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wiccan
27th Nov 2006, 23:18
According to the dictionary, Pagans are Polyaethists [sp] ie, worship more than one Diety.
Islam... worships One Diety.....Allah
Judaeism.... worships One Diety......Jehovah/Yaweh
Whilst Christians... worship [depending on the Sect] Three [or more] Dieties
Father, Son, Holy Spirit [plus Holy Mary, Mother of God]
Does tis "Assumption" mean that the "Christian" Religionon is in fact Pagan?
A "proper" discussion would be nice........
bb

Huck
27th Nov 2006, 23:23
No....

From Wordnet:

Pagan: (a person who follows a polytheistic or pre-Christian religion (not a Christian or Muslim or Jew))

Ah, PPrune.....

tony draper
27th Nov 2006, 23:27
Interesting item on newsnight tonight, some organisation is flooding education authority with fundy Intelligent Design literature insisting it should be taught in science classes along with Darwinian Evolution,well why not,they have dumbed down the general population to about the right level for this feckwittery to take off.
:suspect:

Blacksheep
27th Nov 2006, 23:30
From practical experience, I think you can't have a rational discussion concerning The Holy Trinity. At the age of 14 and a life-long attendee of Sunday School at St Michael's and All Angels, Norton on Tees, I was attending 'Confirmation Class' and asked what I thought were pertinent questions concerning the Trinity. It is after all a concept that defies logic, one of those sort of questions about life that 14 year olds are so fond of challenging. The vicar could not, no matter how hard he tried, produce any rational answers. He became furious, grabbed me by the hair and dragged me out into the street. I went home, reflected upon the matter for the afternoon and by tea time had ceased to be a Christian.

I wonder how many others are members of the noble order of those expelled from Confirmation School?

Whirlygig
27th Nov 2006, 23:42
No, because the Father, Son and Holy Spirit/Ghost are considered to be one. And Mary is not worshipped as a God.

Cheers

Whirls

Blacksheep
27th Nov 2006, 23:57
They're also simultaneously considered as three separate entities, wherein lies the root of the Trinity problem.

You're not going to drag me outside by the hair are you Whirls?

No?

Damn! Its so hard to get lucky these days...

ABX
28th Nov 2006, 00:36
Wiccan, I suspect that you are giving us a bit of a wind up here, but I'll take you at face value and try to discuss properly.

Polytheism n the worship of or belief in more than one deity ...

The God of the Christians and Jews is described as the Holy Trinity, yet is really one entity. Consider water (H2O), when frozen it is known as ice, when liquid we call it water and when evaporated we call it vapor, yet the whole time it is still H2O. Or also consider your own construction: body, soul (mind) & spirit, yet just one person. Thus it is the same with God, three, yet one. One yet three.

Never in Christianity (Catholics et al) are Mary or the saints 'worshiped' they are given honour and high regard for their achievements, but they are not worshiped.

Blacksheep, (I like the Cunning Artificer under your name, a Pratchett fan I presume?) I am so sorry to hear that you were treated that way, I have met a few 'vicars' like yours myself. I suspect that people like him have lost sight of the purpose of their job, or went into the ministry for the wrong reasons. I wonder if the water analogy above might have helped your 14 year old mind? Or were your questions harder to answer?

tony draper, with respect sir, to believe that the universe and life as we know it came from a big bang and a chemical bath is simply preposterous. The big bang hypothesis, to me, is about as realistic as an explosion in a printing shop producing a perfectly accurate copy the Oxford Dictionary.

An interesting read: www.answersingenesis.org (http://www.answersingenesis.org)

Cheers,

ABX

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!
28th Nov 2006, 00:38
Preposterous?

Compared to what?

G-CPTN
28th Nov 2006, 00:48
http://shop5.gospelcom.net/epages/AIGUS.storefront/en/product/90-7-323?CID=15519&cSess=20061127385749254

ABX
28th Nov 2006, 00:52
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!

Preposterous?

Compared to what?


Rephrase, I find the big band hypothesis preposterous compared to creation by God (intelligent design etc,).

Cheers,

ABX

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!
28th Nov 2006, 01:08
and you are entitled to that opinion




...though Glen Miller might disagree with you

ABX
28th Nov 2006, 01:24
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!

erm ... Glen Miller ... Isn't he a musician?

ABX

Howard Hughes
28th Nov 2006, 01:34
What about a big bang by intelligent design?

Perhaps God made the big bang, I mean how else would he create the universe in 6 days?:ok:

Likewise it could also explain 'evolution', perhaps God wasn't satisfied with his original creation and tweaked it a little...;)

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!
28th Nov 2006, 01:53
erm ... Glen Miller ... Isn't he a musician?
yes :E

ABX
28th Nov 2006, 02:01
Sorry mate, I've done a google search but can't make a connection to the Glen Miller reference. I assume he sang a song or made a statement about it?

Cheers,

ABX

ABX
28th Nov 2006, 02:13
G'day mate, how's Tassie?

I don't subscribe to the idea that God used the big bang or evolution to create the earth and the life it contains. I take the Bible literally when it says 'six days'. I do however acknowledge natural selection which is, I guess evolution by definition, an example might be: there are 100 fish in a given environment and they all share the same features as each other, except that 99 are white & 1 is red, the red one is likely to be predated ahead of the others, thereby removing his genes from the pool and ensuring that white is the dominant color of the species.

The Bible in Genesis says that when God surveyed His creation "it was good". (He was pleased with it.)

Cheers,

ABX

Blacksheep
28th Nov 2006, 02:15
Yes, ABX, a Pratchett fan. Were I to move to Ankh I should dwell in the Street of Cunning Artificers.
Check your earlier post......the big band hypothesis...In like manner to the Monty Python parrot, Glenn Miller is an Ex-big band musician, or at the very least remains missing in action. ;)
The Big Bang is another matter, as it remains a work in progress.

The water/ice/steam simile was tried by my former vicar, but my question was indeed more difficult. The three states of water do not occur simultaneously. Note for example, that the 99 attributes ascribed by Muslims to Allah are character traits possessed by the deity, not different manifestations. In Christian theology the three entities of the Trinity can and do operate independently and on occasions, simultaneously. I've never been able to see the need for an omnipotent entity such as the creator to have different manifestations. One is quite sufficient.

ABX
28th Nov 2006, 02:42
blacksheep, at 14 I did not come up with in depth questions like that. Have been thinking about your ex vicar, such a pity.


I've never been able to see the need for an omnipotent entity such as the creator to have different manifestations. One is quite sufficient.


The problem in dealing with God as an omnipotent deity is that due to Him being omnipotent and all, He doesn't ask us how we think He should manifest Himself, He just does it and then invites us to get involved.

I see what you are saying about the three states of water. The three states of our creation exist simultaneously though, and work together or individually just like God. To elaborate: My body is a physical entity, my soul (or mind) is a collection of my thoughts, experiences, beliefs etc (my brain is physical but my thoughts/reasoning are not) and my spirit is that part of me that deals with all the spiritual interaction (often ignored) of daily life, communion with God, intuitions etc, & lives on after my body dies. Now if you see a photo of me you will see only my body, if you hear me on the phone you will be hearing the results of my thoughts, yet in both cases all three parts of me are working together at the same time.

I know it's a pretty thin explanation but I am not heavyweight theologian, just an enthusiast.

Cheers,

ABX

ExSimGuy
28th Nov 2006, 02:52
ABX, Pratchett - Good ain't he - and The Science of Discworld explains the creation with perfect logic;)

Now with my Serious Hat back on . . . . Blacksheep, I think that the water/ice/steam analogy is a pretty good one; I don't think that anywhere in the Bible there is a time when more than one of the Trinity "is around" at the same time, apart from when Jesus tells us "what the Father has said to Him" (but surely He can "tell Himself" something? How many times have you heard/used the expression "I told myself that would not work")

But I think that is probably taking the analogy too far, anyway, you can have ice and water, or water and steam present at the same time! (although all 3 together are unlikely)

Your vicar was not the best person to be teaching Theology (or should that be "The Ology" - Science of Discworld 3 - stop it ExSim, stay serious!) - he sounds like my old Physics teacher, who got very raggy when one of our students asked "if electricity is electrons moving, and electrons have weight, why don't they flow better down a wire than up" - a very logical question, though totally ridiculous when you stop and think.

I once tried to tackle the "Trinity Question" in a sermon (not ordained, but in some parts of the world, "lay leaders" are required) and part of my talk was three circles of the three primary colours, red, green, blue, all overlapping each other to form white light. (three primary colours, three persons in the Trinity? - pretty significant eh!;))

My personal belief is in Genesis being a "lie to children" (more Pratchett, apologies to those, if any, who don't read him!) and the way that creation was explained in simple terms to primitive peoples of earlier times, and that "big bang" is probably pretty close to the truth (until, maybe, we become even more scientifically mature and the "man in the street" can easily grasp the concept of 10, or 12, dimensions!). But to say "it was all done by the big bang" beggars the question "who made the big bang?:eek:

Each of us has our own belief system (or not!), and I hope this thread can continue with logical reasoning but, from past experience, I doubt it will and the idiots will be in here soon to trash the thread:ugh:

Blacksheep
28th Nov 2006, 03:13
Now if you see a photo of me you will see only my body, if you hear me on the phone you will be hearing the results of my thoughts, yet in both cases all three parts of me are working together at the same time.

