He does then He is
not a God worth having.

ex_matelot
23rd Apr 2006, 18:27
Ok,

I for one am sceptical but,im merely loooking at it from a scientific point of view.That is to say,Ive read a book last night which qualifies the statements in the various gospels.

If you make a statement or assertion then the burden of proof is on you

QED,you are asserting it did not happen so you share that burden also.Like I said,I CANNOT prove it happend but have various snippets which altogether add up-and 2000 years later make sense when science is applied to their depictions.Once again...what do you have???

BDiONU
23rd Apr 2006, 18:37
Ok,
I for one am sceptical but,im merely loooking at it from a scientific point of view.That is to say,Ive read a book last night which qualifies the statements in the various gospels.
QED,you are asserting it did not happen so you share that burden also.
No, I'm asking for proof. Thats not asserting it didn't happen thats asking a perfectly reasonable question. BTW Which book did you read which qualified, for you, the stories in the gospels?
Like I said,I CANNOT prove it happend but have various snippets which altogether add up-and 2000 years later make sense when science is applied to their depictions.Once again...what do you have???
A miracle which is scientifically impossible. Show me how this event managed to defy the natural laws known to science and I reckon you'd be up for some Nobel Prizes.
BTW From your user name I assume you're ex Royal Navy. I'm ex RAF so I think you'll be familiar with this terminology. With all due respect the assertion that there was a miracle resurrection is BS ;)

BD

ex_matelot
23rd Apr 2006, 18:43
Bdionou,

Actually,im sceptical also and Im debating from a pure objective point of view because the hamster wheel is boring atr present!!

The book I quote from is entitled 'The illustrated guide to forensics' ISBN 1-84442-698-X

I shall quote directy in better words than mine later (Cant be arsed at the mo!)

BDiONU
23rd Apr 2006, 18:51
Bdionou,
Actually,im sceptical also and Im debating from a pure objective point of view because the hamster wheel is boring atr present!!
Ah! Bloomin' fisheads, always stirring it up ;)

BD
If the resurrection of Jesus cannot be believed except by assenting to the fantastic descriptions included in the Gospels, then Christianity is doomed. For that view of resurrection is not believable, and if that is all there is, then Christianity, which depends upon the truth and authenticity of Jesus' resurrection, also is not believable.
Bishop John Shelby Spong, Resurrection: Myth or Reality? (San Fransisco: HarperCollins, 1994), p. 238.

ex_matelot
23rd Apr 2006, 19:03
Ah! Bloomin' fisheads, always stirring it up

Hehe!, we aim to please!

I am sceptical as stated but more inclined-through upbringing,to look for explanations that prove the story as opposed to deny it ever happened on the basis that no secure evidence can be shown.

Im, glad this topic has not been consigned to the wheel as its going very well as I can see and requires discussion.Have had a few ales today but intend to quote direct from the book I tried to quote from earlier,I maybe,probably,did not put it in the correct way.

I myself am sceptical but,It was food for thought.

Edit>just tried to make life simple and google it,lots of research on this subject,just enter this into google...

jesus+forensics+cross

nutcracker43
23rd Apr 2006, 19:13
Ex Sim Guy

You and others state there is more evidence for the existance of Jesus than Julius Caeser...really? Care to explain that?

Thank you in anticipation.

NC43

ex_matelot
23rd Apr 2006, 19:15
Julia Caesar does the business reports on Beeb24!!!!!

Blonde thing...borderline...

:}

'Chuffer' Dandridge
23rd Apr 2006, 19:44
Hi ‘Chuffer’ Dandridge.
I forwarded your query to one of my brothers, (he is a Jesuit Priest). You ask a lot of questions, but what exactly is your question? Discrimination, fact finding, self nourishment/enrichment?
I mean no disrespect, I’m just confused.
Bill
Hi Bill.

The thread was started because i wanted to see what other people thought of religion. No pi$$ taking, or discrimination, just interested thats all. Self-nourishment I'll leave until lunchtime.

By the way, as a practising athiest, I think any religion is a complete waste of time, but then that's my own personal opinion. I make up my own mind rather than be fed another person's view of events, which as one person said, happened 2000yrs ago. Surely things must have got lost in the various translations over the years? And being a non-believer hasn't done me any harm over the years, but maybe when I snuff it, maybe I'll then find out if it was real after all. :E

And as for the "Our religion is better than yours" tosh that seems to start most wars, another reason not to join in....:ok:

May your god go with you (Dave Allan, 1970s)

BDiONU
23rd Apr 2006, 20:13
By the way, as a practising athiest,
You best hope those folks at the Landover Baptist Church (http://www.landoverbaptist.org/news0503/atheists.html) don't find out about you! ;)

BD
All that is necessary, as it seems to me, to convince any reasonable person that the Bible is simply and purely of human invention — of barbarian invention — is to read it. Read it as you would any other book; think of it as you would of any other; get the bandage of reverence from your eyes; drive from your heart the phantom of fear; push from the throne of your brain the coiled form of superstition — then read the Holy Bible, and you will be amazed that you ever, for one moment, supposed a being of infinite wisdom, goodness and purity, to be the author of such ignorance and of such atrocity.
Robert G. Ingersoll, "The Gods", 1872

ExSimGuy
23rd Apr 2006, 20:20
It wasn't me that said that - I just quoted the previous post. But there IS a lot of evidence that Jesus DID live, in the area and at about the time, that we talk about (and I'm not including the words of Matt, Mark, Luke, John - even Roman authority, who would be the ones least likely to give any credibility to the story, or even that he existed!)

Glad to hear, Chuffer", that your enquiry was from "serious interest in peoples's views", and not just another wind-up.

Resurrection: Myth or Reality? I'd like to get it and read it, but it's probably "banned" here, so I'll have to wait till my next UK vacation

Did any poster on this thread read the book that I suggested? Any comments? I think a book that is worth reading from an author who set out to debunk the resurrection story, and proved to himself that his initial thoughts on the subject were wrong. I'd like to hear any comments from someone who has read it.

11:20 local time - 'night all

Davaar
23rd Apr 2006, 20:45
Ah! Bloomin' fisheads, always stirring it up ;)
BD
If .....................................cannot be believed except by ......................then Christianity is doomed. For that view of resurrection is not believable, and if that is all there is, then ............................................also is not believable.
Bishop John Shelby Spong, Resurrection: Myth or Reality? (San Fransisco: HarperCollins, 1994), p. 238.

Congratulations on your discovery of Bishop Spong, who has been writing these many years. You will notice the little word "If", used twice. So, are you citing Bishop Spong because you accept his conclusions? Or not. If not, why cite him? If Yes, interesting; a new departure.

The Desert Ferret
23rd Apr 2006, 21:36
“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is impotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Whence then is evil?”

Epicurus

ex_matelot
23rd Apr 2006, 21:43
D-ferret...

Bloody good point,comment,quotation whatever,,!

Uncle Mo has a book which may provide an answer probably... I think

'Chuffer' Dandridge
23rd Apr 2006, 22:17
You best hope those folks at the Landover Baptist Church don't find out about you!

Blimey, That is scary......

And then I read further and spent an hour pi$$ing myself with laughter:ok:

tony draper
23rd Apr 2006, 23:30
Hmmm, one recals others had similar myths,in Norse Mythology was not Wotan hung up in a tree stabbed in the side by his own spear managed to shuck free of his chains and came down a new man three days later,having been fed by crows of course.
Seems to me all religions have a common aerchytype (sp?)l mythology to draw upon and absorb into their own particular brand,the universally shared flood legend comes to mind,and a tale of a survivor thereof, possibly based on a folk memory real event that occured around the med 10,000 years or so ago, handed down by word of mouth and in common with all information passed in that manner after a couple of generations of tellings bares little resemblance to the real event.
:cool:

RiskyRossco
24th Apr 2006, 03:57
Intersting and pertinent points, 'Chuffer'.
To do justice in reply would require more bandwidth than allowed but I have some relevant ideas to offer. However, the three main topics seem, to me,
a) tolerance from a religious body
b) discrimination on doctrinal and professional/employment grounds
c) 'fashionable' worship.

Outlawing discrimination against women, in brief, in the workplace has its pertinence. Unfortunately, influences by activist and radical groups over the anarchic years of Suffrage, through the entire first 70 yrs of the 20th cent., has seen legislative over-reaction. What could have been sensible and reasonable laws against male prejudice towards women, in a formerly male-dominated professional environment, became the 'blanket rule' to cover eventualities like malicious discrimination.
Which, unfortunately, proved why society needs absolute laws or an absolute code.
Also, through emancipation women in general given the chance to 'throw off the bondage' of domesticity, of dependence upon the husband. The social and commercial imperatives through WW2 simply accelerated the process. When the men returned a lot of women were reluctant to or refused to relinquish their freedoms and lose their sense of worth.

Now, with regard to women 'teaching' in the Church, or church, there are specific doctrines which relate to the order God imposed upon the people He loves. He gave us the model of the church in the institution of marriage. Not many people know that.
Man is the head of the family, he represents Christ and is given specific duties to reflect Christ's office. Woman represents the church.
Marriage has five main purposes:
1. Biological basis, to produce children.
2. Psychological basis, a secure place to argue and work out problems.
3. Sociological basis , to safely rear and teach children, i.e. inter-personal relationship between men ans women.
4. Societal basis, the building block of a God-fearing culture.
5. Prophetic type.

Paul, in his first epistle to Timothy, says "I do not permit a woman to teach or have authority over a man".
This does not preclude women from the teaching and learning process. In fact, prior to this statemnet the Hebrew and Greek cultures didn't allow women to enter synagogue or learn in formal settings. There are exigencies and positions of authority only women can fill, such as teaching the younger and inexperienced women.
Nowhere does Paul, nor any other Apostle, say to subjugate women. He is simply declaring what God had already established. That the model He laid down only works when the husband loves his wife more than his own body and serves her with respect. The woman has only one responsibility, to submit to and to trust her husband. Submit, in the Greek etymology, is a military term. The subordinate does not lose status, or office nor negates their abilities, but status/ office and abilities have a very specific and honoured position.
The Christian church body, when it trusts its Saviour, works.
there is discontent, strife, discord, schism, partisanship, rebellion is when pride and self-satisfaction over-rules God's model.

I say that to say this, then I'll finish.
When the Church in its desire to placate the individual or political agenda, through a compromise to appease the masses, chooses to ignore its very 'operating manual' is when the rot sets in.
In direct defiance of God's law these Church Councils appoint women to teach. God said 'you will not add or take away from My Word'. Telling women they can teach is adding to His inerrant and infallible Word. The bishop's ofice is relevant to a 'man who desires the office of a bishop', the husband of one wife, one who rules his own house, ( for if a man does not know how to rule his own house how will he take care of the church of God?).
Inerrant, btw, is not the quality of containing no errors. It is an active, transitive verb, meaning 'shall not lead the reader into error.' Infallible speaks for itself.
Whenever God's Word is disobeyed - and you can see the salient effects in social disharmony and anarchy in the daily papers - is when there are problems. In most every prologue of the Epistles the Apostle extends 'faith and peace' to the recipient(s) of his letter. There must be faith before there can be peace. Everyone has natural faith. In doctors, commercial pilots, dentists, teachers.
Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not yet seen. Faith in God's promises is unnatural[/I], which is why it is from God. Without faith we don't see Him and cannot know His truth. Yet, with faith, and the inevitable peace, we as Christians tolerate what would cause other 'religions' to commit violence.
In any other situation to have a belief in something we cannot see, have no empirical basis for proof, trust in the infallibility of it and base our very lives around it daily, society would immediately diagnose insanity and lock us away in an asylum. Wouldn't they? To be continued.

Capt.KAOS
24th Apr 2006, 09:57
Women were always regarded as second class citizens and inferior until the last century.

For God is not a God of disorder but of peace. As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church. (1 Cor 14:33-35.)

One could ask if Religion was helpful to the emancipation of women?

Davaar
24th Apr 2006, 12:53
“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is impotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Whence then is evil?”
Epicurus

By corollary Epicurus is, and if you agree with him, you are, better able than God to judge evil, and more willing than He to do this or that. It is then but a short stretch to the view that you and E are in fact God. Perhaps you are.

Capt.KAOS
24th Apr 2006, 13:56
Just for the record, is that the OT or the NT God, Davaar?

Personally I rather judge myself than have to wait until some religious person tells me how to judge. And after all fails, according the Bible we all are God's children, ain't we?

Epicurus told some interesting things about atoms ad the universe 2500 years ago. The mind consisting of a bunch of atoms which vanishes after death.

Davaar
24th Apr 2006, 17:50
[QUOTE=Capt.KAOS]Just for the record, is that the OT or the NT God, Davaar?

Personally I rather judge myself than have to wait until some religious person tells me how to judge. And after all fails, according the Bible we all are God's children, ain't we?

QUOTE]

Just for the record, you should ask either Ferret or Epicurus or both; not me. The former was quoting the latter. Actually, I think OT vs NT is an irrelevant question in this context. What do you think? What is the possible relevance?Tell me.

In a broader context, why do you ask me at all? I have already told you, in boring (to me, anyway) repetition pretty much my religious position, but to judge by your responses you never read it. The book review that so caught your imagination, I can scarcely believe your attention, spoke well of one major heresiarch of whom I too have spoken well, but I do verily believe it went straight past you, because you always impute orthodoxy to me, not heresy or, short of heresy, unorthodoxy.

As to judging for yourself, we all know that is the very last thing you do. You told us so, in substance, yourself. You rubbish a book you have not read because, as you told us, BDiONU had cited a critical review which, for my part, I believe you had not read either. On that one last point I could be wrong; maybe you did read the review. For sure you did not absorb it.

I'll tell you something else. Unlike you literalists, as vehemently atheist on those grounds as O_C_B was born-again on the same grounds, I do not regard Genesis as a text-book on geological history or physics.

Then as to women. I can hardly bring myself to credit you mean what you write. For millenia the ability to protect oneself in the world depended on brute strength or cunning, as per brawn or armaments. Men were better equipped than women with both. The social unit therefore had the men go out and kill or be killed, while the women stayed at home under their protection. Do you think this was a plot by the Vatican or the Sanhedrin or the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland?

One thing for sure, the equitable law in Christendom derived largely from Rome through the Church, at first Roman and later divided, and those laws built many protections for women that did not exist at common law. They were protected in rights of succession to and alienation of property to name two.

Capt.KAOS
24th Apr 2006, 20:31
Just for the record, you should ask either Ferret or Epicurus or both; not me. The former was quoting the latter. Actually, I think OT vs NT is an irrelevant question in this context. What do you think? What is the possible relevance?Tell me.Would love to ask Epicurus some questions, but alas he's dead. Re the OT or NT God, I think it's quite relevant as you refer to him. For me there's a considerable different perception in both.
You rubbish a book you have not read because, as you told us, BDiONU had cited a critical review which, for my part, I believe you had not read either.Oops, I think I did touched a nerve there, almost forgot that issue. I never rubbished that book, only concluded not to buy it, for the time being. Contrary what you think I would never talk you out of any of your beliefs, but just FYI I did read the whole review (even bookmarked it) and found it one of the best argumented and documented reviews I've ever read.

Then as to women. I can hardly bring myself to credit you mean what you write. For millenia the ability to protect oneself in the world depended on brute strength or cunning, as per brawn or armaments. Men were better equipped than women with both. The social unit therefore had the men go out and kill or be killed, while the women stayed at home under their protection. Do you think this was a plot by the Vatican or the Sanhedrin or the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland?If I follow your logic than all these centuries of submission is exclusively for the female's own safety, including their own church (see my quote)? Do you still hold that logic for current violent places?

Davaar
24th Apr 2006, 21:15
1. Would love to ask Epicurus some questions, but alas he's dead. Re the OT or NT God, I think it's quite relevant as you refer to him. For me there's a considerable different perception in both.

2. Oops, I ....... almost forgot that issue.

3. If I follow your logic than all these centuries of submission is exclusively for the female's own safety, including their own church (see my quote)?

4. Do you still hold that logic for current violent places?

1. I responded to a point made by Epicurus and repeated by Ferret. My comment applies to any god. Take your choice. I asked you to explain the relevance of OT and NT, but you have not done so. But then, you are working to your own "perception". Vive la perception.

2. I am sure you do.

3. Why do you not just stick to what I write? Why must you distort and try to foist positions on me? Are you incapable of a straight answer?