I know it's a pretty thin explanation but I am not heavyweight theologian, just an enthusiast.
Not so thin at all, actually. Its one of the best attempts that I can recall. But in the end, its still you, and you are one. Perhaps I'm too rational to see the need for complications, but why do theologists complicate matters? It appears to some of us outsiders that like polytheists, they are creating a multiplicity of divine entities because they are trying to rationalise things that they don't understand themselves. In fact, the simplest answer is usually the right one.

Look at it this way, going back to your photo and telephone scenario, how might a primitive man who had never seen a telephone or a television interpret a live video conference call from you on, a PC? Especially if he was at the trading post and you were in his house with his wife and family in the background...

I doubt he would easily accept the simple answer that there really is only one of you, and you really were present in his village right there and then.

ABX
28th Nov 2006, 03:29
Yes, I agree that in the Bible God is described as one, yet three. The analogies I used are enough to persuade me, but then again, I did not have to contend with your vic!

The only other offering I can think of is that the Bible declares that there are 'mysteries' of God that are hard for us mere mortals to wrap our heads around. I know such an answer is not really satisfactory to a mind that has been on a quest for an answer for 40 odd years.

Cheers,

ABX

arcniz
28th Nov 2006, 03:58
One thinks this all might work so much better if one simply envisions GOD to be however many recursive (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recursion)
instances of itself.

Hobo
28th Nov 2006, 05:33
So if I have you right here ABX, you think the Big Bang is preposterous but on the other hand, as a Christian you believe that:-

1. 2000 years ago a man was born to a woman with no biological father being involved.

2. The same man called out to Lazarus, who had been dead long enough to stink, and Lazarus promptly came back to life.

3. The same man came alive having been dead for 3 days.

4. 40 days later he went to the top of a hill and disappeared bodily into the sky.

5. If you murmer thoughts privately in your head, he, and his father, will hear your thoughts (and simultaneously be able to hear the thoughts of everybody else in the world) and may act on them.

6. If you do something bad or good this fatherless man sees all (even if nobody else does) and you may be punished or rewarded accordingly, including after your death.

7. The man's virgin mother never died but "ascended" bodily into heaven.

8. Bread and wine if blessed by a priest can "become" the body and blood of this man.

ABX
28th Nov 2006, 05:46
Your points 1 to 6 are ok by me, yes, I do believe that, as do millions of others.

Point number 7: No, I do not believe that, Mary died like the normal human being that she was.

Point number 8: No, I have heard the bread and the wine referred to as "the body and the blood of Christ" but, in truth they are symbolic of the body and blood as we take communion and remember the sacrifice Christ made by giving His body and blood for us. They don't become the real thing though. Aside from the symbolic significance of these items they are just ordinary food.

Cheers,

ABX

Huck
28th Nov 2006, 05:49
So if I have you right here ABX, you think the Big Bang is preposterous but on the other hand, as a Christian you believe that:-

Thus ends the civilized portion of the thread. Now on to the how-smart-am-I portion. As seen a thousand times before here in JB. Come on, you twenty-somethings! Give us your best shot! Demonstrate your remarkable rationality! How smart you are!

It's called faith. I know, I know, it became unpopular in some circles of it a long while ago, but humor the rest of us.....

chuks
28th Nov 2006, 06:36
As we head into the Christmas season it should be rather easy to answer the original question, 'Are Christians pagans?' Just look around at all the elements of paganism that they took over.

You have the postioning of Christmas at the Winter Solstice and the use of evergreen trees as just two key elements of this supposedly Christian event. There are many more, of course. Do either one of these have very much to do with the historical birth of the Christ? I don't think so.

The Cult of Mary is one key element in the great divide between Roman Catholicism (and its relative High Anglicanism) and mainstream Protestantism. To argue that Mary is not worshipped, well, you could be on thin ice there. It is often so that she is prayed to in hopes that she should intercede with her Son. If that isn't worship, what is it?

It was a good question but it shall provoke the usual narrow debate among believers who do not accept the broad spectrum of Christian belief. That can range from those who only want to follow what can be recovered of the original sayings of the Christ to those who follow such interesting offshoots as Santeria, that curious melding of African paganism and Christianity. Who can really say that one is valid and the other not? Each of us has to find our own way to belief.

B Fraser
28th Nov 2006, 07:01
The water/ice/steam simile was tried by my former vicar, but my question was indeed more difficult. The three states of water do not occur simultaneously.

Oh yes they do ! Water is one of the few materials that can simultaneously exist in nature in all three states. Finding examples of water in mixed states when one of them is plasma is far more tricky. :8


"The Big Band" hypothesis had me sniggering over my cornflakes, thanks for that gem :D

.................anyway, back to the debate about who's brand of superstition is better than anyone else's.

ORAC
28th Nov 2006, 07:07
Point number 8: No, I have heard the bread and the wine referred to as "the body and the blood of Christ" but, in truth they are symbolic of the body and blood as we take communion and remember the sacrifice Christ made by giving His body and blood for us. They don't become the real thing though. Aside from the symbolic significance of these items they are just ordinary food. You are obviously a protestant, the belief in transubstantiation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transubstantiation) being one of the major tenets of the RC Church, the Council of Trent declaring anathema against any who deny it....

XXTSGR
28th Nov 2006, 08:09
The three states of water do not occur simultaneously.As said above, they can - and do. It's called the "Triple Point".

Check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triple_point

Mr Lexx
28th Nov 2006, 08:11
Going back to the original question. No, Christians are not pagans, in the same way that non-Christians are not Satanists. Just because there is an element of a trinity and therefore "mulitple" deities doesn't make the believers in that Trinity Pagans. Pagans worship the earth and seasons, Christians worship a higher being.

My take on the Trinity question comes from a symbol I was shown when I was in Sunday School. After hunting the web, I found it!


It gives twelve results, as below. God is the trinity, the father, son and the holy spirit, BUT the father is not the son or the spirit.....can get a bit confusing.

"The Father is God"
"The Son is God"
"The Holy Spirit is God"
"God is the Father"
"God is the Son"
"God is the Holy Spirit"
"The Father is not the Son"
"The Son is not the Father"
"The Father is not the Holy Spirit"
"The Holy Spirit is not the Father"
"The Son is not the Holy Spirit"
"The Holy Spirit is not the Son"


http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/b/bc/Shield-Trinity-Scutum-Fidei-English.png

It is great that we can have a discussion on religion that has made it to two pages without descending into a flaming match. Keep it up chaps. :ok:

ABX
28th Nov 2006, 10:25
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!; B Fraser et al, glad my blundering finger gave you a good laugh with the "Big Band theory" :} I didn't pick up the Glen Miller bit until it was explained to me ... :O

ORAC, not RC, perhaps best described as Bible believing Christian, or AOG (Australian version, are you familiar with Hillsong?).

XXTSGR, thanks for the link about the triple point, I'll have to have a bit of a read.

Mr Lexx, a brilliant explanation, now that your post has given me a memory jolt I remember seeing it before, highly unlikely I'd have remembered it without you. So discussions about religion don't normally go too well on Proone?
It is great that we can have a discussion on religion that has made it to two pages without descending into a flaming match. Keep it up chaps.
Sounds great to me.

Cheers,

ABX

Foss
28th Nov 2006, 11:16
The Holy Trinity was explained to me to be like a Shamrock. Three leaves but on one stem. Aahh, got it.
Unfortunately the male teacher who did the explaining ended up in prison for quite a while after explaining other things, in private, to other boy pupils.
Standard will probably know who I mean.

As for the bread and wine thing I have heard a mate make comments like 'all that wafer nonsense, they're cannibal's, they think they're eating Jesus.'
'Mate, you moron, your girlfriend of ten years is Catholic, shut up.'
'Oh aye, right enough mumble mumble'

Does it really matter anyway? I thought that believing was the the selling point.
Fos

harpy
28th Nov 2006, 11:40
ABX
I don't subscribe to the idea that God used the big bang or evolution to create the earth and the life it contains. I take the Bible literally when it says 'six days'.
How were days measured at the time of the creation?

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!
28th Nov 2006, 11:44
:) It was meant graciously.

ABX
28th Nov 2006, 12:40
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!,
It was meant graciously.
And taken the same way. Thanks mate.:ok:

harpy; 24 standard hours per day gets my vote, I do acknowledge many and varied opinions on that point, particularly among the "a day is as a thousand years ... " section. To me it matters little, I do believe that God created the world in 6 literal days, but lets argue for a moment that it should be interpreted as 6 thousand years, isn't it still impressive that God created everything within that time frame?

Works for me.:)

Cheers,

ABX

harpy
28th Nov 2006, 13:16
ABX
harpy; 24 standard hours per day gets my vote, I do acknowledge many and varied opinions on that point, particularly among the "a day is as a thousand years ... " section. To me it matters little, I do believe that God created the world in 6 literal days, but lets argue for a moment that it should be interpreted as 6 thousand years, isn't it still impressive that God created everything within that time frame?
Six thousand years would indeed be impressive but that was not the claim in the Bible. The Bible claims the world was made in six days and you believe it. So I am asking what you mean by a day. How would it have been measured or defined at the time of the creation? If you really do believe that God created the world in "six literal days", you should be able to say what a literal day is. "24 standard hours" is not an adequate definition. Hours are a more recent measurement devised by mankind.
Cheers :)

ABX
28th Nov 2006, 13:31
G'day harpy,

AFAIK, the amount of time for this planet to revolve completely around 360 degrees (1 revolution) has not changed, no matter how it is measured. Today we understand it as one revolution (24 hours) = 1 day. My answer then remains (or becomes?), God created the universe in 6 revolutions of planet earth - 24 hours (as we now understand it).

Cheers harpy,

ABX

Skypilot
28th Nov 2006, 13:46
Creating the universe in six days would be a pretty neat trick, but if you were truly omnipotent you wouldn't need to rest once you'd done it!

ABX
28th Nov 2006, 14:01
However I think the reason God mentions the rest on the seventh day was more for our benefit that we might remember to take a little rest and not work all the time.

Anyway, who is saying that He was tired? He had just created the universe, maybe He was just enjoying it for a while.:ok:

Cheers,

ABX

Two's in
28th Nov 2006, 15:19
...and on the Seventh day He created TV Evangelists, and yea verily were the poor and meek separated from their meager wealth by charlatans and robbers...

Davaar
28th Nov 2006, 15:43
But why, Two's, blame Him for them?

Your discovery is nothing new, and after all, He gave you ample warning, as you well know from your Scriptural studies, Old Testament and New: "I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart". And then again: "For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many".

There are many such warnings. I could give the citations, but why spoil your own fun in research.

Two's in
28th Nov 2006, 16:54
You're quite right Davaar, they are as old as time, but somehow that lesson gets forgotten here in US of A, where these creatures are on every cable channel, night and day sucking the life blood out of the vulnerable. My point, I suppose, is that Christians come in many forms, but so do those who claim to be Christians, but truly wouldn't know a Christian act if it bit them on the ass.

Davaar
28th Nov 2006, 17:23
Two's, I agree completely. We have them here too.

I assess them in three classes: (a) (maybe) genuine, (b) crafty and suspect, and (c) obvious unctuous b*st*rds. Class (c) amazes me most, they are such manifest phonies, some with their set-up "cures", and "send money" for a little bottle of Holy water, and so on, manifest phonies indeed but successful all the same in deceiving the less acute.

I recall the tale of one Pope, I think it was, who was attacked by a sceptic. The sceptic threatened to do all he could to destroy the Church, and the Pope replied he was well used to that, mainly from his own Cardinals.

Perhaps the only true miracle is that despite the evils and weaknesses of organised religion there do appear, generation by generation, individuals in whom one recognises Christ. I tried to address this in a long-gone and no doubt inconclusive thread on the "Carpenter".

Howard Hughes
28th Nov 2006, 18:02
"I take the Bible literally when it says 'six days'."

The Bible in Genesis says that when God surveyed His creation "it was good". (He was pleased with it.)
Unfortunately, whilst the bible is the 'word of god', it has been written and re-written many times by Man, it goes without saying that there must be innacuracies, not to mention those who would have changed it over time to suit there own ends.;)

tony draper
28th Nov 2006, 18:06
Beats me why he waited the best part of four and a half billion years after the completion date before he handed the keys over to us talking monkeys.
:rolleyes:

Two's in
28th Nov 2006, 18:11
As proof of the illogicality of mankind, people readily believe 2,000 years of anecdotal and idiosyncratic evidence of a higher being with unswerving faith and blind servitude, but put up a sign saying "wet paint", and everyone has to touch it before they believe it.

Davaar
28th Nov 2006, 18:21
....... and but a few weeks ago there was a learned thread in these very pages that said: "No! Not really! No matter what Flying Training Command and the whole RAF and all the other Heavy Thinkers told you over the past eighty years or so, aircraft do not fly through the physics of Bernouilli's theorem. That was all a matter of misplaced Faith".

Well! Well! And what heretic said that?

NASA. As Yogi Berra said: "You could look it up".

ExSimGuy
28th Nov 2006, 18:31
As I suspected, the "Willy-Wavers" roll in. So this may be my last post (and others might want to do the same) and let them get on with it by themselves. We have learned in the past that this usually happens. (Edit - hey, the hecklers seem to have gone a bit quieter,and intelligent debate has returned :)

Hobo's "points 1 to 8" - Not all part of mainstream Christian belief. For example, not all Christians ask the Saints (including Mary) to intercede for them. We believe, yes, that God can hear the prayers of each and every one of us, regardless of how many are "at it" at the same time. If God is timeless, then he can obviously have time for all of us.

"Elements of Paganism" - Yes, it's true that Christ was probably not born on December 25th! In order to convert the Pagan English (and other Europeans!), Christian celebrations were held on nearby old pagan holidays - kinda made "the transition" a bit smoother ;)

"Body and Blood" - On the night before his crucifixion,Jesus shared bread and wine with his followers. He said that we should "do this in remembrance of me". Now I may be hanged by some who take literally "this is my blood, shed for you, this is my body, broken for you", but I do not believe in the literal transubstantiation of bread to body, wine to blood (if I thought I was partaking of flesh and blood I'd probably be ill!) But in the bread, I remember Christ's body that was hung from the cross, in the wine I remember the blood that dripped as He suffered.

Mr.Lexx - Like the diagram, but I think my parallel of the three primary colours and white light easier to follow - however, whatever works for you on this thorny bit!

Harpy and ABX - okay, let's get technical here! According to "traditional" scientific beliefs, back at the time of the (disputed) big bang , time itself was not as we know it. Days, months, years were compressed. So (according to my understanding, not too great on Steven Hawkin type thinking) a day could have been a million years long! I'll personally not eliminate the big bang because of taking Genesis toooo literally. But if you want to disagree, I'll accept your thinking as this sort of thing is a bit too much over my head! Whether a day was "24 standard hours", or millions of years, is not something that I worry too much about.

Two's in - Yes, there is an unfortunate minority who "become preachers of The Word" for their own personal finance, or for aggrandizement. Nobody (unfortunately!) is paying me to spend my evening writing this!:{

"The Carpenter" and "Carpentarianism" - Good call Davaar! A carpenter was a humble man, though a skilled tradesman; not a rocket scientist or a brain surgeon, or a "Great Politician". That was the mistake of the Jews of the 1st century - they expected a great king, or a great warrior, who would lead them, fighting, out of Rome's power. Not so, He came to lead them out of the power of Evil (embodied as Satan) and hold their heads up as honest and God-fearing men, show love to each other, as to God, and look forward to a life after death that, if they had been oppressed in life they would be free of oppression in death.

Howard Hughes - Yes, Over the years,and through translations from the original Greek, Latin and Aramaic, the Bible has been mis-translated (with good or not-so-good intentions). This is why the "New English Version" (and recent others) have gone back wherever possible to the original scripts and tried to translate as accurately as possible, including footnotes where a word or phrase may have more than one meaning (admitting that accurate translation is not possible at this time and showing possible alternatives - as honest as one can get)

Worth noting that modern Islam cites this as an inconsistency in the Christian Book, but even with the same language used today (Arabic) as when their Book was written, they can still argue about the meaning and some use it for justification of acts which most Muslims find abhorrent!

Davvar - regarding the "talking monkeys", maybe if we screw it up, the next generation of monkeys, after we are gone, might make a better job!

Another (last) thought - if there is life on other planets, as many believe there must be in the whole galaxy, did the Son of God visit them, taking their form, and die for them as well? How many times in the life of the universe has the New Testament happened? Just to get you all thinking!

As Dave Allen used to say - "May your God be with you" ;)

Keef
28th Nov 2006, 19:27
Excellent post, ExSimGuy! I was getting ready to write some of that, then came across yours which saved me a lot of effort.

The word I was taught, long ago, was that the early chapters of Genesis are "aetiology" - explaining Creation for the early nomadic Jews in a way they could understand. They weren't going to get on too well with the Big Bang Theory (or whatever).

The "six days" are six Yom - where Yom is "a period of time which may or may not be equal to 24 hours." It may also be millennia.

I'm encouraged to see that the trolls have mostly stayed away from this thread. I wonder what they're up to...