4. What are you talking about? What violent places? Do you think I am an apologist for Islam and every other religion that comes along? I do not care what you believe. I do know that Christendom created many protections for women: We do not practise female circumcision without anaesthetic; we do not allow divorce by a mantra repeated three times; we we do not make wives walk ten paces (or it is five?) behind their husbands; we do not allow plural marriages; we do not (at least in Scotland - not for centuries -- when I practised there, nor in Saskatchewan when I practised there and I believe widely elsewhere) allow husbands to sell the family home until the wife has been counselled separate and apart from her husband by a lawyer who is not her husband's lawyer, and her rights been explained to her by that lawyer in the absence of her husband, and she has signed a written consent in the presence of the independent lawyer who attests the event in writing (as I have often done, and twice the woman did withhold consent and I stopped the deal dead in its tracks).

5. These exhanges are too empty-headed for me to continue, so I leave you to believe whatever pleases you, on whatever evidence or intuitions you choose.

The Desert Ferret
24th Apr 2006, 21:29
Epicurus' observation is, as I read it, one of logic that has simple appeal that strikes a chord with many of us.

Correctly, Davaar, you have rightly pointed out that its value is dependent upon whom is judging what is evil.

I am a very poor scholar of theology and forgive my simple analysis but may I ask....for example....

I judged that the events at Srebenica were evil.

He, assuming He is omnipotent, judged that it was not evil and permitted them.

What am I oversimplifying or misunderstanding here?

Davaar
24th Apr 2006, 22:18
1. Epicurus' observation is, as I read it, one of logic that has simple appeal that strikes a chord with many of us.

2. I am a very poor scholar of theology and forgive my simple analysis but may I ask....for example....

3. I judged that the events at Srebenica were evil.

4. He, assuming He is omnipotent, judged that it was not evil and permitted them.



1. Thank you, Desert. I begin with the statement that I am not an advocate for a God. I have one, but He is for me. If He is omniscient and I am not, who am I to decide that what I perceive to be evil does not have a Greater Purpose that is hidden from me?

In families this happens often. Daughter aged 17 wishes to go to the Dominican Republic for Spring Break. “It is OK! A teacher is going”. Cruel unfeeling father [inwardly assessing the louts he knows at the school] denies permission and, more practically, funding. Intense Drama. A few years pass, and out of the blue daughter volunteers the comment that Papa was right back then. Job had a similar experience.

It is frequently put: “I would never believe in a God who allows X or Y or Z”. To say that is to say that God is the speaker’s own creation; “I do not like him any more, therefore he no longer exists”.

If God is omnipotent, He can be, as we may see it, good or bad; but either way, it may be we, not He, who is error. In The Lord’s Prayer we do not ask for more than daily bread. The main prayer is “Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven”, not “My version of Thy will be done”. It follows that we shall accept what follows. I try to do that, and like almost everyone past middle age I have some ups and downs. I have never asked: “Why me?”, and my version of Christianity does not derive from a bargain (for which see the oleion of atheists here):L "Please God, get me into Heaven and I'll be good".

2. As am I. I really began to read about this because of the abuse slung at O_C_B. Do not misunderstand me. O_C_B was good at throwing abuse of his own. I found that churches did not feed my hunger much, so I began to harvest for myself. I soon learned here that the antis are as swayed by literalism, and as dogmatic, as are the born-agains.

3 I was against that war. I am opposed to wars of principle, especially buttinsky wars, because my principle may be your oppression. They depend on acceptence of the morality of the day and place, Islam, Christianity, Hinduism. If regrettably we must have wars, they should be prompted by interests. The good old-fashioned cynical statecraft for limited ends.

4. I do not know that. He may have judged that it was evil but that for a Greater Purpose the world must be run by humans. Whether you or I agree with that, it remains that Epicurus was substituting his human judgment for a Divine.

Capt.KAOS
24th Apr 2006, 23:02
Funny, you quote me incomplete and at the other hand you claim that I distort you. I'm sure you must know this phrase: do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

3. Why do you not just stick to what I write? Why must you distort and try to foist positions on me? Are you incapable of a straight answer?I did stick to what you write, go back and read again. It was not an answer, it was question to you re submission and my quote from 1 Cor 14:33-35 to which you responded. I know it's hard for a great mind like you who goes into every corner of history in his messages, but at least try..

4. What are you talking about? What violent places? Do you think I am an apologist for Islam and every other religion that comes along? I do not care what you believe. I do know that Christendom created many protections for women: We do not practise female circumcision without anaesthetic; we do not allow divorce by a mantra repeated three times; we we do not make wives walk ten paces (or it is five?) behind their husbands; we do not allow plural marriages; we do not (at least in Scotland - not for centuries -- when I practised there, nor in Saskatchewan when I practised there and I believe widely elsewhere) allow husbands to sell the family home until the wife has been counselled separate and apart from her husband by a lawyer who is not her husband's lawyer, and her rights been explained to her by that lawyer in the absence of her husband, and she has signed a written consent in the presence of the independent lawyer who attests the event in writing (as I have often done, and twice the woman did withhold consent and I stopped the deal dead in its tracks).Again you get carried away and lost in irrelevancy. I don't believe, I asked you a straight question. I ask again: do you approve with female submission for protection (I do know that Christendom created many protections for women)? And before you go into details about your good deeds, I already mentioned earlier ...inferior until the last century.

Willows
24th Apr 2006, 23:30
Some of these quotes may be of help to a few of you reading through this thread. They certainly help me establish my mental clarity when getting involved in the infinite loop that is the discussion between the religious & non-religious.

"A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death."
-Albert Einstein.

"Science tells us what we can know, but what we can know is little ... Theology, on the other hand induces a dogmatic belief that we have knowledge where in fact we have ignorance, and by doing so generates a kind of impertinent insolence towards the universe. Uncertainty, in the presence of vivid hopes and fears, is painful, but must be endured if we wish to live without the support of comforting fairy tales."
-B. Russell.

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use."
-Galileo Galilei.

"However many holy words you read, However many you speak, What good will they do you if you do not act on upon them?"
-Buddha.

"When you speak to God, it is a prayer. When God answers your prayer, it is a matter of schizophrenia."
-Oscar Cruz.

I have more but my pillow and duvet awaits. Good night. :)

BDiONU
25th Apr 2006, 06:01
Some of these quotes may be of help to a few of you reading through this thread. They certainly help me establish my mental clarity when getting involved in the infinite loop that is the discussion between the religious & non-religious.
Christianity inculcates the necessity of supplicating the Deity. Prayer may be considered under two points of view; -as an endeavor to change the intentions of God, or as a formal testimony of our obedience. But the former case supposes that the caprices of a limited intelligence can occasionally instruct the Creator of the world how to regulate the universe; and the latter, a certain degree of servility analogous to the loyalty demanded by earthly tyrants. Obedience indeed is only the pitiful and cowardly egotism of him who thinks that he can do something better than reason.
Percy Bysshe Shelley, "Queen Mab"

Scientific claims must be testable; we must, in principal, be able to envision a set of observations that would render them false. Miracles cannot be judged by this criterion.
Stephen Jay Gould

Beliefs, including religious ones, are learned. Which makes atheism a normal state of affairs and religious beliefs a learned "abnormality". No psychological theory is necessary to explain the causes of a normal base state. Any psychological theory of learning, attitude change or socialisation can explain the causes of religious belief.
Rosemary Lyndall, clinical Neuro-psychologist

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?
Epicurus

I believe that it is better to tell the truth than to lie. I believe that it is better to be free than to be a slave. And I believe that it is better to know than be ignorant.
HL Mencken

So long as the universe had a beginning, we could suppose it had a creator. But if the universe is really completely self-contained, having no boundary or edge, it would have neither beginning nor end: it would simply be. What place then, for a creator?
Stephen W. Hawking - A Brief History of Time

Since experiences of God are good grounds for the existence of God, are not experiences of the absence of God good grounds for the nonexistence of God? After all, many people have tried to experience God and have failed. Cannot these experiences of the absence of God be used by atheists to counter the theistic argument based on experience of the presence of God?
Michael Martin, Atheism: A Philosophical Justification, (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1990), p. 159.

In a sense, the religious person must have no real views of his own and it is presumptuous of him, in fact, to have any. In regard to sex-love affairs, to marriage and family relations, to business, to politics, and to virtually everything else that is important in his life, he must try to discover what his god and his clergy would like him to do; and he must primarily do their bidding.
Albert Ellis, Ph.D

The doctrine that future happiness depends upon belief is monstrous. It is the infamy of infamies. The notion that faith in Christ is to be rewarded by an eternity of bliss, while a dependence upon reason, observation and experience merits everlasting pain, is too absurd for refutation, and can be relieved only by that unhappy mixture of insanity and ignorance, called "faith." What man, who ever thinks, can believe that blood can appease God? And yet, our entire system of religion is based upon that believe. The Jews pacified Jehovah with the blood of animals, and according to the Christian system, the blood of Jesus softened the heart of God a little, and rendered possible the salvation of a fortunate few. It is hard to conceive how the human mind can give assent to such terrible ideas, or how any sane man can read the Bible and still believe in the doctrine of inspiration.
Robert G. Ingersoll, "The Gods", 1872

In reality, science provides no evidence for the existence of God and probably never will. Nothing in current cosmology demands that the universe was purposefully created. The most economical hypothesis, consistent with all astronomical observations and the established theoretical structure of modern physics and cosmology is that the universe is absent of any pre-existing design or plan.
Victor J. Stenger, "Big Bang Ripples No Message from God"

The temperature of Heaven can be rather accurately computed. Our authority is Isaiah 30: 26, "Moreover, the light of the Moon shall be as the light of the Sun and the light of the Sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days." Thus Heaven receives from the Moon as much radiation as we do from the Sun, and in addition 7*7 (49) times as much as the Earth does from the Sun, or 50 times in all. The light we receive from the Moon is one 1/10,000 of the light we receive from the Sun, so we can ignore that … The radiation falling on Heaven will heat it to the point where the heat lost by radiation is just equal to the heat received by radiation, i.e., Heaven loses 50 times as much heat as the Earth by radiation. Using the Stefan-Boltzmann law for radiation, (H/E) temperature of the earth (-300K), gives H as 798K (525C). The exact temperature of Hell cannot be computed …[However] Revelations 21: 8 says "But the fearful, and unbelieving … shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone." A lake of molten brimstone means that its temperature must be at or below the boiling point, 444.6C. We have, then, that Heaven, at 525C is hotter than Hell at 445C.
From "Applied Optics" vol. 11, A14, 1972

BD

Flying Lawyer
25th Apr 2006, 12:15
Chuffer Dandridge

Going back to your original questions -

”Are Christians not fussed about taking the pi$$ out of their messiah”
Reactions vary depending upon the Christian and the circumstances. In my case, it depends upon what’s said, how it’s said and the motives behind it. I enjoy the ‘Vicar of Dibley’ and think anyone offended by it (I don’t know anyone who is) misses the point of the comedy, which takes the mickey out of old fashioned, village life, albeit in a church context.

With the reported dwindling of people attending church, why do we think this is? Is it the old fashioned songs? The decor? The fashions? Not 'hip' to be seen in church?
Probably a mixture of all those, combined with busy lifestyles and the effects of the society in which we now live in which many traditions have disappeared; some for better, some for worse IMHO.
I don’t go to church very often these days. In my case, it was a gradual process. Pressure of time, busy lifestyle, missing occasionally, then more often and eventually hardly going at all. I’ll start going again at some point. I like the old hymns but also like the modern songs. (Traditional church choir music does nothing for me in a religious sense.) Décor? I like plain nonconformist chapels but also admire the beautiful architecture in some churches. The fashions? If you mean the garb some clergy wear, I don’t like them and find them distracting. (More accurately, my irritation with the pomp in some churches distracts me – so I wouldn’t choose that sort of church.)
I don’t know if numbers are continuing to dwindle; I’ve read conflicting reports. The church I used to attend in central London has had to increase the number of services. Despite regular informal appeals to people to consider attending their local churches, encouragement to move with curates who’d finished training and were appointed vicars of their own churches and several formal projects over the years whereby groups of about 100-120 volunteers left to join a specific church, there are still five services to cope with demand: 8 am (traditional Holy Communion), 9:30, 11:30, 5pm & 7pm. (The church holds about 1000.)

Empty Cruise says: “As we can probably see, legal thinking does not go very well with beliefs...”
If he means that no-one applying legal thinking to the available evidence could be convinced that God exists, that Jesus was his son, that he performed miracles, that he was crucified, that he died and rose again, then I disagree.
By coincidence, the Vicar of the church I mentioned used to be a barrister, as did Nicky Gumbel who developed the Alpha courses mentioned in the ‘Convince me’ thread. John Irvine, who actually founded the Alpha courses, was a few years senior to me in my chambers until going into the church in the late 70s. Some legal minds are convinced by the available evidence and some are not, just as some scientists are and some are not.

Evidence? In very brief summary, I’m satisfied that the accounts of Jesus’ life given in the gospels are true.
Some people point to discrepancies between the gospels. Accounts given by witnesses almost always contain discrepancies; it doesn’t mean they are unreliable, nor does it mean the incident described didn’t occur.
Some people don’t consider the gospels to be an acceptable source of evidence. That’s up to them; I disagree.
The existence or otherwise of God cannot be proved in absolute terms. When considering whether something is proved, we decide for ourselves whether it has been proved to our satisfaction, not whether someone else should consider it to be proved to their satisfaction. People who conclude there is no evidence or insufficient evidence that God exists, that Jesus was his son etc are as entitled to form their conclusions as Christians are to form theirs.

IMHO, quoting the thoughts/conclusions of others who happen to share our views does nothing to further the discussion. Both sides can do that, but it proves nothing.

yintsinmerite
25th Apr 2006, 12:27
Religion has just caused yet more trouble. Tonight, as you are all aware, is the European Champions League Semi final. My plans, as a devout gooner, were to wander down to a local pub and watch the match (and a few beers), letting my wife look after the kids while I go out (for a change). My wife, who is a bit of a god squader, and was last night, at a meeting of the Parocial Parish Council for 3 and a half hours, just called me and said
"Oh, there is a meeting of the church 'Thinking Group' tonight finishing at 21:30. Can you take me there for about 20:00 and and pick me up because there will be a few glasses of wine consumed."
"Of course not", says I, "you were at a church thing last night and I am going to watch the match"
"Oh but its important" says she "because its all about the Islam/Christian relationship"
"Huh!" I said getting angry, "It's just religion, you may as well believe in fairies at the bottom of the garden"
So, I am in the dog house (again), due to this insistance by some in believing in mythical beings. I AM going to watch the match though
Religion Sucks :E

Willows
25th Apr 2006, 12:57
IMHO, quoting the thoughts/conclusions of others who happen to share our views does nothing to further the discussion. Both sides can do that, but it proves nothing.[/FONT][/COLOR]

No, but as I said, reading them helps keeping me relatively sane. It's immensely gratifying to know that some of those who share the same view as you are some of the greatest minds that have ever lived.

The wisdom of the wise, and the experience of ages are preserved by quotation.

Thanks for the others, BDiONU.

Flying Lawyer
25th Apr 2006, 13:13
I understand the gratification - I think most of us know the feeling - but it's taken to (IMHO silly) extremes by some.

What a good thing the greatest minds that ever lived have been divided on this issue, so both sides have ample opportunity to feel gratified. ;)

BDiONU
25th Apr 2006, 13:50
What a good thing the greatest minds that ever lived have been divided on this issue,
Stephen Hawking, Einstein etc. etc. are on the con side, so which great minds are on the pro side??

BD
"The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. The religion which based on experience, which refuses dogmatic. If there's any religion that would cope the scientific needs it will be Buddhism...."

"I cannot conceive of a God who rewards and punishes his creatures, or has a will of the kind that we experience in ourselves. Neither can I nor would I want to conceive of an individual that survives his physical death; let feeble souls, from fear or absurd egoism, cherish such thoughts. I am satisfied with the mystery of the eternity of life and with the awareness and a glimpse of the marvelous structure of the existing world, together with the devoted striving to comprehend a portion, be it ever so tiny, of the Reason that manifests itself in nature."
Albert Einstein,_The World as I See It

pulse1
25th Apr 2006, 15:00
BDiONU,

If there's any religion that would cope the scientific needs it will be Buddhism...."

Hello again! I would be very interested to hear why you think that. What particular aspects of Buddhism do you think "would cope with scientific needs", and why?

BDiONU
25th Apr 2006, 15:19
BDiONU,
Hello again! I would be very interested to hear why you think that. What particular aspects of Buddhism do you think "would cope with scientific needs", and why?
Because it does not believe in a God and spiritual needs are met by the self. :)

BD

Capt.KAOS
25th Apr 2006, 15:19
Interesting fact is that Einstein was deeply religious when he was 12 years old. Growing older he began to develop a distrust of all authority, including biblical and religious authority.
I don’t go to church very often these days. In my case, it was a gradual process. Pressure of time, busy lifestyle, missing occasionally, then more often and eventually hardly going at all. I’ll start going again at some point. I like the old hymns but also like the modern songs. (Traditional church choir music does nothing for me in a religious sense.) Décor? I like plain nonconformist chapels but also admire the beautiful architecture in some churchesThe most beautiful music I've ever heard was Bach's Toccata & Fuga played on the organ of the St.Vitus Cathedral in Prague's Hradny Castle. I still get the goose bumps when I think of that, 25 years ago. Also love to listen to Monteverdi's madrigals, which I think is one of the purest froms of music.


edited: [email protected] spelling...

BDiONU
25th Apr 2006, 15:36
The most beautiful music I've ever heard was Bach's Toccata & Fuga played on the organ in the St.Vitus Cathedral in Prague's Hradny Castle. I till get the goose bumps when I think of that, 25 years ago. Also love to listen to Monteverdi's madrigals, which I think is one of the purest froms of music.
And was this music written and performed by god or by man ;) Was the Castle designed and built by god or by man? ;) Was the organ designed and built by god or by man? ;)
Is god designed by man?

BD

Capt.KAOS
25th Apr 2006, 16:14
Dunno BDiONU, all I know it's divine music... :ok:

Flying Lawyer
25th Apr 2006, 19:43
Capt K

Your mention of Monteverdi reminds me of listening to his 1610 Vespers at St Mark's Venice many years ago. It made a deep impression on me. (Musical rather than religious.) The divine music being sung to perfection in such a beautiful (and appropriate) setting is a glorious memory which I doubt will ever leave me.

Also agree about Bach's T&F. Played well on a seriously big pipe organ, it's magnificent.
(I've also heard it played at the happy couple's request at weddings, by organists who aren't really up to it ...... :eek: )

ATCO1962
25th Apr 2006, 20:56
From a Christian perspective, all those creative and good arty things listed above emanate from an infinitely good and creative God. If we are made in His image, all of us have His blueprint inscribed in us somewhere which results in good things coming from believer and non-believer alike.

Before you say, "How can God be good with all the suffering and the behaviour of His followers, etc" please remember that orthodox Christian teaching continues to relate suffering in the world to our bad choices, which, in Christian parlance, is sin. We live in a fallen world, one that exhibits its "fallenness" in so many areas. That's why we believe in God's intervention through Christ. A thorough knowledge of God and the history of sin and its effects gives a great explanation as to why we have the world we do.

God continues to give us the tools to fix most things, including scientific knowledge, which no Christian I know fears, and asks us why we don't do anything about the suffering. Lets face it, if we all spent just a little of our money and time on others, our world would be a significantly better and nicer place.

SyllogismCheck
25th Apr 2006, 22:09
My God (and Gouabafla's) is better than yours, but that's your problem not mine, and if you don't want to listen then it's your lookout (in a few years!)
ExSim, I apologise if I'm taking your words out of context, but I don't think I am, and even if so, their meaning when intentionally applied as I read them, as they often are, is something which grates on me. That grating is caused by such words, or words to the same effect, being used in the threatening manner they are. I've probably set foot in church not more than 20 times in my life, most of those for weddings and christenings. Nonetheless, I accept freely and indeed respect peoples Christian beliefs and values. All the same, I object to being told, in a manner openly designed to induce fear, that, quite literally, I'm damned if I don't actively take up and practice those beliefs and values myself.

I find it patronising. Especially so when, sinner in the biblical sense that I surely am, I'm quite aware that I've gone out of my way to do many good deeds, which could be considered Christian in their nature, when practicing Christians, some of whom would no doubt be eager to warn me of the dangers which lie ahead if I remain an unrepented sinner, have simply turned a blind eye and carried on by ignoring those in need of their Christian minded services. As far as I'm concerned, lip service isn't good enough I'm afraid.

I welcome anyone hold to their beliefs of choice. I simply cannot accept however the levelling of what amount threats inspired by those beliefs by those believers who openly and unashamedly fail to live up to the very ideals they promote. I'm afraid I've seen it all to often and find it hugley hypocritical.

If, and to me it is an if, there is a soul, spirit, inner-energy, call it what you will, which has any awareness to be put to judgement when we die, I'm content with the notion that so long as my good acts more than balance out my less moral ones, I'll be right.

As you say, it's my lookout, I'm taking care of it in my way as you are in yours.
All I ask is, please, spare me the threats. :ok:

Flying Lawyer
25th Apr 2006, 22:18
ATCO1962

If you mean God gave us our various talents I agree, but I don't think you can equate 'good' and 'bad' in the arts with good and bad in people. Opinions about what is good or bad in the arts depend upon personal taste.

A great deal of suffering in the world stems from bad choices (sometimes our own, sometimes by others) and much misery and unhappiness is certainly caused by things we do to each other which, if we followed Jesus' teaching, we wouldn't do. But, are you saying that incorrect choices are necessarily 'bad' choices in the sense of being sins?

Are you saying that if we didn't live in a fallen world we wouldn't ever make errors of judgment? That we'd never do anything which inadvertently harms someone else?

ATCO1962
25th Apr 2006, 23:42
Flying Lawyer

Yep, sorry; my post seemed to link the good and bad in arts and people and I meant to separate the two. My first paragraph was simply to show that noone has a stranglehold on creativity which, from a Christian vantagepoint, shows that side of God built into us.

When I use "incorrect choices", it is a euphemism for sin, which is any action or thought contrary to what God intended us to do.

And, yes, I am saying that, were it not for sin, we would have a renewed Eden. Unfortunately, we prove to ourselves, day in, day out, believer or no, that we are incapable of living in a manner that doesn't do harm, in some way, to others. Hence the need for a Saviour who will take on himself the punishment due to all of us.


SyllogismCheck

I can't speak for other Christians but I do sympathise. I cringe at my own hypocricy and wonder, at times, why anyone would want to trust what I say. I especially don't want you to judge Christ by my actions. However, I have had the privilege of living amongst some very committed Christians and have found their joie de vivre irrepressible, their sense of social action incomparable and their humility , well, humbling. Their lives point towards a loving Father and His love, which compels any Christian , like the apostle Paul, to preach the gospel in season and out. When I put myself in your shoes, I can well imagine how you feel, but that can never stop the proclamation of the plan of salvation that we believe in.

Any time that proclamation goes forth, it will always sound patronising and, to some ears, harsh. To many, though, it has been a clarion call to a much,much better life. I have witnessed the transformation many times. I only wish that I and my fellow sojourners had more consistency and more evident love so that more could join the party.

Jesus came to save hypocrites and we are among them:sad:

RiskyRossco
26th Apr 2006, 00:57
Interesting points raised re: the original questions that led off.

ATCO distills accurately the reason for Christ's death. The NT is in the OT concealed, the OT is in the NT revealed. Our Bible is 'inspired', taken from the Greek etymology the two word roots mean 'God-breathed'. Written by God's prophets and apostles under His supervision and direction, these human writers were used of their individuality to express what God would have us know.

Briefly, misconception and misapprehension of Scripture derived mostly from man's desire to make it say what he wants, dependent on whatever Church body held sway over the flock. 'Take Scripture out of context and it becomes pretext, and you can then make pretext say whatever you want.'
Take the Creation account in Genesis. This book has been attacked more than any other doctrine by the anti-Christian forces. The original Hebrew terminology actually says a lot about science's model. 'Firmament' reads as 'space'. The 'face of the waters' describes the most economical shape of a body of water, i.e. a sphere. Out of it came 'matter', or the building blocks of all that God made.
Even the very term 'day' is confirmed later in the OT when the same definite 24-hour period is used in it's definitive quantity in Isaiah. There is no argument then for day to mean an epoch or aeon.
God created 'man' in His own image. The Hebrew meaning is 'memorial', not gender. The term for the female, 'help meet', means 'sufficient and completing'. The woman was made to define the man and be a 'finisher' of him, as in a way to define the very stations occupied by each.
'Male and female created He them' is gender.

God created man and woman for a specific purpose. Even BDiOnu, Keef, Strafer, Syllogismcheck are created memorials to God, with a status to be 'like Christ', to be 'heirs of the Son of God'.
To accept this is to exercise the faith that God has given to us. And to accept this is to accept the promise God has given to all to heal us and change us for the better. Which is why faith in the divine has always been seen as illogical.
The world does not want us to see the truth and will try everything to blind us. Which is why the Christian belief and faith in the One True God is treated as pointless, insane, laughable and at most inflammatory. It is the only God that promises resurrection by example.
Bhudda didn't rise again. Mohammed didn't rise again. None of the 3.9 million limited and fickle Hindu gods can deliver us. All of these remove the redemptive power from the divine and leave humans to either seek futilely a 'possible' way to God or try to 'work' their way.

Now, regarding the dwindling numbers in Christian churches, the 'fashions' and marketing taken up to try to attract numbers are yet another compromise which diluted the ultimate message. 'Be not conformed to this world but be transformed' means to stop chasing after fashions, fads, material gains, immediate gratifications. In the modern society which regards 'bling', 'I want it now', 'give me a soundbite, not the whole thing' the Gospel message is unfashionable. 'Why not give us the easy version? I don't want to apply this doctrine!'
To all but those who realise the transient nature of this life, to all but those who realise the truth. Death is only a door and what lies beyond is scary.
'Read the Bible simply as a book'. Many have been changed and repented simply from a desire to 'prove it untrue'. Which is why the example of character in the disbelieving, such as BDiOnu et. al. won't read the Bible. Every secular reference and argument against Christ is acceptable but Christ's defence, the Word, is left out as 'inadmissable'.
Faith comes through hearing and hearing by the Word of God.

Intolerance, then, seems to point to what results when the 'faithful', the 'morally right', take their eye and heart off their God and His statutes. Speaking the truth in love and religious dogmatism are as distinct as day and night. Most of the time the truth hurts.

Flying Lawyer
26th Apr 2006, 01:15
Even BDiOnu, Keef, Strafer, Syllogismcheck ......

What! Even Keef? :eek:



;)

RiskyRossco
26th Apr 2006, 01:27
Yup, even Keef! Ya wouldn' read abaht it. But there are stranger things on heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your imaginations, Horatio.

:D :}

Keef
26th Apr 2006, 04:01
What have I done now?

Keef (in Lake Havasu City, with a very nice 2000 Piper Archer)

RiskyRossco
26th Apr 2006, 04:17
You haven't 'done' anything, Keef. We're talkibg about yer, not to yer.
;) Read the previous posts and it all becomes clear.

What's the performance in a Piper like at that altitude, btw? Must be hot and humid.

BDiONU
26th Apr 2006, 05:52
God created man and woman for a specific purpose. Even BDiOnu, Keef, Strafer, Syllogismcheck are created memorials to God, with a status to be 'like Christ', to be 'heirs of the Son of God'.
Sorry but I was not 'created' by or to be like any mythical deity which you choose to worship. I'm the product of millions and millions of years of evolution, so are all of us. Theres no magic involved :D

BD
YOUR PETITIONERS ARE ATHEISTS and they define their life-style as follows. An Atheist loves himself and his fellowman instead of a god. An Atheist knows that heaven is something for which we should work now — here on earth — for all men together to enjoy. An Atheist thinks that he can get no help through prayer but that he must find in himself the inner conviction and strength to meet life, to grapple with it, to subdue, and enjoy it. An Atheist thinks that only in a knowledge of himself and a knowledge of his fellowman can he find the understanding that will help to a life of fulfillment. Therefore, he seeks to know himself and his fellowman rather than to know a god. An Atheist knows that a hospital should be build instead of a church An Atheist knows that a deed must be done instead of a prayer said. An Atheist strives for involvement in life and not escape into death. He wants disease conquered, poverty vanquished, war eliminated. He wants man to understand and love man. He wants an ethical way of life. He knows that we cannot rely on a god nor channel action into prayer nor hope for an end to troubles in the hereafter. He knows that we are our brother's keeper and keepers of our lives; that we are responsibile persons, that the job is here and the time is now.

Madalyn Murray (later O'Hair), preamble to Murray v. Curlett, April 27, 1961

BDiONU
26th Apr 2006, 06:16
Our Bible is 'inspired', taken from the Greek etymology the two word roots mean 'God-breathed'. Written by God's prophets and apostles under His supervision and direction, these human writers were used of their individuality to express what God would have us know.
Briefly, misconception and misapprehension of Scripture derived mostly from man's desire to make it say what he wants, dependent on whatever Church body held sway over the flock.
The same standards apply to heathen evidence as to biblica. Is it based on a primary source? Is it biased, ambiguous or simply wrong? Relevant evidence is extremely scarce; what, if anything, does silence imply? In the early parts of the Bible's story, biblical persons have yet to be identified correctly in any external sources. There have been many attempts, and some confident claims, but as yet there is no good reason to identify Moses or Joseph with any known person or period in ancient Egyptian records.

Robin Lane Fox, The Unauthorized Version, (New York: Vintage, 1993), p. 252

BD
There are many extraordinary tales from antiquity, including women with snakes for hair, creatures whose gaze turns you to stone, creatures with equine bodies and human torsos, many accounts of people rising from the dead, lots of tales of magic, and numerous accounts of physical encounters with fantastic beings. Ancient people were a superstitious, scientifically primitive lot, and believed in many things that today we know are silly. I find it bizarre that so many people see nothing suspicious about the extraordinary or supernatural claims of the bible, yet don't hesitate to express disbelief in equally well documented claims of minotaurs, basilisks, and wizards.

Scott Brown

ORAC
26th Apr 2006, 06:44
as a devout gooner And Lehman saved a penalty in the 88th minute. I take it all back, there is a god...... :ok:

BDiONU
26th Apr 2006, 08:58
Our Bible is 'inspired', taken from the Greek etymology the two word roots mean 'God-breathed'. Written by God's prophets and apostles under His supervision and direction, these human writers were used of their individuality to express what God would have us know.
So in essence you're saying that your bible was written by your god and everything in it must be true because your god wrote it?
This rather leaves other religions (like muslims) out in the cold because their version of their bible written by their god conflicts with yours. Since there can only be one god (surely?) its no wonder there have been (and still are) so many wars of religion.
Its a shame for all these other people of other religions as well because we're not born with faith, its something you are taught or you learn. The vast majority of people don't choose their religion on which has the best ideals or the nicest cathedrals, the grooviest sermons etc. your religion is something you generally learn from your parents and you assume their religion. So now, because this christian bible can be the only true word of god because it was written by him, these other religions, these millions of other people must all be heathens, infidels, blasphemers etc. just because of an accident of birth, irrespective that they themselves may be hugely religious, worship their own god(s) without fail and live totally blameless lives they're condemned out of hand because of the bible. How very sad.

BD
The advent of the Christian God, as the maximum god attained so far, was… accompanied by the maximum feeling of guilty indebtedness on Earth. Presuming we gradually enter upon the reverse course, there is no small probability that with the irresistible decline of faith in the Christian god, there is now a considerable decline in mankind's feeling of guilt; indeed, the prospect cannot be dismissed that the complete and definitive victory of Atheism might free mankind of this whole feeling of guilty in- debtedness towards its origin… Atheism and a kind of second innocence belong together.

Friedrich Nietzsche, from The Genealogy of Morals

strafer
26th Apr 2006, 12:21
Even BDiOnu, Keef, Strafer, Syllogismcheck 'Scuse me, I hadn't actually posted on this thread until now!

We're now going over the same ground that was covered in the 'Convince Me' thread. If people are too silly to stop believing in children's fairy tales, then there's little you can do to help them.

However, in the spirit of concurrency, I think we can agree with Christians that if the lord is their shepherd, then their collective noun is indeed 'a flock'.