I think the early Church was pretty clever to take over existing pagan festivals and make them the Christian ones. It avoids having so many Bank Holidays too :)

B Fraser
28th Nov 2006, 20:04
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!; B Fraser et al, glad my blundering finger gave you a good laugh with the "Big Band theory" :} I didn't pick up the Glen Miller bit until it was explained to me ... :O

Will the congregation now please rise and sing "He's The Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy Of Company B".......... I've been sniggering all day ;)

I can't imagine many other religions tolerating even a gentle mickey-take so well done.

tony draper
28th Nov 2006, 20:15
One has come to regard Christianity with some fondness of late, how could one not when compared to tother middle eastern lunacy much in the news these days.
But as that Italian chap said,"Still it moves"
:rolleyes:

Davaar
28th Nov 2006, 20:17
Just like NASA. But still they teach the Gospel according to Bernouilli. Can these be scientists?

Loki
28th Nov 2006, 21:39
I`ve a lot of respect for paganism (see user name)....if you`ve read any Joseph Campbell you can see some powerful mythological stuff in the Christian story. It`s all talking to us in a way that science (or accountancy for that matter) cannot, whether it`s actually literally true or not doesn`t seem to matter too much to me and I can respect Christianity just as much as any of the great spiritual traditions.

ShyTorque
28th Nov 2006, 22:00
Perhaps we are just a genetic experiment. Beings from a dying planet crossed their genetic material with earthbound apes, hence the missing link.

But what do I know...... dunno, brought up a Christian but gave up "proper" religion years ago due to the hypocrisy of it all (love thy neighbours but failing that, shoot and bomb them).

wiccan
28th Nov 2006, 22:11
Ladies and Gentlemen,
To say that I am impressed, is an understatement. I started this thread after a discussion with a visitor to my church [Albion U.R.C] said that Christians were "better than other religions" because WE had three Gods.....:confused:
As an Elder of the Church, I have discussed this, both with the other Elders, and the Minister...with several different theories.
Chuks, you've hit the nail on the head, and ABX, I like your analagy.
Thank you for co-operating on a [for JB] sensible discussion.
bb

BlooMoo
28th Nov 2006, 22:34
To all you 'God-Huggers' - the 'scientifically endorsed' Big-Bang theory with all its implications for 'design' was too big a straw not to be clutched with both hands and feet, was it not?

Just when everyone began to realize that 'The Bible' was myth and Science was 'The Truth' - along came Science to rescue you - thank God for Einstein/gravity/time (lots of gravity at BB/lots of unknowns still) wheeow eh?

On balance - there is no God. You know it, everyone else knows it. Admit it and set yourself free!!!

BM:hmm:

arcniz
28th Nov 2006, 22:47
Christianity may have more to do with paganism than is generally advertised.
It might well be that Christianity as we now experience originates really in the fusion of bookish theology from splinter radicals out of the Hebrew camp and fun-loving, pragmatic, slightly animistic free-thinking hippie Cybelians out of Greece, Rome, or Persia.

The old cult of Sybil, seen surfacing in the neighborhood of Ephesus around 1100 BCE, included a considerable lot of the miracle baggage that may have wandered into early Christianity, including, in particularl, celestial packet messaging via virgin births and spontaneous resurrection (about 300-400 BCE) of a human-style son of the goddess after a mishap and a proper burial.

Sybil was subsumed by the Greeks in the course of their expansions through Persia, with the goddess herself assuming variations on the name Sibil - As a deity connected to the concerns of women, as a healer, and as a protector from enemies. Cybele was often associated with Rhea, mother of Zeus and Demeter and quickly gained rock-star popularity among the masses.

Rome picked up the franchise under the 'Cybele' logo, creating quite an envelope of support for the Cybelian Weltanschauung. Latins called her Magna Mater and Mater Deum. Cybelian priestesses (?) traveled abroad in the empire with the legions, (see link below), presumably providing moral support and a touch of home for the troops.

All of these influences were overlapped and operating in parallel around Palestine in the time of the 0000's. They contributed to a rich broth of concepts that undoubtedly influenced the thinkers and scribes of the Jesus era with traditional concepts and metaphors by then already a thousand years old.

See http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/1999734.stm
for a BBC story about the colorful doings of Cybelians in North Yorkshire in the 4th Century AD.

Two's in
28th Nov 2006, 22:53
There you go BM, up until now it was like civilized night at the Woman's Institute, "Ooh, I know dear, what about that Joseph of Arimathea, he's a very nice man" or "I met that King Herod once you know, seemed a bit odd with his child care policies, but made a lovely Quiche you know" etc, etc. Swapping a few opinions, challenging a few statements, but no real need to smite or be smitten, no slaying of the first male born even suggested, never mind an eye for an eye. And then you turn up on your very loud "there is no god" motorcycle, disturbing the peace, and unsettling all the gentle folk. Didn't you even consider for one moment that what probably annoys you most about God-Botherers, ie. forcing their opinion on you in a loud and obnoxious manner, was exactly what you are guilty of here? Just a thought, after all, everyone is entitled to their opinion?

What exactly is the antithesis of a God-botherer?

G-CPTN
28th Nov 2006, 22:56
Christians were "better than other religions" because WE had three Gods.....:confused:
And the Hindus?

There IS no material life, we do not exist in reality.
'LIFE' is but a chemical reaction on a Petri dish. All interaction is created within the 'mind' of the intelligence created by the interaction of the DNA (or whatever God calls it) 'sizzling' thereon.
If you don't believe it, how about DREAMS - do they not seem REAL?
This intelligence is way, way more complex than the most intelligent 'human' brain (after all it has to create all that every perceived creature on this so-called Earth imagines and believes to be 'reality').
In short, we are all figments of some imagination. I think you'll find it impossible to disprove this, just as it proves impossible to prove the existence of any 'god'.
Of course, the existence of the Petri dish is also in doubt, with the whole experiment manifesting itself in 'Space' (whatever that is). There IS no 'matter'. How could there be? Where would it have come from? There was nothing there before the imagined Big Bang. You can't get something from nothing . . .

Davaar
28th Nov 2006, 22:59
- along came Science to rescue you ...... Admit it and set yourself free!!!
BM:hmm:

Twice in this brief thread and in a very narrow context(Why does an aeroplane fly?) that goes to the root of PPRuNe I have trailed my coat on the "Incorrect Lift Theory". Implicitly I invited the scientists to tear me to shreds, for I am not a scientist. I have kept the relevant thread, printed off, for study at leisure. It comes from the Flying Instructors' and Examiners' forum, September, 2006. It seems that NASA says the Bernouilli theorem explanation is bunkum. Of course it is still taught. It was taught to me over fifty years ago, and what does NASA know about it anyway? I always saw what I took to be flaws in it, but who was I to argue with scientists? So I accepted in Faith, Faith in the scientists, now, Alas, shaken.

I have books, memoirs and the like, that relate climate warming in Southern England from the 18th century. The popular "evidence" I see that blames carbon dioxide does not persuade me, especially when I see it allied as it so often is to personal abuse.

Back to the principles of flight. This is not a biggie like the creation, just a little tale of aerofoils moving through a fluid in an activity that has been commercial and military for a century. Should be easy enough in comparison with eternity, the explanation a mere bagatelle for the scientists. I look forward to your summary; or are you telling me to keep flying on faith?

Huck
28th Nov 2006, 23:00
To all you 'God-Huggers'

Q.E.D., sadly....

tony draper
28th Nov 2006, 23:03
Anyway the mysteries of the Trinity are small potatoes compared to modern Cosmology.

Big black holes have small black holes
That live right there inside em,
and small black holes have smaller back holes
and so ad infinitem.
When yer get down to the smallest
What will cause your brows to pucker
All the ones you thought outside
are inside this little f*cker
:rolleyes:

ABX
28th Nov 2006, 23:17
Hello all,

I must admit that even though I tend to take the Bible literally and therefore see the 6 days of creation as 6 days, the issue is not really central to my 'God experience', to me it is more important that He made creation rather than how long He took to do it.

Great to get up this morning and see that the thread has been so active, a lot of really intelligent thoughts expressed on all sides of the topic. A few unmentionables too. :}

Cheers,

ABX

Ps. Thanks for the verse on cosmology tony, very good. Indeed, does make my brows pucker!

BlooMoo
28th Nov 2006, 23:28
up until now it was like civilized night at the Woman's Institute

I know, I know - won't do it again....Sorry, OK?

BM:sad:

Davaar
28th Nov 2006, 23:56
Yes. But what about Bern...? Oh, probably doesn't matter anyway. I'll just keep believing in him.

Binoculars
29th Nov 2006, 01:13
If I were the Holy Ghost I would be really cheesed off. OK, he mightn't have ever done anything spectacular like his brother/comrade/fellow triad member but you would think that if we're supposed to believe in this three in one thing somebody could have invented something for him to be proud of.

He appears to have been granted grudging permission to change his name to the Holy Spirit since I was at the convent, but let's face it, he's got the shit end of the stick publicity-wise, n'est-ce pas? No autograph hunters, no eternal fame, no proud "that's my boy" from the Main Man, just a constant life on the periphery, opening fetes, being patron of charities, watching Fox Sports. Bloody boring. Still, you never hear him complain. He's probably a good egg at heart.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!
29th Nov 2006, 01:16
Science was 'The Truth' I don't see it that way at all. If anything Science is merely refinable theory backed by observation.

Evolution might be incorrect. It probably is in some details, but it's a theory that fits observed evidence and is repeatable at least in part. At some point the evidence will reveal a flaw and the theory will be refined and therefore come closer to an accurate explanation.

The very strength of science is that it is NOT a truth.

ExSimGuy
29th Nov 2006, 02:37
or are you telling me to keep flying on faith?
Yep! Ever time I get on an aircraft, I look out at the wings, think of the whole 100 tonne thing supported by that air cushion (okay, and being sucked up by that vacuum) and say "Thanks, God, for Bernoulli, please let him continue to right"! ;)

As for "Science" and "Truth" - have the Pratchett readers read "Science of Discworld 3"? There's a chapter in there about Science and Truth (Science is only right until it is disproved (or partially) and replaced by a newer "discovery")

PS - The Christians posting here are not trying to ram anything down your throat Bloo-Moo, we were invited by a member of the Wiccan Faith to comment on certain aspects of Christianity. You are not forced to read this thread if you find its existence so annoying, so how can we be "God-botherers"? :ugh:

Antithesis of God-botherers? Maybe "God,-I-Can't-be-bothereds" :confused:

Ronald Jeremy
29th Nov 2006, 05:59
I reckon that the big fellah is old Bernoulli himself, while in St Petersburg he made one of his most famous discoveries when he defined the simple nodes and the frequencies of oscillation of a system. He showed that the movements of strings of musical instruments are composed of an infinite number of harmonic vibrations all superimposed on the string.

I subscribe to the Big Band Theory too. Did the Good Lord Bernoulli not take up his son Glen Miller from an aircraft ? Neither his body nor the wreckage have never been found so that's enough lack of proof on which to start a religion. The Mormons seem to have done pretty well on a far shakier set of rumours.

If we need three deities for the Big Band Theory, can we have Benny Goodman or Acker Bilk please ?

ABX
29th Nov 2006, 06:13
The Big Band Theory ...:O

Ron J;

If we need three deities for the Big Band Theory, can we have Benny Goodman or Acker Bilk please ?


Fine, fine, but please can we switch Acker Bilk for Harry Connick Jr?

:}

ABX

chuks
29th Nov 2006, 06:38
Down towards the rational end of the spectrum, but inside of the Universalist Unitarians, lie the believers in the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Nowhere in that belief system is there the need to posit six days of standard time without a cosmos to measure that by.

If I want to be picky then I have to ask if those six days were Solar or Sidereal days and how you would know the difference without the Sun or any stars? This one looks as leaky as an ark with room for two of everything for 40 days.

I think most of us find some system of belief we are comfortable with and stick with that disregarding rational belief. You can see how quickly everything is tied in knots when you try to put a veneer of rationalism on religious belief such as is being attempted here. Better to just leave the scientists to their methods and the priests and such to theirs and 'never the twain shall meet.'

This is more fun, but stand by for trouble!

B Fraser
29th Nov 2006, 06:43
Harry Connick is still with us so that's not going to work. Both John Denver and Buddy Holly incurred the wrath of Bernouilli.

I vote Buddy Holly for "Holly Ghost"

arcniz
29th Nov 2006, 07:00
Davaar says:
Yes. But what about Bern...? Oh, probably doesn't matter anyway. I'll just keep believing in him.

a. Zueri is so much better...for most purposes. Always gives me a lift.

b. What is with the deity gender thing? It seems inconsistent to characterise the deity as a him or a her, non? How could one tell? Does God have a sex life on the side?

One might could take a poll...if there were enough omnipresent, omnipotent, etc beings around to get a statistically meaningful sample....but what are the odds of that?

It does not make much sence for God to have 'bits' because who's around to set 'him' up with? Perhaps GOD get's his jollies by screwing with the Universe, but even that does not require gender distinct hardware...or software, so far as one can intuit.

I submit, on the facts as we know them, that any singular, monod-type Semitic Gods must be genderless.

The pagans and such lot really had a lot more fun with their deities...Ken and Barbie-style.

ABX
29th Nov 2006, 07:02
chuks, a quick Google/Wiki of Pastafarianism gave me a good chuckle.

For many Christians we do love to apply logic and rationale to what we read in the Bible where it fits and spend a lifetime looking for evidence that will fit in some of the 'difficult to explain' parts of the Bible. However many things have resisted our attempt to apply logic and rational thought and remain unexplained, these things require faith.

Faith, by a layman's definition, is believing in things not seen or attained.

It requires no faith for me to believe in something that I already know all about or am holding right here in my hand, it does however, require faith to believe in something that I have never seen, haven't got and cannot touch.

If I want to be picky then I have to ask if those six days were Solar or Sidereal days and how you would know the difference without the Sun or any stars? This one looks as leaky as an ark with room for two of everything for 40 days.

Now, I KNOW you are winding me up, but I'll bite ... :)
If God is omnipotent and able to create everything by the power of His voice only, then He probably had a fair idea what a 24 hour day was going to look like long before it existed.

This is more fun, but stand by for trouble!

Roger that!:)

B Fraser,

I vote Buddy Holly for "Holly Ghost"

:D
Great!

Cheers,

ABX

Mr Lexx
29th Nov 2006, 07:50
Crivens! (TP ref there, sorry...)

The trolls tried to derail the thread and failed!

Going back to the new testament, or the bible in general being written and re-written. One of the major stumbling blocks to the King James edition of the bible was the inclusion of the Comma Johanneum (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comma_Johanneum), which added John 5:7 and 5:8

5:7 "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. 5:8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one." .

This verse was included in the Textus Receptus and was included on many early translations. Equally, it was omitted from several as well. It is still not known whether it is a legitimate clause or not.

Just shows the complexities in trying to keep a 2000 year old document "true to form".

XXTSGR
29th Nov 2006, 08:08
The thing that always intrigues me when the debate of Darwniism vs Creationism (or its illegitimate offspring, "Intelligent Design") comes up is why people want to ditch the whole of a theory citing one or two very small holes such as flowering plants.

You don't ditch Newton simply because his theories (or "Laws") don't provide the whole answer. Einstein doesn't provide the whole answer either. Between the two of them they cope fairly well. Even Stephen Hawking points out that, while the various theories of the origin of the universe can come up with all sorts of bits of string and sealing wax, none of them answer the fundamental question of "Who did it?"

I see lots of room in Darwinism for the existence of God. Where the fundies have trouble is that it directly contradicts the exact, literal interpretation of the book of Genesis. If you accept that it is merely a parable, that the world was not created in 6x24 hours with everything in it that we now see (including apparently redundant dinosaur fossils) and that the world is not 6000 years old as calculated by Ussher, you can have all sorts of fun with your faith.

Theorem on offer:-
God created the world. He set the rules. It is his hand that causes one animal to mutate very slightly, giving that one a better chance of surviving compared to others in the herd either by avoiding predators or by being a more efficient predator itself. It is then more likely than others in the herd to be able to pass on its genes with the mutation to its offspring.

To accept that this can happen doesn't mean you have to remove Darwinism from the school curriculum. You don't have to point to gaps in the fossil record as evidence that Darwin was totally wrong - you merely have to accept that, over the millions of years the earth has been in existence fossils only provide a microscopic part of the evidence.

You might as well take one photograph of a town every twenty years and say "Look! In that photograph that house didn't exist and it does in this one - we don't have any photographs of builders working on it so it wasn't built by builders! This disproves the theory that builders build houses and thus we have to conclude that God put it there as it is now" :rolleyes:

Belief in God is, let's face it, a theory. Christianity is a theory. Judaism is a theory. Belief that there is no God is a theory. There's no way any of them can be proved this side of death. To insist as so many people on all sides (including Bloo Moo) do that their theory is the only truth is arrogant nonsense.

Believe what you want to believe. Whatever works for you. But please don't insult others (or oppress or persecute or kill them) because their belief is defferent from yours.

ORAC
29th Nov 2006, 08:27
Belief in God is, let's face it, a theory. Christianity is a theory.... No it is not. A theory is, by definition, empirically testable and falsifiable, a belief is not.

There was a vigorous debate on this subject concerning Intelligent Design, at the end of which the cosmologists accepted that String Theory isn´t - a theory that is - because it is equally untestable. All bow down to the great god String....

Blacksheep
29th Nov 2006, 08:28
I believe in One. We are all One. The world is One. The whole Universe is One. (The Point of it all? OK rotten pun...)

Time, Space, The Universe - it didn't begin with a Big Bang. It continues with a Big Bang, because the Big Bang is still happening. Onwards to infinity...

Perhaps Christians (and most of the others) miss the whole point, for the answer is there in plain sight for anyone who can read.



In the beginning was the Word.





...and to think I have a bad tempered vicar to thank for a life-time of reflection to reach that conclusion. ;)

ABX
29th Nov 2006, 10:01
Little do I know you, however, you did say that you ceased to be a Christian at age 14. I muse that perhaps if you did decide to 'jump back in' that the leap might not be so far after all.

I have enjoyed reading your posts thus far, thank you.