As the Actress said to the Bishop
I stand accused your Grace
Of the Seven Deadly Cynicisms
And a total lack of faith.

Skypilot
26th Apr 2006, 12:32
Before you say, "How can God be good with all the suffering and the behaviour of His followers, etc" please remember that orthodox Christian teaching continues to relate suffering in the world to our bad choices, which, in Christian parlance, is sin.
ATCO1962, how do you reconcile this with the fact that any creator - accepting for a moment that such an individual exists - actually went out of his way to create suffering where it need not have existed? Why else did he take the trouble to create pathogens like the Ebola virus and the bacterium responsible for Bubonic Plague, to name but two? If you accept the biblical version of the creation story, it also follows that he created these things before the fall of man, so their existence can hardly be blamed on our bad choices, can it? (Unless, of course, he created them retrospectively in a fit of pique - but that wouldn't be consistent with all the other characteristics that you attribute to him).

ChocksAwayUK
26th Apr 2006, 12:34
Well I hadn't heard that for a while Strafer.. brings back happy memories of sweaty 'moshpits'. :ouch:

strafer
26th Apr 2006, 12:37
For the life of me I can't remember the song title Chocks, can you? (I think it's from 30 Something).

Grandpa
26th Apr 2006, 12:39
About atheist.

Could it apply to agnostic like me?

How much is the member's fee?
Is there a request for bank account data, ID, or anything alike?
Please tell me!

ChocksAwayUK
26th Apr 2006, 12:46
For the life of me I can't remember the song title Chocks, can you? (I think it's from 30 Something).

Had to look it up - Billy Smart's Circus!

Billy Smart, Billy Smart, Circus for the bleeding hearts,
Feed the homeless, heal the sick,
Take the piss out of the shit
:ooh:

I wonder if i still know every word of 30something. Surprised myself the other day by still being able to 'do' the whole of PWEI's Dance Of The Mad.. just came out like a torrent.

Chanda
26th Apr 2006, 13:51
"God is Dead ! "..........Nietzsche.

"Nietzsche is Dead !!!".......God !

BDiONU
26th Apr 2006, 14:45
About atheist.
Could it apply to agnostic like me?
Oh I am certain it does because although its not possible to absolutely prove that god does not exist, on the balance of probabilities he/she/it is simply a mythical being whose continued 'existance' is due to the credulousness of people who have a need for the comfort the stories bring.
How much is the member's fee?
Is there a request for bank account data, ID, or anything alike?
Please tell me!
No need to phone now with your details, no money will be taken, no tithes on your wages. All you need to do is not hate people whose beliefs may be different to yours, treat people as you'd want to be treated yourself and stop fearing that you'll go to hell if you fail to worship this supernatural deity correctly.
In short be a good person, as good as you can be and accept that you don't know everything and that you're fallible and prone to making mistakes occasionally.

Does that feel better now grandpa? Do you feel more child like now, more like you felt before the imposition of supernatural belief system on you (assuming someone did that to you)?
Oh and sorry but you don't actually 'belong' to anything, no bended knee required, no mumbo jumbo mutterings and incantations, no secret signs or strange garments need be worn to show your allegience. You're just you, yourself, left to make your own way through the only life you'll get in the best way you can :D

BD
Those who wish to seek out the cause of miracles, and to understand the things of nature as philosophers, and not to stare at them in astonishment like fools, are soon considered heretical and impious, and proclaimed as such by those whom the mob adores as the interpreters of nature and the gods. For these men know that once ignorance is put aside that wonderment would be taken away which is the only means by which their authority is preserved.
Spinoza

pulse1
26th Apr 2006, 17:05
BDiONU,

In short be a good person, as good as you can be

How do I know how good I can be? How good do I have to be?

All you need to do is not hate people whose beliefs may be different to yours, treat people as you'd want to be treated yourself and stop fearing that you'll go to hell if you fail to worship this supernatural deity correctly.


With the exception of the first word, I would subscribe to all that as a Christian.

frostbite
26th Apr 2006, 17:18
" With the exception of the first word, I would subscribe to all that as a Christian"


My experience of high-profile Christians suggests that the higher the profile, the more likely they are to shaft you, given the opportunity.

Yes, I am and have been an atheist, virtually since I discovered what the word meant when I was a kid, and totally agree with bdionu's post.

BDiONU
26th Apr 2006, 18:09
BDiONU,
How do I know how good I can be? How good do I have to be?
You have to be as good as you can be, how is it possible to be better than you can be?? If you try your best at something no-one can expect any more from you, you've done your best.
With the exception of the first word, I would subscribe to all that as a Christian.
I beg to differ because christians are infected with religion and that most dreadful affliction of all 'faith'.
"Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence."
Richard Dawkins
Christians (and all religions) continue the mistruths, the lies, the pulling of wool over the eyes of people, especially children. They perpetuate the myths, belief in the supernatural and miracles. They inspire fear to make worshippers toe the line. The sooner people dismiss religion for the outmoded, outdated 'explanation' for events which we do not yet understand the better place the world will be.

BD
By all means let's be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out.
Richard Dawkins, in "Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder," The Richard Dimbleby Lecture, BBC1 Television (12 November 1996)

I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world.
Richard Dawkins (attributed: source unknown)

Religion teaches the dangerous nonsense that death is not the end.
Richard Dawkins, "Religion's Misguided Missiles" (September 15, 2001)

Faith is powerful enough to immunize people against all appeals to pity, to forgiveness, to decent human feelings. It even immunizes them against fear, if they honestly believe that a martyr's death will send them straight to heaven.
Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene

My point is not that religion itself is the motivation for wars, murders and terrorist attacks, but that religion is the principal label, and the most dangerous one, by which a "they" as opposed to a "we" can be identified at all.
Richard Dawkins, The Devil's Chaplain (2004)

Society bends over backward to be accommodating to religious sensibilities but not to other kinds of sensibilities. If I say something offensive to religious people, I'll be universally censured, including by many atheists. But if I say something insulting about Democrats or Republicans or the Green Party, one is allowed to get away with that. Hiding behind the smoke screen of untouchability is something religions have been allowed to get away with for too long.
Richard Dawkins, quoted in Natalie Angier, "Confessions of a Lonely Atheist," New York Times Magazine, January 14, 2001

pulse1
26th Apr 2006, 19:23
BDiONU,

You have to be as good as you can be

But I am not always as good as I can be. Neither are most, if not all, of the people I know. Where do I draw the line as to what is an acceptable level of failure? On previous occasions you have seemed to suggest that you just have to accept it and get on and try to do better next time. Do you accept that philosophy for anti-social behaviour or crime?

You say that you beg to differ with what I said. I do not understand how you can as I told you what I believe. I am not talking about Christians who are, as you correctly say, "infected with religion". I was disinfected many years ago.

frostbite,

I do not understand your link between my comment to BDiONU and your reference to "high profile Christians".

BDiONU
26th Apr 2006, 19:36
BDiONU,
But I am not always as good as I can be. Neither are most, if not all, of the people I know. Where do I draw the line as to what is an acceptable level of failure? On previous occasions you have seemed to suggest that you just have to accept it and get on and try to do better next time. Do you accept that philosophy for anti-social behaviour or crime?"
Sigh. Anti-social behaviour and crime etc. are unacceptable behaviour at any time. No one need behave like that, good people don't need to be told whats acceptable and whats not, its in your moral code (no need for a big book to peruse before making a decision about whats OK or not).

You say that you beg to differ with what I said. I do not understand how you can as I told you what I believe. I am not talking about Christians who are, as you correctly say, "infected with religion". I was disinfected many years ago.
You were suggesting (at least how I read it) that what I wrote was as applicable to christians as to nontheists. I disagreed, I hope thats clearer now :D

BD
Anything you don't understand, Mr. Rankin, you attribute to God. God for you is where you sweep away all the mysteries of the world, all the challenges to our intelligence. You simply turn your mind off and say God did it.
Dr. Arroway in Carl Sagan's Contact (New York: Pocket Books, 1985), p. 166

Keef
27th Apr 2006, 03:32
;) Read the previous posts and it all becomes clear.

Would that it did :)


What's the performance in a Piper like at that altitude, btw? Must be hot and humid.
Hot and dry - dewpoints are usually below freezing. It's still stimulating - it's a nice shiny new Archer 181, but it's a lot more sensitive to density altitude than the old Arrow seems to be. We're too used to VP props.

Coming out of the Grand Canyon this afternoon, we were lucky to get 200fpm up for a while (DA of 8200 feet). Eventually lumbered up to 9500 feet to get us to Page.

I see BDiOnU is still quoting large chunks of other atheists.

3 slips and a gully
27th Apr 2006, 04:20
http://www.venganza.org/images/th_FSM3d.jpg

RiskyRossco
27th Apr 2006, 04:43
:} :} :D

That's funny. Ironic, too. Lotsa Italians eat spaghetti and they have a large cut of the audience to the Gospels.

Point of order, BdiOnU. Your comment referring to a personal moral code as 'your' moral code is false assumption. The moral code in which the born-again Christian abides is impossible to maintain, since it is God's moral code. His moral code is not a code we blindly follow. It is the standard against which we as sinners are judged.
His moral code is, yes, a system by which we as Christians endeavour to live. Moreso, it is a code which reminds us daily of our incapability in maintaining a perfect will therefore our reliance on the Father to lead us daily.
To reiterate, even our very faith was given to us. 'There is none that do good, no, not one. For all like sheep have gone astray, each has gone his own way.'
'Before the Law there was no sin but by the Law sin was made manifest.'
Sheep need a shepherd, respond to his voice and he protects them. Which is why the faithful are called the 'flock' and the shepherd the 'Pastor'.

'Tis a small thing, but noteworthy, I believe.

BDiONU
27th Apr 2006, 08:03
Point of order, BdiOnU. Your comment referring to a personal moral code as 'your' moral code is false assumption. The moral code in which the born-again Christian abides is impossible to maintain, since it is God's moral code. His moral code is not a code we blindly follow. It is the standard against which we as sinners are judged.
His moral code is, yes, a system by which we as Christians endeavour to live.
My comment of 'your' moral code means the normal, average person. Gods moral code? Is there a rule for every modern situation written down for you christians to follow (and it MUST be blindly follow if your going to do precisely what you're told)? Sinners? Oh dear the fear thing again. Sigh.

BD

strafer
27th Apr 2006, 08:38
Sheep need a shepherdAint that the truth

Grandpa
27th Apr 2006, 08:52
After so many pages of discussion about religion, I was surprised GOD didn't reply himself to clear a few points and make a definitive statement about THE religion HE favours much.................

And then, light came on me!

GOD IS DEAD.
(now you understand why we have to endure so many catastrophies, torture, wars, diseases....................)

Navajo8686
27th Apr 2006, 09:25
My religious beliefs died when religious education lessons started at junior school. Even to me - as a nearly ten year old - there were rather a lot of inconsistencies. That was before I started apportioning blame for disease, flood, pestilense and famine.......

If Jesus died for 'our sins' why hasn't he come back to do it all over again? I would suggest that the past couple hundred of years have demonstrated that man's ability to sin is never ending!

If Jesus was pre-ordaned to die why the fuss about Judas? He was only doing what Jesus wanted in identifying him to the Romans

If Jesus came alive and rose to heaven why go to all the trouble of getting buried etc? Why not just 'magic' himself off the cross and away.

Why did Jesus have to die anyway - how did that help anyone? Made him a martyr I suppose.

Some of these thoughts bear worrying similarities to some of the reasoning given for terrorism - martyring yourself 'for the goodd of the cause' etc.
Perhaps the Bible is just a record of anti-establishment activity?

Nav

pulse1
27th Apr 2006, 14:42
Navajo8686

why hasn't he come back to do it all over again? Because he chose to die as a sacrifice for the sin of the whole world. How can he do that again without devalueing the first time? There is no need. If you don't believe in it the frist time, are you more likely to believe a second time?

why the fuss about Judas? Who is making a fuss about Judas? Not Christians as far as I can see.

Why not just 'magic' himself off the cross and away.


Well, I suppose one can imagine many ways that Jesus could have gone from the cross to heaven. Always, someone would be asking why he didn't do it differently. Anyway, it fulfilled OT prophecies that he would be raised in three days.

Why did Jesus have to die anyway Jesus paid the ultimate price for the sin of the whole world. You cannot pay a higher price. "greater love has no man than he gives up his life for his friend". Anything less than this would have been used to put a limit on his love. All through his life, Jesus had a close relationship with God. At the point of his death. he took upon himself the sin of the whole world. He must have felt devastated and even asked God why he had been forsaken. For him, this must have been worse than the physical pain he suffered. And he did this for every single one of us, whether we believe it or not.

Perhaps the Bible is just a record of anti-establishment activity?
Well, the Gospels certainly are, IMHO.

Navajo8686
27th Apr 2006, 15:50
Pulse1
Thanks for your answers - I actually find it interesting why people have the beliefs that they have and like to take an interest from an historical perspective. Whether I choose to have any or not is - of course my perogative - thank you for at least not trotting out the usual "you don't believe - you'll rot in hell" type response that one so often gets when questioning the 'devout'.

In answer to your particualr comments it's not about believing a second time or not. If you believe in the first then surely you'd welcome the second opportunity to 'absolve yourself'. I am puzzled as to the linkage between Jesus having to die and cleansing of sin. Someone or something dieing can surely only mean that the sins (or wrongs or debts!) of that individual die with them. If in Jesus case he was a fairly 'clever' bloke then why didn't he just take the sins and go to Heaven? Why go through the pain of dieing to prove a point?

Lots of fuss a couple of weeks ago with assorted church people getting exercised over Judas - the 'facts' as stated did actually seem to make sense (even if they did contradict the 'quoted' version).

What is interssting is why the Jesus story has become such a central plank of a major religion. What happened to the - undoubtedly - hundreds of people who (a) 'fought the law' at the same time by either peaceful or violent methods and/or (b) claimed to be the Messiah. What happened to their stories - they can't all have been non-entities? Are their stories safely locked up somewhere (possibly awaiting a Dan Brown Book!)?

Nav

pulse1
27th Apr 2006, 16:29
Navajo8686

Thank you for your considerate response.

"you don't believe - you'll rot in hell" type response No, I do not believe that at all. For me, the whole ethos of the teachings of Christ are about his unconditional love for the world. That means believers and unbelievers. It is like a parent with two children, one respectful and realtively obedient, the other disrespectful and disobedient. When the chips are down, most parents will love both children and would risk their lives for both. Both are, after all, disobedient. It is just that one is better than the other.

That is the true nature of God revealed in the NT (and OT if you look for it) which describes God as holy love. The sort of love which is totally selfless, free, cannot be earned or worked for, and yet is pure, firm and strong. No-one is good enough to earn that love so, to keep it pure, a price had to be paid so that we sinners can experience it. Jesus paid that price on our behalf and does not need to do it again. All we need to do is believe it.

3 slips and a gully
27th Apr 2006, 16:49
Pot stirring 'intelligent design' via the Flying Spaghetti Monster aside, have a look at some of the hate mail the site owner gets:

http://www.venganza.org/email_neg.htm

strafer
27th Apr 2006, 17:11
Ah, but as I'm sure Keef and pulse1 will soon be along to inform us, those answers are from the 'other' Christians

ATCO1962
27th Apr 2006, 17:23
Hi Navajo,

Like pulse said, thanks for just a normal discussion. As Christians, we do have to defend ourselves but Jesus gave us some clear instructions about how to do that with grace, knowing that we are all in the same boat.

Let me see if I can answer the "Why did Jesus have to die" question a bit more. The Bible says that "the wages of sin (ie disobedience to God) is death(eternal)." Further, it says "there is no forgiveness except through the shedding of blood" Why? Because the "life is in the blood" and since your life is at stake, it took blood sacrifice to undo the consequences of sin. According to Scripture, the last Adam, that is, Jesus, came to overturn the evil that the first Adam brought into the world.

It may seem barbaric to the modern Western mind, but blood has always been required by God to pay the price of sin. Once, it took a pile of regular sacrifices to atone for the sins of God's people. Jesus did away with that system and replaced it with His own blood "once and for all " and, by giving His own life for us, gave us a better system of belief based on faith and not by works. That faith means not just doing away with visible sin but putting your thought life into good order because "out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks" and, I would suggest, acts. It's because of Jesus own sacrifice for me that I'm a follower today. I , like many others on this forum, do not believe that we're any better than anyone else but we are saved. We would do anything to convey that love to others because we are compelled to.