ABX

tony draper
29th Nov 2006, 10:25
Personally one leaning more toward Catharism,bring back the Albigensians I say.
:rolleyes:
They must have been doing something right to worry the church so much.

arcniz
29th Nov 2006, 14:57
Faith, by a layman's definition, is believing in things not seen or attained.

Faith, by another layman's definition, is believing whatever preposterous claptrap may be required keep the fairy-tales from losing all their stuffing.

Gouabafla
29th Nov 2006, 15:18
Has anyone else read the SciFi story 'The Pen and The Dark' by Keith Cambell (I think)? It's great reading if you can get hold of it. The basic theme is that a bunch of aliens set up on a human planet inside a massive energy shield thingy. The talking monkeys (thanks Drapes) start trying to get to get inside this shield to find out how it works and to talk to the aliens. To cut a short story even shorter; they eventually get inside at which point the aliens pack their bags and their energy shield and go home.

What did they do that for? Asks one of the characters, to which his mate wisely replies "Try explaining the workings of a dewar flask to an ant and see who get's bored first".

The point being, that if there is a God (and I believe there is) he will be far bigger and far more complex than our logic or technology can understand. The Trinity - three on one and one in three - defies our cognitive categories. But that's exactly what I would expect God to do.

I can understand why people say that the Trinity is impossible, therefore they reject the idea. Equally, I would argue that the Trinity seems impossible, because we aren't capable of a high enough order of thinking. It partly depends on whether you see human cognitive capacity as being the summit of what is possible.

XXTSGR
29th Nov 2006, 16:20
A theory is, by definition, empirically testable and falsifiable, a belief is not.According to your definition perhaps. Main Entry: the·o·ry http://www.m-w.com/images/audio.gif (javascript:popWin('/cgi-bin/audio.pl?theory01.wav=theory'))
Pronunciation: 'thE-&-rE, 'thir-E
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural -ries
Etymology: Late Latin theoria, from Greek theOria, from theOrein
1 : the analysis of a set of facts in their relation to one another
2 : abstract thought : SPECULATION (http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/speculation)
3 : the general or abstract principles of a body of fact, a science, or an art <music theory>
4 a : a belief, policy, or procedure proposed or followed as the basis of action <her method is based on the theory that all children want to learn> b : an ideal or hypothetical set of facts, principles, or circumstances -- often used in the phrase in theory <in theory, we have always advocated freedom for all>
5 : a plausible or scientifically acceptable general principle or body of principles offered to explain phenomena <the wave theory of light>
6 a : a hypothesis assumed for the sake of argument or investigation b : an unproved assumption : CONJECTURE (http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/conjecture) c : a body of theorems (http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/theorems) presenting a concise systematic view of a subject <theory of equations>I don't see anything there saying it has to be either testable or falsifiable. Same as Darwin's Theory of evolution. I don't see any way that can be either tested or falsified. Theory, hypothesis, conjecture, faith, belief all very close synonyms.

arcniz
29th Nov 2006, 16:26
What did they do that for? Asks one of the characters, to which his mate wisely replies "Try explaining the workings of a dewar flask to an ant and see who get's bored first".

"Try explaining the workings of an ant to a dewar flask and see who get's bored first".

Jumbled thoughts, jumbled words. Syllogism is fine, but how can it be used to argue basis for religious faith, which by all definition exists in a Logic-free zone? St. Augustine, Teillard de Chardin, Soeren Kirkegaard and many others have labored long and hard at this, with brilliant effect, but always coming back to the same premise - if one simply believes, or believes simply, then it will be true. And if not, then .... not.

G-CPTN
29th Nov 2006, 16:48
It partly depends on whether you see human cognitive capacity as being the summit of what is possible.
How do you define 'human cognitive capacity'? A city slum dweller, a native aboriginal, your typical chav, you, me, Stephen Hawking or Albert Einstein?

ORAC
29th Nov 2006, 16:52
You stick to your definition, I'll stick to mine (http://physics.ucr.edu/~wudka/Physics7/Notes_www/node6.html). And the scientific method has produced a lot more observable progress than faith in the last 3 or 4 hundred years. :hmm:

Cheerio
29th Nov 2006, 17:11
Don't sweat it ORAC, you're wasting your time here.

frostbite
29th Nov 2006, 17:25
And the scientific method has produced a lot more observable progress than faith in the last 3 or 4 hundred years. :hmm:


Not to mention a hell of a lot less conflicts.

G-CPTN
29th Nov 2006, 18:06
Can you imagine declaring a 'fatwa' against a scientist who held beliefs differing from yours?

Oh, haven't religious folk done that over the years?

Skypilot
30th Nov 2006, 08:45
There is no scriptural basis for the concept of a Holy Trinity, apart from what is generally agreed to have been added retrospectively. It's just a fudge that was cobbled together by the early church to try and reconcile the conflict that arose from the fact that they wanted to believe simultaneously that God was indivisible yet Christ was divine!

If you accept that Christ was no more than an observant Jew, whose deity was 'his father' in no more than a figurative sense, then all these problems resolve themselves in a much more satisfactory fashion.

Such moving of the goalposts continues today, of course, as we discover that our growing knowledge is increasingly in conflict with religious dogma. The fact that some people claim that evolution is no more than the means by which God brought about the events described in Genesis is a case in point.

The Real Slim Shady
30th Nov 2006, 10:14
As Mr Lexx kindly pointed out, all of this Christian belief is founded on a 2000 yr old document. Well actually it isn't quite 2000 years old is it?

It's a cobbled together anthology of tales passed down by word of mouth put into some form of order by the Emperor Constantine who decided that this Christianity cult was a good one to follow. Not that he dispensed completely with the paganism though; he just took the bits he liked and left out the bits he didn't. After all he was the boss and it was his book.

In ancient Palestine / Israel / Jordan etc the average punter was not equipped to write down his experiences: the man we know as Jesus was undoubtedley something of a prophet, as was Mohammed. The exploits of the prophet Jesus spread by word of mouth; for example, consider that Lazarus was not dead, but in a coma. Did the locals have an understanding of the difference between death and coma? Did Jesus happen across Lazarus the day he awoke from his coma? Did the spreading of this "miracle" change as it passed from 1 to another - "Send 3 and fourpence we're going to a dance etc" Did the storyteller try to "big it up" in the boozer with his mates? "I'm telling you George, my mate Zephias knows a bloke who was there. Saw it with 'is own eyes he did. Stood right up that Lazarus bloke did, from being dead as a doornail mind, and asked what was for supper. Bleedin' miracle if you ask me. Who do you fancy in the 3.30 at Bethelem?"

Suppose the Romans hadn't had the shit kicked out of them in what is now Germany and in the Balkans; they wouldn't have lost their aura of invincibility. There would have been less chance of uprisings against them and the prophet Jesus would probably been left to his own devices and died an older man of natural causes. The Roman Gods would have been untroubled and the Emperor Constantine would have had no reason to step on the bandwagon.

But look on the bright side......it is a best selling book, made a great movie and a musical. What more can you ask for? Other than the Vatican to use some of it's wealth in a Christian way to alleviate suffering around the planet.....or is it too much to expect the "leaders" to actually lead?

G-CPTN
30th Nov 2006, 10:19
the man we know as Jesus was undoubtedley something of a prophet, as was Mohammed.
We all know what Jesus looked like (his photograph was in our bibles at school), but what did Mohammed look like?
I think we should be told.

tony draper
30th Nov 2006, 11:02
I always wondered why they gave him a Mexican name. :rolleyes:

Davaar
30th Nov 2006, 12:08
Can you imagine declaring a 'fatwa' against a scientist who held beliefs differing from yours?
?

Yes. Readily. But I do not have to imagine it, I can see it. Four examples:
(a) any who are sceptical that carbon dioxide emissions are the cause of "global warming";
(b) any whose research suggests a correlation between median intelligence and race;
(c) any who support the hypothesis of "intelligent design"; and
(d) any who question that second-hand cigarette smoke is the cause of lung cancer.

G-CPTN
30th Nov 2006, 12:37
I always wondered why they gave him a Mexican name. :rolleyes:
When he was being baptised (as a baby - come on, humour me) the vicar (!) nearly dropped him, and expleted "Jesus Christ".
They were going to call him Fred . . .

slim_slag
30th Nov 2006, 12:56
Don't you mean....
Brian. The babe they called 'Brian',

Blacksheep
30th Nov 2006, 23:53
A city slum dweller, a native aboriginal,I've been a city slum dweller myself. All of my children have been too. Its called student life. In my experience, many of the city slum dwelling neighbours displayed higher cognitive capacity than the students.

I've spent time in the jungle with native aboriginals. Every one of them held a higher degree in ecology and the environment from the university of life. We could merely survive out there. In contrast they lived there and lived very well.

One mustn't be too fast at putting apparently simple folks down.

Huck
1st Dec 2006, 07:09
What more can you ask for? Other than the Vatican to use some of it's wealth in a Christian way to alleviate suffering around the planet....

Obviously, you mean "some more," don't you?

slim_slag
1st Dec 2006, 08:25
Well Davaar,

Obviously it depends on the interpretation of the day, but you quote Jeremiah 14:14 verbatim to explain your (and your god's) position on those TV evangelists, so I take it you believe in the words as written in the Bible.

So what do you say about Exodus 21:18? Would one of them Pagan types be wise to visit your Christian home?

Davaar
1st Dec 2006, 12:48
Well slim:

You ask me about Exodus 21:18; but Why?

In the King James Version Exodus 21: 18 and 19 are one grammatical sentence, to the effect, as I read it, that if men fight, with or without weapons, one being injured but recovering, then he who inflicted the injury is liable in damages for the time and medical expenses of him who suffered it, a conclusion sought daily, I venture, in some court-house not far from wherever you are right now.

Indeed, change “pit” for “dam”, and Exodus in verses 33 and 34 pretty much anticipates Lord Cairns (“on non-natural” use of property) in Rylands v Fletcher, 1868, L.R. 3 H.L. 330.

Verses 18 and 19 are in contrast with verse 12, which is to the effect that if the injured man does die, then the death penalty follows. While that sanction has passed from the laws of many Western states of late decades, the frequent evidence of these very pages is that many (not, for the most part, I) regret its passing.

The theme of Exodus 21 is summarised in verses 23 to 25: “And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe”.

These last two verses are often cited in isolation as iron-harsh, but in the whole context they are as much limitative as retributive, the sanction, offence by offence, to balance “not less than” with “not more than”.

Gripping as this all is, however, what does it have to do with your ....... Ummm ....... point. Which is?

What link do you perceive between Exodus 21:18 and false prophecy or preaching? What link you perceive between Exodus 21:18 and my home? What Pagan do you see at risk from me in my “Christian home”, as you put it, in any context whatever? And how? And why?

More broadly, why do you “take it that [I] believe in the words as written in the Bible”. My quotations (taken from several in the Old and New Testaments) were directed to Two’s evident distaste (post # 40), which in many cases I share, for TV evangelists.

My point to him was that both the prophets and the Son had warned us all that some would speak falsely in their respective names. Those warnings having been given, one cannot legitimately, without evidence (and we have no evidence, save of course the Faith you may have, not shared by me, in Telly evangelists) before us, or at the very least without question, attribute to Jehovah and to the Son views expressed by third parties (especially charlatans, as Two’s and I see them) on the Telly.

How does that lead you to conclude that I believe the (quoted) words in the Bible? Any words in the Bible for that matter? Whether I believe or disbelieve the truth of the words is irrelevant to the existence of the words. There they are for all to read. What has my belief or unbelief to do with it?

You write that I quote Jeremiah 14:14 “verbatim” to “explain [my] (and [my] god’s) position on the TV evangelists. Do I? Is that how you read me? How explicit must I be? I “explained” my position in post # 43, to which I invite your attention.

slim_slag
1st Dec 2006, 13:12
Well slim:
You ask me about Exodus 21:18; but Why? My mistake and my apologies. I typoed, should read 22:18.
More broadly, why do you “take it that [I] believe in the words as written in the Bible”.Because you used them to illustrate a point. If you didn't believe them, then why use them. Your post 43 explains how you feel about these specific vicars, but you quote the bible verbatim to say we should not be surprised these people exist, for your god predicted them.

I could also have predicted these people would appear without needing religeon. I can predict this because common sense tells me that if a business is protected from effective regulation by the Constitution of the land, unscupulous business men will use this to their advantage to prey on the vulnerable.

Now you have my corrected reference, the question still stands.

tony draper
1st Dec 2006, 13:13
Always remember at one's school a different wee lad was selected to read a verse from the good book every morning at assembly,this was a terrifying ordeal for most,one particularly recals the poor lad who had to read out the one about "those who sit upon the wall and drink their own pee" or words to that effect,don't ask me to remember which chapter and verse,one does recal 300 urchins turned purple trying to suppress laughter and a headmaster glaring about him daring anyone, that poor lad was never the same afterwards.
Being threatened with the cosh was as nought compared to the threat of being selected for next mornings lay preacher.
:uhoh: :rolleyes:

Capt.KAOS
1st Dec 2006, 14:08
Can you imagine declaring a 'fatwa' against a scientist who held beliefs differing from yours?Ask what the Vatican thought for centuries about condoms...

The Bible is "A mere translation of a translation of an interpretation of an oral tradition"...

tony draper
1st Dec 2006, 14:14
One of the Popes did declare a Fatwah agin our Good Queen Bess,if one recals the wording correctly,
"He who removes her from this world commits no sin but gains great merit" or some such.
:rolleyes:

Choxolate
1st Dec 2006, 14:24
"Faith is not wanting to know what is true" Nietzsche
Seems a good definition of religion to me.

shedhead
1st Dec 2006, 15:45
entertaining as this thread is it seems to have rambled off track slightly for the god squad i would recommend Richard Dawkins book The God Delusion which seems to have been widely quoted already on this thread for the pagans/wiccans try suing for breech of copyright over the ideas stolen from you by the christian religion and just as a quick aside I have no time for the god botherers because depending on which brand of god they buy into they seem to want to either kill me,deprive me of my freedom of speech or stop me shopping on a sunday. hmmm maybe christians are not THAT bad then. as for taking the bible literally where exactly did Cain get his wife then? and are you really sure about this ark thing a few gaps in logic there too

Davaar
1st Dec 2006, 16:40
There is no need or even room for me in this dialogue between slim and slag. Slim tells slag what I think and slag digs a pit for me. Ho-Hum.

Yes, it does help the reader, slim, or slag, for you to get your citations right, especially the chapter number.

Now to your powers of reasoning. You take it, so you confess, that I believe in some words as written in the Bible because I “used them to illustrate a point”. By the same reasoning anyone who illustrates a paper with citations from: (a) “Das Kapital”, (b) “Mein Kampf”, (c) “The Origin of Species”, (d) “Genesis”, (e) “The Wealth of Nations”, and (f) Korky the Kat is, on those grounds alone, a Commie Nazi Darwinist Fundamentalist Free-Trading Beanoist. That is what Aristotle’s logic, unlike yours, calls a non-sequitur. And Yes, you are right, he was Greek, not Roman.

One could quote “Mein Kampf” to illustrate what one man had in mind for Lebensraum and a policy of colonisation. Sharp-witted slim or slag can tell you from that information alone that you should get measured right away for the black uniform, because if you quote it you must believe it.

As to Exodus 22: 18, do not be so dim. Your argument is at the kindergarten level that imputes literalism (Aha! Gotcha! How did they get all those animals in the Ark?) in Old Testament and New Testament to mock those whom they wish to, in fact, mock. Know what, slim and slag: I never wake up in anxiety about the Big Bang; I do not believe, despite Bishop Ussher (See! I know about him too. Irish chap. I can quote him, but I do not believe him! Amazing, isn’t it?), the world was created a little over 6,000 years ago; I am not unfamiliar in a layman’s way with midrash and the light it throws in Biblical interpretation.

Listen, — but voice it not in the tabernacles of the upright — I sometimes have ... No! I “entertain”, that’s the word — Doubts about those six days back there in Genesis; to come to more recent times I am sceptical about elements in the Nicene Creed, The Apostles' Creed, and even the Westminster Confession of Faith!!! Yes!!! Mind you, that's just between us girls. By the way, what do you think of Exodus 22: 16 and 17?

“If you didn't believe them, then why use them”. I have already explained that. Work at it.

You write that my post 43 uses “the bible (or as I would put it “Bible”) verbatim to say we should not be surprised these people exist, for [my] god predicted them”. My God? Where do I say that my god (or as I would put it “God”) predicted them. Nowhere, of course, so we’ll just put this too down to your well-known inability to get references right.

Then your final shot, spelling faithfully preserved: “I could also have predicted these people would appear without needing religeon [sic!]. I can predict this because common sense tells me that if a business is protected from effective regulation by the Constitution of the land, unscupulous [sic!] business men will use this to their advantage to prey on the vulnerable.”

I suppose that must mean something to you.

shedhead
1st Dec 2006, 17:19
I must admit to being confused by davaar and his post. he states that he does not take the bible as literal truth. well how does he view it then, as allegory? as a nice bed-time story? he obviously has a faith based on something. does he also believe in santa claus? fairies at the bottom of the garden ? what about Zeus and the greek pantheon? if I remember correctly Homers Illiad was written within the same time period after the fall of Troy as the gospels were written about the events described in them, by what criteria does he judge one to be a more valid depiction of God or Gods than the other? why should one be just a story and the other be religious faith ? given that the gospels are frequently contradictory (check the two versions of jesus" family tree) how can they even be considered to be reliable? thank god I'm an atheist!

Davaar
1st Dec 2006, 18:12
No need to be confused, shed. There are no answers to the unknowable, and I do not try to persuade you to anything.

I tried to explore some of your excellent questions in my former thread on the carpenter and carpentarianism. If I knew how to use the search function I might be able to find it again, but I never succeed.