And, no, that doesn't mean martyrdom and killing anyone because we are admonished to love our enemies and do good to those that harm.

Thanks again for listening. Peace to you!:ok:

3 slips and a gully
27th Apr 2006, 17:25
These two had me :eek: :eek: :

I recently visited your site, and I seriously hope that you are just trying to be funny. I sincerely hope that nobody is that stupid to believe that there was a Flying Spaghetti Monster and openly call themselves "Pastafarians". I would just to let you know that I think that it's okay if you ate paint chips as a kid, or if you were dropped on your head, or even if you are just an idiot, that’s all okay, I'm not going to hold that against you. But I am going say that I think you should not be allowed to have an internet web site telling people about Flying Spaghetti Monsters that created the world. I think that is complete and utter madness. I would also like to say that while I was reading the contents of your site I shoved a spoon up my @ss. Why? Because if I'm going to go through that kind of pain, I'm doing it to myself. Finally if I were you, I would hit myself in the crotch with mallet and delete the site.


During the past few weeks it has come to my knowledge that there is a religion of the flying spaghetti monster. if he is so real why is there no veidence supporting the fact that he is real. i have decided to do some research myself and since l am a catholic i do not beleive in your sh*t. you fu*ken fa**ots. i think ur a fu*ken dumb @rse that cant find a job so u decided to make a sh*t *rse religion.and if your god is so real why wont he help one of his fellow followers that i bashed. in conclusion fu*k you bobby. so please send me some eevidence of this flying spaghetti monster.

BDiONU
27th Apr 2006, 17:37
These two had me :eek: :eek: :
Dunno why those two had such a problem. The evidence for the FSM is just as compelling as that for the christian god :D

BD
http://www.venganza.org/images/bookad1.jpg

3 slips and a gully
27th Apr 2006, 18:01
As a sailor I find the embracing of pirates as 'peace loving explorers' and the first Pastafarians quite refreshing - the facts had to come out sooner or later. The issue of there being no empirical evidence to support that assertion is hogwash. We just know as believers.

Also, as a former Uni maths/science student, I find the inverse relationship between the number of known pirates and global temperatures quite alarming, I'm looking on ebay now for a cutlass and eyepatch - its the least I can do to save our planet.

BDiONU, have a good Fettucine Carbonara and a glass of Chianti and thank his noodliness you have seen the light meatballs.

BDiONU
27th Apr 2006, 18:13
As a sailor I find the embracing of pirates as 'peace loving explorers' and the first Pastafarians quite refreshing - the facts had to come out sooner or later. The issue of there being no empirical evidence to support that assertion is hogwash. We just know as believers.
You just need faith my friend :D Never mind all that nonsense spouted about 'evidence' and 'external sources', people who demand that are obvious loony tunes!!
I'm looking on ebay now for a cutlass and eyepatch - its the least I can do to save our planet.
Ah! You shall be one of the chosen saved ones!!
BDiONU, have a good Fettucine Carbonara and a glass of Chianti and thank his noodliness you have seen the light meatballs.
My pleasure! I'm only too happy to spread the word so that all can be touched by his noodly appendages.

BD
http://www.venganza.org/images/wallpapers/th_Last-Supper.jpg

Keef
29th Apr 2006, 03:58
Ah, but as I'm sure Keef and pulse1 will soon be along to inform us, those answers are from the 'other' Christians

Not sure I follow your point, but that may be the effect of the sunshine and the beer.

There are many different "schools" of Christians, with differing interpretations of various aspects of their faith. They share one thing in common - as "Christians" they accept Christ as their saviour.

Sorry to have taken a while to rise to your bait - I'm enjoying the wonderful scenery of California and Arizona from the front seat of a 2000 Archer (twin GNS430S) and only checking the Internet when not enjoying the views of God's marvellous creation. Sedona today, Tucson tomorrow, who knows where thereafter...

CashKing
29th Apr 2006, 05:03
How can you have a discussion of atheism but not bring in Pascal's Wager?
Pascal was a 17th century mathmatician (and one of the founders of computer like machines). He was also a devout christian.
In short:
"It makes more sense to believe in God than to not believe. If you believe, and God exists, you will be rewarded in the afterlife. If you do not believe, and He exists, you will be punished for your disbelief. If He does not exist, you have lost nothing either way. "

To enumerate for a quick probability example:

Lets assume there is a 50% chance that god exists, and we'll take infinity as heaven and -infinity as hell.

Theologist
If you believe in god, and god does exist, then you go to heaven (infinity)
If you believe in god, and god does not exist, then nothing happens (zero).

Atheist
If you do not believe in god, and god does exist, then you go to hell (negative infinity)
If you do not believe in god, and god does not exist, then nothing happens (zero).


So the expected outcome for a theologist is = 0.50 * (infinity) + 0.50 * (0) = infinity = heaven.
and the expected outcome for an atheist is = 0.50 * (-infinity) + 0.50 * (0) = - infinity = hell.

But maybe I overestimated the chance that god exists, lets set the chance that god exists at 0.00001%.
The equations are now as follows:
So the expected outcome for a theologist is = 0.0000001 * (infinity) + 0.9999999 * (0) = infinity = heaven.
and the expected outcome for an atheist is = 0.0000001 * (-infinity) + 0.9999999 * (0) = - infinity = hell.

It is a simple and powerful proof. But in general it shows that atheists may not have made a logical decision.

BDiONU
29th Apr 2006, 07:01
How can you have a discussion of atheism but not bring in Pascal's Wager?
Pascals wager has been discussed in another thread :) This wager is not an argument for the existance of the christian god but an argument for belief in that god :) There's quite a good debunking of it here (http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/heaven.html) and here (http://www.religioustolerance.org/pascal_w.htm).
Essentially the wager says that statistically its worthwhile believing in god, a bit like saying its worth doing the lottery and using similar sort of statistics. However we know the lottery is real and some people win it. What we don't know and cannot prove is that the christian god (lets leave all the other current gods like Allah out of this discussion) is real. Some people are virtually certain but other people have the totally opposite view. If you believe or are 50/50 then you have nothing to 'lose' by your belief. However if you believe that the existance of a christian god is so miniscule as to be virtually impossible then you're losing your integrity by believing. You're perpetuating the old myths and beliefs in the supernatural. In addition it iis asking you to believe in something which you personally reject on the basis of there being no evidence, it requires the impossible for thinking people, to believe without reason.

BD
According to intellectualism, deliberately choosing which beliefs to hold is practically impossible; according to the many-gods objection, Pascal’s wager begs the question and hence is irrational; according to evidentialism, Pascalian reasoning is epistemically irresponsible and hence immoral; and according to various paradoxes, reference to infinite values is decision-theoretic non-sense.
Encylopedia of Philosophy (http://www.iep.utm.edu/p/pasc-wag.htm)

CashKing
29th Apr 2006, 07:20
Note: This theory has no relation to the 'wager'.

A reverse/(inverse or converse, depending on which one you're talking about) is not the "same".

If the original statement was a -> b (if a then b)

Then the statement implies that -b -> -a (if not b, then not a) [contrapositive]

But doesn't imply that b -> a (if b, then a) [converse]
or -a -> -b (if not a, then not b) [inverse]

So if we take it that "If we do not exist, there cannot be a God" then the contrapositive, "If there can be a God, we do exist" is true, but not the converse or inverse "If there cannot be a God, then we do not exist" or "If we do exist, there can be a God" (because there may be some other prerequisite to there being able to be a God, other than us existing. For the converse, we could exist but that other prerequisite may be unfounded for there being a God, which contradicts the statement).

BDiONU
29th Apr 2006, 07:49
A reverse/(inverse or converse, depending on which one you're talking about) is not the "same".
Read the links I posted, this 'wager' has been totally debunked, sorry :)

BD

BDiONU
29th Apr 2006, 07:51
During this thread and the ‘Convince Me’ thread there have been constant requests for ‘proof’ of the existence of the Christian god. So far the answers have been in the categories of tradition (that’s what their parents believed and it’s what they believe), authority (in particular because the bible says so), revelation/epiphany (they felt something god had revealed to them). All the old myths, supernatural magical reasons as well as being infected and indoctrinated by their parents.
Nothing which anyone who does not believe in magic and the supernatural has written in either thread appears to have made one iota of difference to the believers. Evolution is generally dismissed out of hand in preference for the creation of the earth in 6 days, biblical tales are believed as if transcribed from video recordings and so on and so on.

This has made me wonder why believers cling so firmly to their beliefs despite the wealth of real and valid proof against. I had thought along the lines of a comfort blanket (and some comments in return showed there was some truth in that), belief in an afterlife and reward for good deeds but punishment if you’re bad etc. etc.
I stumbled over some information recently which I hadn’t known and it just makes me wonder all the more!

I read about Dr Kurt Wise Ph.D (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurt_Wise) whose doctoral degree in palaeontology was completed at Harvard no less! He is often referred to as an ‘honest’ creationist and was a contributor to the book - In Six Days: Why 50 Scientists Choose to Believe in Creation. In his personal testimony for the book he told how he dreamt about getting a degree from Harvard and teaching science. He achieved the first part of his goal, but became increasingly uneasy as his scientific learning conflicted with his religious faith. When he could bear the strain no longer, he clinched the matter with a Bible and a pair of scissors. He went right through from Genesis 1 to Revelations 22, literally cutting out every verse that would have to go if the scientific worldview were true. At the end of this exercise, there was so little left of his Bible that . . . try as I might, and even with the benefit of intact margins throughout the pages of Scripture, I found it impossible to pick up the Bible without it being rent in two. I had to make a decision between evolution and Scripture. Either the Scripture was true and evolution was wrong or evolution was true and I must toss out the Bible. . . . It was there that night that I accepted the Word of God and rejected all that would ever counter it, including evolution. With that, in great sorrow, I tossed into the fire all my dreams and hopes in science.
That’s pretty honest I think you’ll agree but there was more to come: Although there are scientific reasons for accepting a young earth, I am a young-age creationist because that is my understanding of the Scripture. As I shared with my professors years ago when I was in college, if all the evidence in the universe turns against creationism, I would be the first to admit it, but I would still be a creationist because that is what the Word of God seems to indicate. Here I must stand.
So here we have an extremely well educated and intelligent scientist who has totally rejected scientific proof in favour of his belief in the christian god. I think that might explain more about why believers have ‘faith’ and why that faith is the most important thing to them.

To me, when I read and hear all this talk about god and miracles and praying for things etc. etc. I’m reminded of the cowboy and Indian films I loved to watch at the cinema on a Saturday morning. The medicine man throwing bones and muttering incantations whilst the tribe performed the rain dance.

BD

Flying Lawyer
29th Apr 2006, 08:50
Keef I'm enjoying the wonderful scenery of California and Arizona ..........
You haven't missed anything, except more of the same.
Enjoy your holiday. The hamster wheel will probably still be turning when you get back. :)

FL

Gnirren
29th Apr 2006, 09:06
That's beside the point, mathematical proof or not.

1. A god who will send me to hell if I don't blindly devote my faith to it without any sort of proof doesn't sound like the all-loving deity it's claimed to be.

2. A person who does believe in God "for the purpose of getting into heaven" and actually DOES get in, what does that say about the deity?

3. The cowards who call themselves christian need to wake up, smell the coffee and admit that they belive in god because they have a NEED to do so. They need to believe that death isn't final because the other alternative is too horrific. They feel they need help in life that can't be gotten anywhere else, so enter the placebo "god". It's called sticking your head in the sand. I've met plenty of religious "normal" people and they lie, screw around, cheat as much as the next guy. Aparently a quick bless me for I have sinned solves that easily enough however so no worries and that's not even getting started on the boy-raping priests, holy wars, witch burning and other funfilled activites that are ok in the name of god.

Any god who blindly requires me to live my life a certain way and who will punish me if I don't, can quite frankly go to hell as far as I'm concerned. Religion is the biggest scam in human history.

Amen.

Kaptin M
29th Apr 2006, 09:15
We'd prefer you not to discuss politics & religion. Two subjects that almost inevitably seem to lead to some people losing the plot completely and Mods having to work overtime.

CashKing
29th Apr 2006, 09:25
Erwin Schrödinger, one of the founders of quantum physics in the 1920s, devised a famous thought experiment involving a cat (it has never been done in practice). Its purpose was to demonstrate on an everyday scale of size the bizarre nature of atomic processes. I guess most people can accept that atoms are strange little things, but as you don’t run into them individually in daily life, it doesn’t really seem to matter if something weird is going on at the atomic scale. However, if something funny happened on an everyday scale of size — if we saw two contending realities in a room for example — we would find that very shocking.

Schrödinger’s cat experiment aims to produce just such a state of affairs. What happens is this. The pussycat is put in a box along with a flask of cyanide and a hammer, and a triggering device that will cause the hammer to smash the flask if set off by an atomic process like the decay of a radioactive nucleus. Now if you apply the rules of quantum mechanics to the entire contents of the box, including the cat (which is, after all, made of atoms), then what you are to suppose is as follows. After running the experiment for, say, one minute, there is a 50–50 chance that the atom will decay, trigger the hammer, break the flask and kill the cat. According to the rules of quantum mechanics, if you don’t look and see, if you don’t actually open the box and check if the cat is alive or dead, you are forced to conclude that the cat is in a superposition of live and dead states. In other words, it is in a hybrid state of ‘part-aliveness’ and ‘part-deadness’, whatever that means. The experiment is really a reductio ad absurdum argument, because presumably the cat knows whether it is alive or dead! However, it starkly illustrates the need to address the whole issue about what it takes to prompt or provoke nature into making up its mind about which of the contending realities it wants. Does it take a person peering in a box to effect this concretisation, or does it take a cat, or could a computer or a camera or some simpler device prompt, as it were, ‘nature’ into making up its mind? Well, there is no agreed answer to this.

BDiONU
29th Apr 2006, 09:54
They need to believe that death isn't final because the other alternative is too horrific.

Gotta be kinda careful what you pray for I suppose.

http://70.86.201.113/imageserv2/temporary/PBF048ADOneMoreDay.jpg

BD

Bronx
29th Apr 2006, 10:17
Kaptin M
Good point - I can understand the moderators position.
What I can't understand is why some people aren't able to hold a sensible maybe even intelligent argument and still show respect for folk who hold a different opinion. Beats me.
Worse still, there's a few who've deliberately posted things on this thread and the other one that they know are gonna offend and they get some weird pleasure out of doing it. Funny thing is they are often the same ones who accuse other people of inadequacy in their personalities. :rolleyes:

Same old problem - I'm right and if you were thinking straight you'd agree with me.
Yeah, of course. ;)

BDiONU
29th Apr 2006, 10:19
Same old problem - I'm right and if you were thinking straight you'd agree with me. Yeah, of course. ;)
And the 2 ways of doing things. The christian way and the wrong way ;)

BD

Bronx
29th Apr 2006, 10:25
Not in my opinion.

But the discussion could be a whole lot better without the sneering and cheap shots at people who hold a different opinion.

B.

ex_matelot
29th Apr 2006, 10:51
Ah, a religious hamster wheel in progress!

Anyone heard of the Buccanites??

I think they had the right idea!:ok:

Heliport
29th Apr 2006, 11:03
Nope, but I know a Wikipedia wizz who could probably help. :)

Flying Lawyer
29th Apr 2006, 11:12
I suspect ex matelot means the Buchanites.
They claimed to be a 'Christian' sect but it was a cover for secret orgies in barns in the wilds of West Scotland in the late 18th or maybe early 19th century.

frostbite
29th Apr 2006, 12:00
"it was a cover for secret orgies in barns in the wilds of West Scotland in the late 18th or maybe early 19th century."


I always miss the fun!

ATCO1962
29th Apr 2006, 14:00
Actually, BD, judging by the post count in this and the Convince me thread, it's either BD's way or no way:ok:

CashKing
30th Apr 2006, 14:19
The analysis in Homansian social theory suggests that no general laws of nature exist, except those required to bring us to the omicron point. But we should recognize that Homansian theory was only an intellectual scaffolding to convey us from conventional sociology to anthropic thinking, and the same fact would be true for any brand of sociology that derived phenomena from fundamental principles. Theories that postulate future stages in history based on new principles of organization are incompatible with the anthropic principle.
Anthropic thinking potentially contradicts Homans, however, in that it suggests sociology has a role to play in understanding the nature of the physical universe. He wanted to reduce sociology to psychology, and psychology to biology. Eventually everything reduces through Henderson's logic to the physical parameters with which the universe began. However, the anthropic principle gives a crucial role to the social situation in which human beings ask the pivotal question. It would be too much to say that at the omicron point physics reduces to sociology, completing a circle of reduction through which the universe chaotically bootstraps itself into existence. But the human-centered omicron point is comparable in significance to alpha, the spark of the Big Bang that excites cosmologists so greatly.
Coupled with principles from chaos theory, the anthropic principle offers a fresh approach to epistemology and ontology. The universe exists (ontology) only to the extent that someone is capable of seeking knowledge about it (epistemology). The answer depends upon the questioner. As a closed reflexive system, the universe has neither meaning nor reality with respect to any objective frame of reference. An entity exists only in relation to some other entity. Our physical universe is real only in the sense that we perceive it and that our actions are constrained by it. This does not mean that physics should be subservient to sociology, or that humans can suspend the laws of nature by wishing them away. But it does mean that the sociology is as fundamental an intellectual discipline as physics.
This harmonizes with the intellectual mood of the last years of the twentieth century, in which great social and technical accomplishments have paradoxically resulted in a widespread feeling of confusion, anxiety, and uncertainty about the future. The civil rights legislation and the moon landing of the 1960s were great advances. But neither in our social relations nor our spaceflight does any momentum seem to exist for further accomplishments. Throughout the advanced industrial nations of the world, high levels of democracy and prosperity have been achieved, but there is a pervasive sense that insoluble social, political, economic and cultural problems have brought progress to a standstill. Perhaps the answer simply is that we have passed the omicron point, and the laws of nature will no longer sustain progress.

ATCO1962
30th Apr 2006, 16:26
Thanks CashKing, that really cleared things up!:}

Grandpa
30th Apr 2006, 19:33
Demonstration of God's existence or non-existence, by logic assertions is a biased process:

IF there is such a thing like GOD, with infinite power, intelligence........to make a quick definition WITHOUT ANY LIMIT in all domains.........

.............do you think our limited intelligence could lead to any solid conclusion...............

................unless this GOD has inseminated us with the intellectual means allowing us to produce valuable arguments.

If you admit this hypothesis, and your arguments lead you to believe there is NO God, seams there is matter to discussion.

The believers are allways one train late running after science which pushes the frontiers behind which they had hidden their God, but it only proves that they were mistaking, and that their personnal invention of God was fallacious: you can't prove about God himself, because we can't really imagine anything serious about HIM (if we could do it WE would be GOD!)

(imagine toys discussing about their manufacturer's existence.........)

Time for sleep!

CashKing
1st May 2006, 07:55
Full text http://home.earthlink.net/~dolascetta/Metaphysics.html
Not to perceive time, for us, is not to exist. On the other hand, if there could be time without change, it would be indistinguishable from no time at all. If there is no change, eternity is indistinguishable from an instant. As always, when there are indistinguishable ways for something to happen, quantum mechanics says that both may be observed, so it is not meaningless to examine the consequences of having time without change.The concept existence is atemporal and unchanging. It contains within itself a logical expansion, but all stages of the expansion exist at once. Yet the expansion looks timelike. Earlier in this paper and in my physics paper, it is shown that if the stages of the expansion are observed in a reference frame in which they are separated by some finite time interval, it is possible to create a temporal universe containing conscious beings that, because they are made of time, can experience time as something real.
Now let us show these two reference frames—the logical expansion of existence and our time—together, so that every logical stage is present at every instant of our time. We have created a two-dimensional array: The time we see increases along the horizontal axis, while the entire expansion of existence, from the big bang to infinity, lies on a vertical line through every point on the horizontal axis. Here is what the array looks like. The numbers are time instants or logical stages, with zero representing the big bang.

. . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . .
9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 . . .
8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 . . .
7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 . . .
Logical 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 . . .
Stage ^ 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 . . .
4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 . . .
3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 . . .
2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 . . .
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 . . .
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 . . .
Time —>
In the timeless reference frame of existence, every logical stage exists at every instant of time. For existence, nothing changes as our time advances. Therefore, our time is indistinguishable from no time at all. However, there is another reference frame, shown by the bold numbers in the array, in which the stages of the logical expansion are separated by an interval of our time. This series of numbers represents a temporal universe like ours. A timeless being cannot experience it. It can only be seen from within, by creatures like us who exist only because of this temporal expansion. Of course, we cannot experience timelessness.
In creating this two-dimensional array, we have also created an unexpected side effect: ghost universes! Every diagonal line through the array defines a temporal universe identical to our own, but displaced in time. These universes are identical to our own because existence creates only one universe by observing itself, as described above in "Wave Function of the Universe." If these ghost universes really exist, there is a big bang (0) at every instant. After I die, a Dick Dolan—not me, but someone indistinguishable from me—still exists in another identical universe. Thus, before the big bang there were a lot of other big bangs. When the universe ends, there are still many copies of it ticking away. Do all of these universes really exist? There is no way to know, but quantum mechanics says they might, because to any observer, this two-dimensional picture is indistinguishable from our original picture.
In this expanded picture, consciousness observes itself in time not only as my self, your self, and all the other conscious selves in our universe, but in countless other selves in universes identical to ours but displaced in time. A new, identical universe begins at every instant of time. This is possible because existence or consciousness, the pure concept, has no memory. Memory exists only in time. There is no memory outside of time; indeed, there is no time. Thus, consciousness can repeat my lifetime, your lifetime, and the entire universe over and over again and each time it will seem like the first and only time, because the memories involved at each step of the way will be identical, and will not include the fact that consciousness has done this before. In other words, what is really an eternal, timeless, atemporal process will seem like a one-time thing.
What this expanded picture shows is that, to atemporal existence, there is never a time when the temporal universe does not exist, so it is meaningless to ask what happens before the big bang or after the end of the universe. It's still a paradox, but at least we can pretend to understand it a little more. Once again we are reminded that when you have a self-referential reality, it is inevitable that you will have paradoxes.The ultimate reality and the source of the universe is the abstract concept we call existence. We often think that abstract concepts only exist in our minds. However, existence is unlike other abstract concepts in that it is capable of thinking itself. It is the essence of mind. Because it thinks itself, it creates itself and it exists necessarily, that is, existence always exists. Even to think about a state in which nothing exists we must use the concept existence. Existence and nothingness are just two ways of looking at the same concept. In mathematical terms, existence is true of itself, that is, it takes on the value true when applied to itself. The only other concept like it is one that each of us is familiar with: our self. My self is the dot of consciousness at the center of my being. It is an abstract concept that is the essence of what I am, and it is true of itself, because what I am includes a conscious self. Here, then, is a concept that is true of itself and it is conscious. In the concept model, we conclude that concepts that are true of themselves are conscious, so existence is also conscious. In the concept model, existence has a logical structure that allows it to be looked at in two ways, that is, it has two aspects. In its transcendent aspect, it is atemporal, unchanging, timeless. In its immanent aspect, it has multiple facets, most notably our selves. When we say that existence thinks itself, is true of itself, or creates itself, we mean that it is a self-referential concept. In logic, such concepts are known to result in logical paradoxes, and indeed, that is the nature of reality.

strafer
1st May 2006, 09:25
Keef - only checking the Internet when not enjoying the views of God's marvellous creation. Sedona today, Tucson tomorrowI've also been there and you're right, it is beautiful. However, do you not think the scenery might have more to do with continental drift and river erosion than God?

You might like to explain the age of the rocks at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. According to your Bible, they shouldn't be there.

Enjoy your trip - I am in fact very jealous!

VH-GRUMPY
1st May 2006, 11:11
Have you noticed that he longest posts are either about airspace management in Australia (thanks DICK), the Di Vinci code or religion.

But then may you haven't.

:cool:

Bluesteel705
1st May 2006, 12:26
I'm surprised no-one that I can see has mentioned George Berkeley. His basic idea was that no-one knows what an object is, rather that we know what we percieve an object to be. Therefore an object we percieve is only the object we know and experience.

Therefore:
" 1. Any knowledge of the world is to be obtained only through direct perception.
2. Errors are the results of thinking about what we perceive.
3. Knowledge of the empirical world of people and things and actions around them may be purified and perfected merely by stripping away all thought, and with it language, from their pure perceptions."


So it follows that


" 1. The ideal form of scientific knowledge is to be obtained by pursuing pure de-intellectualized perceptions.
2. If individuals would pursue these, we would be able to obtain the deepest insights into the natural world and the world of human thought and action which is available to man.
3. The goal of all science, therefore, is to de-intellectualize or de-conceptualize, and thereby purify, human perceptions."


So technicaly Berkeley's viewss require a God to be present as an immediate cause of all our experiences. God did not create a chain of events that led to a tree growing in a quadrangle. But that my perception of the tree is an idea that Gods mind has produced in mine, and the tree will exist in the Quad when "nobody" is there because God is always there.

This was summed up in a limerick by Ronald Knox;


There was a young man who said "God
Must think it exceedingly odd
If he finds that this tree
Continues to be
When there's no one about in the Quad."


"Dear Sir, your astonishment's odd;
I am always about in the Quad
And that's why this tree
Will continue to be
Since observed by
Yours faithfully,
God."

Capt.KAOS
1st May 2006, 13:06
Reversed it's a Xmas tree. Coincidence? I don't think so...


God."
Yours faithfully,
Since observed by
Will continue to be
And that's why this tree
I am always about in the Quad
"Dear Sir, your astonishment's odd;
When there's no one about in the Quad."
Continues to be
If he finds that this tree
Must think it exceedingly odd
There was a young man who said "God

Bluesteel705
1st May 2006, 13:13
Or do you just perceive it to be a Christmas Tree? A bit like the Matrix, but with less Carrie-Anne Moss in tight leather trousers :E

BDiONU
4th May 2006, 17:52
I see BDiOnU is still quoting large chunks of other atheists.
Indeed :D Here's another which I personally enjoyed :ok:


Can an atheist be a fundamentalist?
AC Grayling
May 3, 2006 11:06 AM

http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/ac_grayling/2006/05/can_an_atheist_be_a_fundamenta.html

It is time to put to rest the mistakes and assumptions that lie behind a phrase used by some religious people when talking of those who are plain-spoken about their disbelief in any religious claims: the phrase "fundamentalist atheist". What would a non-fundamentalist atheist be? Would he be someone who believed only somewhat that there are no supernatural entities in the universe - perhaps that there is only part of a god (a divine foot, say, or buttock)? Or that gods exist only some of the time - say, Wednesdays and Saturdays? (That would not be so strange: for many unthinking quasi-theists, a god exists only on Sundays.) Or might it be that a non-fundamentalist atheist is one who does not mind that other people hold profoundly false and primitive beliefs about the universe, on the basis of which they have spent centuries mass-murdering other people who do not hold exactly the same false and primitive beliefs as themselves - and still do?

Christians, among other things, mean by "fundamentalist atheists" those who would deny people the comforts of faith (the old and lonely especially) and the companionship of a benign invisible protector in the dark night of the soul - and who (allegedly) fail to see the staggering beauty in art prompted by the inspirations of belief. Yet, in its bleeding-heart modern form, Christianity is a recent and highly modified version of what, for most of its history, has been an often violent and always oppressive ideology - think Crusades, torture, burnings at the stake, the enslavement of women to constantly repeated childbirth and undivorceable husbands, the warping of human sexuality, the use of fear (of hell's torments) as an instrument of control, and the horrific results of calumny against Judaism. Nowadays, by contrast, Christianity specialises in soft-focus mood music; its threats of hell, its demand for poverty and chastity, its doctrine that only the few will be saved and the many damned, have been shed, replaced by strummed guitars and saccharine smiles. It has reinvented itself so often, and with such breathtaking hypocrisy, in the interests of retaining its hold on the gullible, that a medieval monk who woke today, like Woody Allen's Sleeper, would not be able to recognise the faith that bears the same name as his own.

For example: vast Nigerian congregations are told that believing will ensure a high income - indeed they are told by Reverend X that they will be luckier and richer if they join his congregation than if they join that of Reverend Y. What happened to the eye of the needle? Oh well, granted: that tiny loophole was closed long ago. What then of "my kingdom is not of this world"? What of the blessedness of poverty and humility? The Church of England officially abolished Hell by an Act of Synod in the 1920s and St Paul's strictures on the place of women in church (which was that they are to sit at the back in silence, with heads covered) are now so far ignored that there are now women vicars, and there will soon be women bishops.

One does not have to venture as far as Nigeria to see the hypocrisies of reinvention at work. Rome will do, where the latest eternal verity to be abandoned is the doctrine of limbo - the place where the souls of unbaptised babies go. Meanwhile, some cardinals are floating the idea that condoms are acceptable, within marital relationships only of course, in countries with high incidences of HIV infection. This latter, which to anyone but an observant Catholic is not merely a plain piece of common sense but a humanitarian imperative, is an amazing development in its context. Sensible Catholics have for generations been ignoring the views on contraception held by reactionary old men in the Vatican, but alas, since it is the business of all religious doctrines to keep their votaries in a state of intellectual infancy (how else do they keep absurdities seeming credible?), insufficient numbers of Catholics have been able to be sensible. Look at Ireland until very recent times for an example of the misery Catholicism inflicts when it can.

"Intellectual infancy": the phrase reminds one that religions survive mainly because they brainwash the young. Three-quarters of Church of England schools are primary schools; all the faiths currently jostling for our tax money to run their "faith-based" schools know that if they do not proselytise intellectually defenceless three and four-year-olds, their grip will eventually loosen. Inculcating the various competing - competing, note - falsehoods of the major faiths into small children is a form of child abuse, and a scandal. Let us challenge religion to leave children alone until they are adults, whereupon they can be presented with the essentials of religion for mature consideration. For example: tell an averagely intelligent adult hitherto free of religious brainwashing that somewhere, invisibly, there is a being somewhat like us, with desires, interests, purposes, memories, and emotions of anger, love, vengefulness and jealousy, yet with the negation of such other of our failings as mortality, weakness, corporeality, visibility, limited knowledge and insight; and that this god magically impregnates a mortal woman, who then gives birth to a special being who performs various prodigious feats before departing for heaven. Take your pick of which version of this story to tell: let a King of Heaven impregnate - let's see - Danae or Io or Leda or the Virgin Mary (etc, etc) and let there be resulting heaven-destined progeny (Heracles, Castor and Pollux, Jesus, etc, etc) - or any of the other forms of exactly such tales in Babylonian, Egyptian and other mythologies - then ask which of them he wishes to believe. One can guarantee that such a person would say: none of them.

So, in order not to be a "fundamentalist" atheist, which of the absurdities connoted in the foregoing should an atheist temporise over? Should a "moderate atheist" be one who does not mind how many hundreds of millions of people have been deeply harmed by religion throughout history? Should he or she be one who chuckles indulgently at the antipathy of Sunni for Shia, Christian for Jew, Muslim for Hindu, and all of them for anyone who does not think the universe is controlled by invisible powers? Is an acceptable (to the faithful) atheist one who thinks it is reasonable for people to believe that the gods suspend the laws of nature occasionally in answer to personal prayers, or that to save someone's soul from further sin (especially the sin of heresy) it is in his own interests to be murdered?

As it happens, no atheist should call himself or herself one. The term already sells a pass to theists, because it invites debate on their ground. A more appropriate term is "naturalist", denoting one who takes it that the universe is a natural realm, governed by nature's laws. This properly implies that there is nothing supernatural in the universe - no fairies or goblins, angels, demons, gods or goddesses. Such might as well call themselves "a-fairyists" or "a-goblinists" as "atheists"; it would be every bit as meaningful or meaningless to do so. (Most people, though, forget that belief in fairies was widespread until the beginning of the 20th century; the church fought a long hard battle against this competitor superstition, and won, largely because - you guessed it - of the infant and primary church schools founded in the second half of the nineteenth century.)

By the same token, therefore, people with theistic beliefs should be called supernaturalists, and it can be left to them to attempt to refute the findings of physics, chemistry and the biological sciences in an effort to justify their alternative claim that the universe was created, and is run, by supernatural beings. Supernaturalists are fond of claiming that some irreligious people turn to prayer when in mortal danger, but naturalists can reply that supernaturalists typically repose great faith in science when they find themselves in (say) a hospital or an aeroplane - and with far greater frequency. But of course, as votaries of the view that everything is consistent with their beliefs - even apparent refutations of them - supernaturalists can claim that science itself is a gift of god, and thus justify doing so. But they should then remember Popper: "A theory that explains everything explains nothing."

In conclusion, it is worth pointing out an allied and characteristic bit of jesuitry employed by folk of faith. This is their attempt to describe naturalism (atheism) as itself a "religion". But, by definition, a religion is something centred upon belief in the existence of supernatural agencies or entities in the universe; and not merely in their existence, but in their interest in human beings on this planet; and not merely their interest, but their particularly detailed interest in what humans wear, what they eat, when they eat it, what they read or see, what they treat as clean and unclean, who they have sex with and how and when; and so for a multitude of other things, like making women invisible beneath enveloping clothing, or strapping little boxes to their foreheads, or iterating formulae by rote five times a day, and so endlessly forth; with threats of punishment for getting any of it wrong.

But naturalism (atheism) by definition does not premise such belief. Any view of the world that does not premise the existence of something supernatural is a philosophy, or a theory, or at worst an ideology. If it is either of the two first, at its best it proportions what it accepts to the evidence for accepting it, knows what would refute it, and stands ready to revise itself in the light of new evidence. This is the essence of science. It comes as no surprise that no wars have been fought, pogroms carried out, or burnings conducted at the stake, over rival theories in biology or astrophysics.

And one can grant that the word "fundamental" does after all apply to this: in the phrase "fundamentally sensible".


BD
It is an interesting and demonstrable fact, that all children are atheists and were religion not inculcated into their minds, they would remain so.
Ernestine Rose

bealine
4th May 2006, 18:52
It is an interesting and demonstrable fact, that all children are atheists and were religion not inculcated into their minds, they would remain so.
Ernestine Rose

It is also an interesting fact that most people that have ever gone seafaring and put their wits against the elements invariably end up as believers of something - whether religion or superstition!

Whilst mankind has struggled to "prove" the existence of a God since time began, one thing is certain. Whatever the religion, it gives a code of conduct to live by and a sense of purpose to life - the atheist, by comparison, leads a very shallow existence and, when planted six feet under at the end of the allotted life-span, might as well never have been born!

People with religious beliefs, however, go to the grave with the knowledge that their life has made a difference to many other people through charitable deeds! (I know you could argue that the atheist may be charitable too, but the person who follows their beliefs lives by an enforced, rigid code of conduct, the atheist only takes certain aspects voluntarily!)

BDiONU
4th May 2006, 19:32
It is also an interesting fact that most people that have ever gone seafaring and put their wits against the elements invariably end up as believers of something - whether religion or superstition!
Can you give any evidence of proof of this remarkable assertion? I assume you know all, or the vast majority of seafarers in the world?

Whatever the religion, it gives a code of conduct to live by and a sense of purpose to life
Which has often been to kill heretics of other religions.
the atheist, by comparison, leads a very shallow existence and, when planted six feet under at the end of the allotted life-span, might as well never have been born!!
Oh I see, thanks for sharing that observation :)
People with religious beliefs, however, go to the grave with the knowledge that their life has made a difference to many other people through charitable deeds! (I know you could argue that the atheist may be charitable too, but the person who follows their beliefs lives by an enforced, rigid code of conduct, the atheist only takes certain aspects voluntarily!)
Ahem, once more I'd ask for at least some evidence of this assertion :) I find it curious (to say the least) that you assert that all good deeds are done by those afflicted with religion and those people who are not so afflicted are somehow less. Atheism is the absence of theistic belief. Atheism, in its basic form, is not a belief: it is the absence of belief. An atheist is not primarily a person who believes that a god does not exist, rather he does not believe in the existence of a god. So it is, I assume, the absence of belief which causes athiests to be so lacking in a moral code, so without scruples or morals? Is that correct? Whereas if you cling to a moral code written 2000 years ago by unknown people for propaganda reasons and which urges some very curious behaviours (like stoning people to death) thats a great thing to live by? Hhhmmmm!!!

BD
Beliefs, including religious ones, are learned. Which makes atheism a normal state of affairs and religious beliefs a learned "abnormality". No psychological theory is necessary to explain the causes of a normal base state. Any psychological theory of learning, attitude change or socialisation can explain the causes of religious belief.
Rosemary Lyndall, clinical Neuro-psychologist

Davaar
4th May 2006, 19:32
“There is a happy land, far, far, away,
Where saints in glory stand, bright, bright as day;
Oh, how they sweetly sing, worthy is our Savior King,
Loud let his praises ring, praise, praise for aye.”

(Andrew Young, 1838).

I always had doubts myself, but now I am swinging away from them:-

For years, when asked: “Is there a God?”
I’d think a bit, and then I’d nod.
Still do; but now I’m truly driven
To hope there also is a Heaven,
In Beulah Land where each dawn new,
Brings zilch from BDiONU.

(Davaar, 2006).

BDiONU
4th May 2006, 19:42
“Brings zilch from BDiONU.
(Davaar, 2006).
Davaar I'm touched! You've brought a tear to this godless unbelievers eye, I've never had a song written about me before. :{

BD
Worm 6:9
Our father who are'nt in heaven, Hollow be thy name.
Thy kingdom dead, thy will be read.
On earth as if there were a heaven.
Give us this day our daily dream and deliver us from reality.
for thine is the falsehood, the corruption and the Horror forever. Hy-men
Christian D. Seaver, "The Book of Worm"

bealine
4th May 2006, 20:24
I'd ask for at least some evidence...

........and there's the problem! Religion is to do with belief, not evidence!

You seriously believe religion only goes back 2000 years? How about my learned friends the Druids - their history goes back to Ancient Wessex!

And as for religion being used to murder heretics - that is a load of bo77ocks! Talk to the British Muslims at the two Crawley mosques - they want absolutely nothing to do with Osama Bin Laden and his treacherous band - as far as the Crawley lot are concerned, Osama is twisting the words of Mohammed for evil purposes. Indeed, didn't the IRA do the same thing during the recent Irish troubles? Religion is used as an excuse and the words of the Bible, Qu'ran or other holy books can always be twisted to suit the occasion.

If you genuinely are an atheist - ie you do not believe in any God - then you may as well never have existed as for what purpose do you exist? Why do we all rush around like headless chickens if there is no after-life and if your deeds here aren't going to be held accountable?

If you don't believe in anything, good luck to you!.........but please don't take the p155 out of those who do believe - it's not nice, and it's not clever!

BDiONU
4th May 2006, 20:44
........and there's the problem! Religion is to do with belief, not evidence!
I'm well aware of that. What i was asking for was evidence of your assertion that most seafarers have a religious/supernatural belief. I was amazed that you had their OK to speak for all of them.
You seriously believe religion only goes back 2000 years? How about my learned friends the Druids - their history goes back to Ancient Wessex!
LOL!! Christianity was your religion of choice I assumed, given you were talking about GOD! History is littered with defunct gods.

And as for religion being used to murder heretics - that is a load of bo77ocks!
Is it? You need to read up on your history, which is littered with wars of religion and instances (thousands upon thousands of them) of religion pitted against different religion.
Catholics torturing and murdering heretics and suspected witches during the Inquisition is one horrific example. The seemingly eternal bloodbath between Israelis and Palestinians is similarly motivated by faith in their divine right to the disputed territories; thus, no compromise seems possible. The Muslim suicide pilots who killed thousands of US citizens in 9/11 were motivated by a certainty only faith can provide.

If you genuinely are an atheist - ie you do not believe in any God -
I do not believe in the existence of god. There is a difference in that statement and your assertion that I do not believe that god exists. It is impossible to prove your god does not exist.

then you may as well never have existed as for what purpose do you exist?
Do we all need to have a purpose? Does everything have to exist for a reason??

Why do we all rush around like headless chickens if there is no after-life and if your deeds here aren't going to be held accountable?
My goodness, you do suffer from fear of what will happen to you after you're dead! I have no fear, I live my life as its meant to be lived, its the only one I'll get :)

BD
Faith is deciding to allow yourself to believe something your intellect would otherwise cause you to reject — otherwise there's no need for faith.

bealine
4th May 2006, 21:55
BD
Faith is deciding to allow yourself to believe something your intellect would otherwise cause you to reject — otherwise there's no need for faith.

I disagree wih this statement. My intellect refuses to allow me to believe that life is finite and serves no purpose! IMO we may as well slash our wrists at birth if there is no future!

Of course I can't speak for all seafarers - you know as well as I do that I haven't met them all (and I certainly haven't met the dead ones) - however, those I have had as shipmates, those I have met, and those whose accounts I have read have all had faith in something - whether God or just plain superstitions (like not carrying a minister of religion on board, or not killing an albatross (believed to contain the soul of a drowned seaman) - bad luck) It may well be the romantic notion of the awesome power of wind, weather and tide pitted against the fragile human race, but the feeling of battling a real storm at night is both exhilarating and awesome! I used to get the same feeling of awesome, majestic, spiritual experience when walking on Dartmoor as a child!

Now, I feel very strongly a sense of presence - whether "God" as an old man with a beard in the cloud, or some ethereal power force I don't know - but I just feel there is something there for me and that there is an afterlife! I do believe, as it happens, in Christianity, but I do not accept the Bible verbatim. I subscribe to the theory that language has altered meanings (eg in Olde English, the word "meek" meant "vengeful, wrathful" - as Jesus was when he overthrew the money-changers in the temple. "Gentle Jesus Meek and Mild" couldn't be a more opposing description!)

Whilst I respect your views, your interpretation of history is very different from mine. The Inquisition was carried out in the name of Christianity by a very corrupt Roman Catholic church - a church that remains corrupt to its core to this very day! 09/11 was carried out by a group using Islam as a convenient flag! The IRA hid, once again, behind the cloak of the Roman Catholic church! However, if I were to take you to see the Muslims here in Crawley, they would denounce the 09/11 terrorists as the Catholics at St Wilfred's Church here would denouncethe violent acts of the IRA!

From my point of view, my beliefs give me a sense of purpose - a sort of right to be here, I suppose, but I'm not going to try to force you to take it on board if you don't want to! But as I respect your rights to not believe, you must respect the rights of those who do!

Bronx
4th May 2006, 23:00
BDiONU

You lost me.
Is there something more than a semantics difference between "I do not believe in the existence of god" (your position) and "I do not believe that god exists"?


Also, why are you so obsessed with this topic? I reckon you must have made about 700-800 posts - you were over 500 on the original Convince Me thread.
You said it was because you enjoyed winding up believers or some such on the other thread.
Is that truly the reason? :confused:

Davaar
4th May 2006, 23:58
[ I've never had a song written about me before.

My dear BDiONU, how very wrong you are. You did have a song written about you before, as you well know. Here it is:

There were ninety and nine that safely lay
in the shelter of the fold.
but one was out on the hills away,
far off from the gates of gold.
away on the mountains wild and bare.
away from the tender Shepherd's care.
away from the tender Shepherd's care.

"Lord, thou hast here thy ninety and nine;
are they not enough for thee?"
But the Shepherd made answer: "this of mine
has wandered away from me;
and although the road be rough and steep,
I go to the desert to find my sheep,
I go to the desert to find my sheep."

But none of the ransomed ever knew
how deep were the waters crossed;
nor how dark was the night the Lord passed through
ere he found his sheep that was lost.
out in the desert he heard its cry,
sick and helpless and ready to die;
sick and helpless and ready to die.

"Lord, whence are those blood drops all the way
that mark out the mountain's track?"
"they were shed for one who had gone astray
ere the Shepherd could bring him back."
"Lord, whence are thy hands so rent and torn?"
"They are pierced tonight by many a thorn;
they are pierced tonight by many a thorn."

And all through the mountains, thunder riven
and up from the rocky steep,
there arose a glad cry to the gate of heaven,
"Rejoice! I have found My sheep!"
and the angels echoed around the throne,
"Rejoice, for the Lord brings back his own!
rejoice, for the Lord brings back his own!"

SyllogismCheck
5th May 2006, 00:48
My intellect refuses to allow me to believe that life is finite and serves no purpose! IMO we may as well slash our wrists at birth if there is no future! Really? That's quite some opinion! I can only assume that your life must be lacking. Mine's been full of joy, that's purpose enough for me. As for the future, well, here's to good deal more of the same.

Idunno
5th May 2006, 01:45
The IRA hid, once again, behind the cloak of the Roman Catholic church!Bealine, if your grasp of Islamic politics is as weak as your grasp of Irish politics you needn't lecture anyone about religion.

My intellect refuses to allow me to believe that life is finite and serves no purpose!If you think that way - then consider that maybe MY purpose on earth is solely to place doubt in your oh-so-made-up mind. Maybe I'm here because God is messing with your head.:p

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!
5th May 2006, 02:16
If you genuinely are an atheist - ie you do not believe in any God - then you may as well never have existed as for what purpose do you exist? Why do we all rush around like headless chickens if there is no after-life and if your deeds here aren't going to be held accountable?
Why do you consider that the life of an athiest has no purpose? What if he's a doctor who heals someone? or a man who makes his house look nice for his neighbours? or a teacher that passes on knowledge? or an explorer? or an inventor who creates something like GPS? or a scientist who discovers and explaind electricity or a wonderful musician who brings joy into people's lives?

Why do you consider the life of a believer (and only a believer) to have purpose? What if he sits in his room all day long like a hermit and doesn't' contribute anything?




...and why do you glibly excuse the inquisition by sayingThe Inquisition was carried out in the name of Christianity by a very corrupt Roman Catholic church were those people "believers"? or did they conveniently just say they were?

4SPOOLED
5th May 2006, 03:08
If Jesus were alive today christianity would be considered a movement or cult, and Jesus would be locked up in an asylum and diagnosed with some metal disorder. Dont refute it because it is true.

In my humble opinion religion is usually only embraced by the weak as an ultimate equaliser between rich and poverty in their feeble hope that one day the score may be evened. What rot.

Look in the middle east where there are religous finatics, they are usually poor, have nothing, so have nothing to loose and in turn, turn to faith to become part of something bigger. Unfortunatly if you can control peoples beliefs you have ultimate power. Power is not in weapons or money, but rather in people, and if you can control people you can become very powerful indeed. One very large indication of this power is convincing somebody to blow themselves up in the name of their faith! does that not sound kind of crazy?

Faith can be a good thing, but fortunatly my faith is in my own two hands and two feet and i believe that i have the power to do whats best for myself, my family and my friends. I dont need a book or to belong to a group of people to make me feel like i am a good person.

Diatryma
5th May 2006, 03:52
If the big "J" was alive today - we would all know He is truly Jesus. How else could He/She have lived for over 2,000 years!!!:bored:

4SPOOLED
5th May 2006, 04:05
And to the people that think we must be here for a purpose, else why would we be here.

Well why is a rabbit here? surely not just to eat grass and get eaten by a fox (im using native english species for example here as this thread seems to be mainly English) then why is the fox here? to be hunted by good english chaps while on the manor in the hills?

Creation VS Evolution is where this one will lead.

We are here due to a bizarre series of chance events favouring our species survival. Not to many thousands of years ago there was more than one species of homonids. Go back several hundred thousand years and there were many. DNA profile's also suggest that we all come from a very small group of people and most women carry a gene called the genetic "eve" so to speak which can be traced back to one women. Race is only skin deep, as in all probibility we were all once black (im sure many white's will take great offence to that but blow it out your backside). It is also theorised that it only takes 20,000 or so to make a black man white and when the polar caps receeded and gave us back the north, black man populated Europe and subsequently became white through survival of the fit. (if you do not understand this concept then i will quickly explain, to survive in a cold environment you need lighter skin, stockier build and more hair. So the people that survived the cold every year had these characteristics and past these genes on eventually becoming you and me today)

People that ask what purpose do we serve, well we dont have one at all, but considering through luck, a protein rich diet which favoured us to develop large brains and the fact that we became bipedal freeing our hands to manipulate objects enabling us to develop a certain level of intelligence. Factor this with we now have some power to manipulate the environment and our natural surroundings, there surely lies our purpose! to oversee and manage this planet and preserve it for the good of our species and future generations along with the countless other species we share it with.

4SPOOLED
5th May 2006, 04:07
If the big "J" was alive today - we would all know He is truly Jesus. How else could He/She have lived for over 2,000 years!!!:bored:

Or he would be kidnapped by the Americans, locked up in a lab for genetic reserach so they could develop ways to prolong the life of George Bush and further allow his tiereny to envelop the world ROFL

BDiONU
5th May 2006, 05:36
My dear BDiONU, how very wrong you are. You did have a song written about you before, as you well know. Here it is:
LOL!!! Thanks Davaar, I shall be one of the flock then and go Baaaahhh!

BD
The division between faith and reason is a half-measure, till it is frankly admitted that faith has to do with fiction, and reason with fact.
Leslie Stephen, "Essays on Freethinking and Plainspeaking" (1905)

BDiONU
5th May 2006, 05:56
BDiONU
You lost me.
Is there something more than a semantics difference between "I do not believe in the existence of god" (your position) and "I do not believe that god exists"?
The latter is a belief statement, that you do not belief god exists. The former is simply a statement, you don't believe in the existence of god. I am of the opinion that atheism is a lack of belief and not (as many people tend to assume) a belief that there is no god . Is that any clearer?
Also, why are you so obsessed with this topic? I reckon you must have made about 700-800 posts - you were over 500 on the original Convince Me thread.
PPrune has a feature now that tells you how many posts you've made to a particular thread. I made 243 of the 1249 posts in Convince me thread. I've made 33 of the 184 in this thread.
You said it was because you enjoyed winding up believers or some such on the other thread. Is that truly the reason? :confused:
I started because of a little tale about my family when Bluey asked why people believed as they did. I carried on because of the astonishing level of ignorance displayed about both the theory and fact of evolution. I find it impossible to reconcile that beliefs some people have that the bible is the literal truth, despite all the evidence against it and the lack of evidence for the bible. Yes there was also an element of twisting peoples tails.
The more I read from external sources, due to my interest in the Convince Me thread and the more I thought about it the more I found it difficult not to challenge those of 'faith'.

Is that clearer?

BD
I cannot believe in a God who wants to be praised all the time.
Friedrich Nietzsche

BDiONU
5th May 2006, 06:10
I disagree wih this statement. My intellect refuses to allow me to believe that life is finite and serves no purpose! IMO we may as well slash our wrists at birth if there is no future!
When you're born you do not have faith, you don't know if you're catholic, baptist, mormon, jewish, islamic etc. In general you are taught your faith (because most people take the faith of their parents) as a child and you believe what your parents tell you, what figures in authority tell you. Which is a shame because if you were left alone, faith and religion not drilled into your skull, then you would be able to view it dispassionately and clearly and make your own mind up.
Now, I feel very strongly a sense of presence - whether "God" as an old man with a beard in the cloud, or some ethereal power force I don't know - but I just feel there is something there for me and that there is an afterlife!
OK, ignore the experiments that have been conducted into inducing that feeling by electro magnetic pulses on the brain. Lets use a flying analogy since this is a site about flying.
You're flying along in VMC but the weather gets a bit goldfish bowl. Then suddenly you're totally IMC. You feel that your left wing is down and the nose is up a bit. Do you:
a) Glue yourself to the instruments anf follow what they tell you?
or
b) Go with your feelings and fly according to them.
The answer is obvious isn't it? Feelings cannot be trusted without some form of evidence that they're true.

From my point of view, my beliefs give me a sense of purpose - a sort of right to be here, I suppose, but I'm not going to try to force you to take it on board if you don't want to! But as I respect your rights to not believe, you must respect the rights of those who do!
I served in the RAF 25 years and would have died defending your right to believe! I know that many many people use religion as a comfort, I don't have a problem with that (but they should be honest about it). So I do respect your right to your belief but you must accept my right to question you about it, to try and make you think logically about it, if you're going to make assertions and statements about it.

BD
I was walking across a bridge one day, and i saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump off. So I ran over and said "stop! don't do it!" "Why shouldn't I?" he said. I said, "Well, there's so much to live for!" He said, "Like what?" I said, "Well…are you religious or atheist?" He said, "Religious." I said, "Me too! Are you christian or buddhist?" He said, "Christian." I said, "Me too! Are you catholic or protestant?" He said, "Protestant." I said, "Me too! Are you episcopalian or baptist?" He said, "Baptist!" I said, "Wow! Me too! Are you baptist church of god or baptist church of the lord?" He said, "Baptist church of god!" I said, "Me too! Are you original baptist church of god, or are you reformed baptist church of god?" He said, "Reformed baptist church of god!" I said, "Me too! Are you reformed baptist church of god, reformation of 1879, or reformed baptist church of god, reformation of 1915?" He said, "Reformed baptist church of god, reformation of 1915!" I said, "Die, heretic scum", and pushed him off.
Emo Phillips

Davaar
5th May 2006, 06:55
I know that many many people use religion as a comfort, I don't have a problem with that (but they should be honest about it). So I do respect your right to your belief but you must accept my right to question you about it, to try and make you think logically about it, if you're going to make assertions and statements about it.

Emo Phillips

Goodness BDiONU, how eclectic is your reading! Epicurus here, Nietzsche there, and the Unknowns all over the place. I am envious of your library and the time you can devote to it.

I have quoted two of your sentences. I'll be, as you put it, honest about it. I use religion as a comfort. There now! I meet your condition. So you don't have a problem with that.

I have told you before I could not care less what you believe.

But the truth is you do have a great problem with me in my folly, because as you tell me yourself "but you must accept my right to question you about it, to try and make you think logically about it, if you're going to make assertions and statements about it". Why do you care? Why must you, against your own sweetly reasonable nature, persist in attempts to dissuade me from what you have no problem with?

Here it is: (a) you have no problem with my folly but (b) I must accept your right to question my folly. If you have no problem, why are you so motivated? If I want to discuss my folly with other fools, what is it to you?

Try to answer in your own words, however simple, rather than those of Epicurus, Bertrand Russell, Nietzsche, or Tammy Troot.

BDiONU
5th May 2006, 07:37
Goodness BDiONU, how eclectic is your reading! Epicurus here, Nietzsche there, and the Unknowns all over the place. I am envious of your library and the time you can devote to it.
The same library is available to you my dear chap, you have access to the World Wide InterWebNet thingie. Marvellous eye opener. Not to mention that I'm a firm adherent of google intellectualism:-))
But the truth is you do have a great problem with me in my folly, because as you tell me yourself "but you must accept my right to question you about it, to try and make you think logically about it, if you're going to make assertions and statements about it". Why do you care? Why must you, against your own sweetly reasonable nature, persist in attempts to dissuade me from what you have no problem with?
What I have a problem with is the indoctrination of children etc. with faith which causes them not to question things. Plus the passing of things like the book of genesis as the literal truth etc. That is, to my mind, very wrong. We often hear the bleating from the fundamental christians that schools which teach evolution should also teach creationism, 'teach the controversy' goes the saying. Yet left to their own devices fundies would not be teaching any controversy, only their own version of events.
Don't you find it curious that it is only those of religion who have absolute certainties and convictions? They believe absolutely in their god, absolutely that man was created in 'his' image and so on and so on. I don't have that absolute belief and certainty :-) But then again, I don't need it.

If you have no problem, why are you so motivated? If I want to discuss my folly with other fools, what is it to you?
See my above response :-)
Try to answer in your own words, however simple, rather than those of Epicurus, Bertrand Russell, Nietzsche, or Tammy Troot.
Aaaawww, no fair! I want to display my google intellectualism to the maximum ;-)

BD
Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence.

What has 'theology' ever said that is of the smallest use to anybody? When has 'theology' ever said anything that is demonstrably true and is not obvious? What makes you think that 'theology' is a subject at all?
Richard Dawkins

strafer
5th May 2006, 09:35
Bealine - You want to know what your ‘purpose’ in life is? It’s very simple, you are a vehicle for the replication of DNA. A lifeless molecule that exists purely to copy itself into the next generation using sex as a convienient (and not just for us :)) mechanism to cope with environmental challenges.

Does that not make you feel ‘special’? Well, why on earth should you be? BDiONU gave a list of reasons why people feel the need to believe, against all the evidence, that death is not the end for them. One reason he missed was arrogance. You are just a collection of molecules existing in that state for the merest blink of an eye. Soon they’ll be scattered across the cosmos again. You are no more special than a salmon that spends its life swimming across an ocean to breed and then die in the rivers where it itself was concieved. Or a butterfly that spends its one day with wings just looking for a chance to mate. I know you think that you are worth more than that, but sorry, that’s just your ego.

What you have yet to realise is that that does not make life ‘unfullfilling’ or ‘without purpose’ - and that may well be because you don’t have any children. Having kids gives your life a purpose like no other and as you gradually start to recognise your traits and personality in them, perhaps then you’ll realise that in some ways you will live on after death.

The miracle of life AND no need to worship a sadistic, racist, sexist, vengeful, spiteful and murderous ‘God’.

Skypilot
5th May 2006, 10:38
I'm enjoying the wonderful scenery of California and Arizona from the front seat of a 2000 Archer (twin GNS430S) and only checking the Internet when not enjoying the views of God's marvellous creation.
Keef,

Glad to hear you're enjoying your holiday. Wouldn't you agree, however, that it is at best disingenuous to give God the credit for creating the scenery that you are enjoying so much - it is, after all, a natural phenomenon - without simultaneously needing to hold him to account for other natural phenomena such as earthquakes and tsunami, and all the death, destruction and misery that follow in their wake?

It's contradictions like that, to me, makes the world-view of the theists seem irreconcilable with what I observe happening around me.

Wyler
5th May 2006, 11:04
Can God also take credit for Cancer? Pretty spiteful trick don't you think. Is he the same God that watches over deprevation and starvation in Africa? I really would like to know but suspect I will just get a very clever, academic type fluffy say nothing answer. Or just be ignored.

BDiONU
5th May 2006, 11:18
BDiONU gave a list of reasons why people feel the need to believe, against all the evidence, that death is not the end for them. One reason he missed was arrogance.
Something I forgot to post ages ago (Keef you'll be pleased to know its another quote from an atheist). This is , I think, a marvellous explanation from a much longer piece by the late, great, Douglas Adams. It does go some way to explaining the arrogance (IMHO):

Where does the idea of God come from? Well, I think we have a very skewed point of view on an awful lot of things, but let’s try and see where our point of view comes from. Imagine early man. Early man is, like everything else, an evolved creature and he finds himself in a world that he’s begun to take a little charge of; he’s begun to be a tool-maker, a changer of his environment with the tools that he’s made and he makes tools, when he does, in order to make changes in his environment. To give an example of the way man operates compared to other animals, consider speciation, which, as we know, tends to occur when a small group of animals gets separated from the rest of the herd by some geological upheaval, population pressure, food shortage or whatever and finds itself in a new environment with maybe something different going on. Take a very simple example; maybe a bunch of animals suddenly finds itself in a place where the weather is rather colder. We know that in a few generations those genes which favour a thicker coat will have come to the fore and we’ll come and we’ll find that the animals have now got thicker coats. Early man, who’s a tool maker, doesn’t have to do this: he can inhabit an extraordinarily wide range of habitats on earth, from tundra to the Gobi Desert—he even manages to live in New York for heaven’s sake—and the reason is that when he arrives in a new environment he doesn’t have to wait for several generations; if he arrives in a colder environment and sees an animal that has those genes which favour a thicker coat, he says “I’ll have it off him”. Tools have enabled us to think intentionally, to make things and to do things to create a world that fits us better. Now imagine an early man surveying his surroundings at the end of a happy day’s tool making. He looks around and he sees a world which pleases him mightily: behind him are mountains with caves in—mountains are great because you can go and hide in the caves and you are out of the rain and the bears can’t get you; in front of him there’s the forest—it’s got nuts and berries and delicious food; there's a stream going by, which is full of water—water’s delicious to drink, you can float your boats in it and do all sorts of stuff with it; here’s cousin Ug and he’s caught a mammoth—mammoth’s are great, you can eat them, you can wear their coats, you can use their bones to create weapons to catch other mammoths. I mean this is a great world, it’s fantastic. But our early man has a moment to reflect and he thinks to himself, ‘well, this is an interesting world that I find myself in’ and then he asks himself a very treacherous question, a question which is totally meaningless and fallacious, but only comes about because of the nature of the sort of person he is, the sort of person he has evolved into and the sort of person who has thrived because he thinks this particular way. Man the maker looks at his world and says ‘So who made this then?’ Who made this? — you can see why it’s a treacherous question. Early man thinks, ‘Well, because there’s only one sort of being I know about who makes things, whoever made all this must therefore be a much bigger, much more powerful and necessarily invisible, one of me and because I tend to be the strong one who does all the stuff, he’s probably male’. And so we have the idea of a god. Then, because when we make things we do it with the intention of doing something with them, early man asks himself , ‘If he made it, what did he make it for?’ Now the real trap springs, because early man is thinking, ‘This world fits me very well. Here are all these things that support me and feed me and look after me; yes, this world fits me nicely’ and he reaches the inescapable conclusion that whoever made it, made it for him.

BD
The priests used to say that faith can move mountains, and nobody believed them. Today the scientists say that they can level mountains, and nobody doubts them.
Joseph Campbell

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!
5th May 2006, 12:45
wtf doestierenymean?

:confused:

BDiONU
5th May 2006, 12:49
wtf does mean?

:confused:
Means a typo. What was meant was tyranny methinks :-)

BD

Skypilot
5th May 2006, 14:22
And another one that troubles me. If the Devil is so evil, why has God continued to tolerate him for all these years? Surely he could have sorted him out ages ago, and the universe would have been left a better place without his malign influence?

Keef
5th May 2006, 18:50
Wouldn't you agree, however, that it is at best disingenuous to give God the credit for creating the scenery that you are enjoying so much - it is, after all, a natural phenomenon - without simultaneously needing to hold him to account for other natural phenomena such as earthquakes and tsunami, and all the death, destruction and misery that follow in their wake?

Yes, absolutely. The God I believe in created the universe, and set in train all the physical etc laws that resulted in the world we live in, with its wonderful scenery and its awful diseases. I'm sure BDIONU's Googleengine could produce the umpteen quotes needed, but I just work from my head cos I'm in Santa Monica and soon to check out of the hotel to fly home.

Back later...

BDiONU
5th May 2006, 20:15
I'm in Santa Monica and soon to check out of the hotel to fly home. Back later...
Safe trip back Keef! Be careful on one of those heavier than air machines, how they get into and stay in the air beats me, its just not natural! ;)

Anyway here's a laugh for you:
http://users.anytimenow.com/mark_patterson/burgaview.jpg

BD

Keef
7th May 2006, 03:23
First time through, I read that as "Fed up with infidels flaunting it over your goat?

There may be something in that :)

Anyway, I'm back in Essex all jetlagged and confused and I need a beer and it's 0422 am and I think it's Sunday...

BDiONU
7th May 2006, 11:11
Anyway, I'm back in Essex all jetlagged and confused and I need a beer and it's 0422 am and I think it's Sunday...
Another one to amuse you until you're over your jetlag.

An atheist was taking a walk through the woods.
"What majestic trees! What powerful rivers! What beautiful animals!" he said to himself. As he was walking alongside the river he heard a rustling in the bushes behind him. He turned to look. He saw a 7 foot grizzly charge towards him. He ran as fast as he could up the path. He looked over his shoulder and saw that the bear was closing in on him. He looked over his shoulder again, and the bear was even closer. His heart was pumping frantically and he tried to run even faster. He tripped and fell on the ground. He rolled over to pick himself up but saw the bear right on top of him, reaching for him with his left paw and raising his right paw to strike him. At that instant the Atheist cried out: " Oh my God!..."

Time stopped.

The bear froze.

The forest was silent.

As a bright light shone upon the man, a voice came out of the sky: " You deny my existence for all of those years, teach others I don't exist, and even credit creation to a cosmic accident. Do you expect me to help you out of this predicament? Am I to count you as a believer?"
The atheist looked directly into the light, " It would be hypocritical of me to suddenly ask you to treat me as a Christian now, but perhaps could you make the BEAR a Christian?"

"Very well, " said the voice.

The light went out.

And the sounds of the forest resumed.

And then the bear dropped his right paw, brought both paws together and bowed his head and spoke:


"Lord, Bless this food which I am about to receive and for which I am truly thankful."


BD