Do I have a faith? Yes, I do. Can I define it? No, I cannot.

This does not surprise me. I know how difficult it is to define virtually everything. A draft convention was produced by a very, very, distinguished English judge, no less, and his drafting committee, in which they used "liable" and "responsible" in different paragraphs to mean, in context, the same thing.

Great was the dumping on me when I suggested these words do not mean the same thing and that they had introduced an ambiguity. Get lost, was the substance of the reply; but as someone has cited above, "eppur se muove". True for Galileo; true for me. Mind you, I think the Scottish accent did little to endear me to the English poultice, and so I made no effort to moderate it. Nor exaggerate either, to be fair to myself.

Try to define a pneumatic tire and see if your definition could not equally be applied to a hovercraft. Or define "person" and "individual". Or "beneficial ownership". Or "best interests of the corporation", or even "bank".

You will not find "bank" defined anywhere. Even the House of Lords had to squirm on that one (United Dominions Trust v Kirkwood, [1966] 2 Q.B 431 (C.A.) aT 445), in which Lord Denning said we cannot define it but we recognise it when we see it. Really? Read his opinion, and you will see that even his great mind could not, without the help of expert witnesses (and one might uncharitably suspect some of said witnesses had vested interests in the result), recognise a bank when he saw it.

These are the trivia of daily practice, but if you become very good at them you may end up in the House of Lords.

Pity, then, but not necessarily mock, anyone who sets out to write a Confession of Faith or a Creed. Not easy, and I do not need some pioneer to drop the bomb on which he has stumbled afresh after its exploration by, say, Dostoyevsky a hundred years ago.

For my own part, the prospect of eternal life appears as daunting as the prospect of eternal death, but my own religion is not for death, as is so often so wearisomely assumed here, but for life.

The Real Slim Shady
1st Dec 2006, 21:57
Swans and ducks!!!

What use is an ark to them?

con-pilot
1st Dec 2006, 22:13
Swans and ducks!!!
What use is an ark to them?

And fishes and frogs and all them swimmy things.:p

assasin8
1st Dec 2006, 22:40
What I'd really like to know is if the cockroaches were invited, or did they just sneak on board the arc ?
:hmm:

Capt.KAOS
1st Dec 2006, 23:06
I must admit to being confused by davaar and his post.You're not the only one and I really, really tried. I got lost after the pneumatic tire, no joke, Monseigneur Davaar :confused: :confused: :confused:

slim_slag
2nd Dec 2006, 00:26
I think what Davaar is trying to say through all his confusion is that he is happiest when picking and choosing the bits of the bible he likes. He could equally be quoting the koran.

I confess that is a kiddie interpretation, but often we see things the wise are just to smart to work out - or that's what they want us to think.

And I simply don't believe Davaar when he says "You will not find "bank" defined anywhere." If that was true how would the regulators know what to regulate?

ABX
2nd Dec 2006, 01:38
To quote my own words, I am a "layman" and "not a heavyweight theologian", rather an "enthusiast", having said that I am always ready to engage in a reasonable discussion about such things when I can.

slim slag:
I confess that is a kiddie interpretation, but often we see things the wise are just to smart to work out - or that's what they want us to think.

I suspect that Matthew 18:2-4 addresses that issue. Before I get the witty comments about 'childishness' etc., notice that the text doesn't invite us to excuse wrong behaviour or immaturity by 'living as a child' it simply advises us to approach faith with the simple trust of a child.

Has been an interesting thread to date, I hope we can continue (or in some case begin to ... ) have a decent discussion.

Regards,

ABX

assasin8
2nd Dec 2006, 09:08
Just a few thoughts…

For those taking the 6 day creation story literally ; why would an omnipotent being even take 6 days, let alone the blink of an eye ?

What’s the point of prayer when God has already got your life planned out ? Similarly, those that will be saved, already have their names in the “book of life”, so what’s the point of evangelising ? I mean, God has already chosen them, so they’ll get to know him one way or another !

For those born into another religion, say Islam, it’s going to be one hell of a job to convert to Christianity… Subsequently, you’re pretty much damned because of your upbringing.

In the Tower of Babel story, God causes all the builders to speak in foreign languages so that the tower will never be built, thus not reaching Heaven… Now, that tower was never going to get there anyway, so he could have had quite a laugh anyway, without intervention.

Jesus, being God, teaches us to turn the other cheek… So why is the God of the New Testament so fundamentally different to the God of the Old Testament… Remember him; he was the one telling his people to basically rape, pillage and plunder from thy enemies ???

Anyway, as I said, just a few thoughts…

tony draper
2nd Dec 2006, 09:23
Once again the question nobody ever answers,why does this god of yours require us his creation, to worship him?,why is it necessary for a bunch of talking monkeys to whine at him on their knees/flat on their faces once twice or five times a day or even once a week depending on your brand?it doesn't seem to be required of the rest of the animal kingdom,why are we tasked thus?
Why does this omnipotend being need to be worshiped like some sad has been celeb,seems like a character flaw to me.

:rolleyes:

B Fraser
2nd Dec 2006, 09:55
And fishes and frogs and all them swimmy things.:p

And what about the flappy things ?

Blessed are the cheesemakers.

G-CPTN
2nd Dec 2006, 10:06
The flappy things (with a few exceptions) need to have terra firma on which to rest. Indeed the dove, returning with the olive branch (from the Mount of Olives?) was Noah's sign the worldwide flood was receding.

ABX
2nd Dec 2006, 10:13
tony draper:


Once again the question nobody ever answers,why does this god of yours require us his creation, to worship him?,why is it necessary for a bunch of talking monkeys to whine at him on their knees/flat on their faces once twice or five times a day or even once a week depending on your brand?it doesn't seem to be required of the rest of the animal kingdom,why are we tasked thus?

My answer to the question nobody ever answers:
Most people tend towards interaction with others, people like to have friends, partners etc. The Bible says that we are created in the likeness of God, then doesn't it follow that the reason He created us was for His own companionship? After all Christians are referred to as "the friend of God".


Why does this omnipotend being need to be worshiped like some sad has been celeb,seems like a character flaw to me.


With respect tony there may be some logic you have left out of that comment. If you are an omnipotent being can't you do what ever you want? Not only is God omnipotent, He is also good, loving and just, willing to sacrifice Himself for those He created. I'd say that He is worthy of our worship.

In any case, God does not force us to worship Him, He asks us to do it. After all, it is impossible to force people to love you, true love is given, not forced out of someone.

Regards,

ABX

shedhead
2nd Dec 2006, 10:16
not quite sure what all that meant to be honest , my point was that all christian faith has a common source text from which all variants originate,this is the bible. as an athiest who regards evolution as fact my source text comes from Darwin and subsequent developments on his work by other scientists. as such if any part of the source text is proved to be wrong then all other developments must be considered suspect and reappraised, Various religions spend a great deal of time trying to do just that with Darwin yet refuse to put their own faith under the same constraint.while it can be argued that faith by its very nature requires no physical measurable proofs it can also be argued that other faiths are dismissed by those of a different view purely because there is no proof. religious people can no longer have their cake and eat it if you believe in one God why not all Gods as from a proof based point of view all are equally valid! oh and back to the ark thing why do we still have ravens when one of the pair never came back?

G-CPTN
2nd Dec 2006, 10:27
why do we still have ravens when one of the pair never came back?
As ani fule kno 'twas the male raven that perished, and Mrs Raven was already 'with egg'. :ugh:

shedhead
2nd Dec 2006, 10:27
[
, He is also good, loving and just,

ABX[/QUOTE]
are you sure ABX? try telling that to the people of Jericho who were wiped out on his orders,the old testament God was a genocidal mysogenistic tyrant with no concept of mercy. incidently if he is the one true god why does he spend so much time trying to force people (usually at swordpoint) to renounce all other Gods? with egg??? oh dear oh dear oh dear! not a good start for baby raven then having to mate with his own mum!

ABX
2nd Dec 2006, 10:45
Welcome to PPRuNe mate.


try telling that to the people of Jericho who were wiped out on his orders,the old testament God was a genocidal mysogenistic tyrant with no concept of mercy. incidently if he is the one true god why does he spend so much time trying to force people (usually at swordpoint) to renounce all other Gods?


As I said, God is just, isn't it reasonable for Him to protect His own followers against those who would have killed them? The crusades are over now, its not the Christians making 'forced conversions' these days mate.

shedhead
2nd Dec 2006, 11:17
ah so true ABX . but then again the argument still stands I think the good people of Jericho had no idea who the israelites were until they turned up, knocked the walls down and started smiting, there is no mention of any hostility by the people of Jericho towards the israelites they merely happened to live in the wrong place! It was God who ordered the destruction of every living thing inside the city. nothing just about that! its the old testament God all over. the new testament God is arguably more tolerant ,maybe he mellowed with age, or then again, as he is supposed to be omniscient maybe its just good PR, after all he must have known he was going to do all this right from the start and worked out that over time we would start to become less savage and so he changed his image accordingly, I just wonder when this less savage thing is going to start!

ABX
2nd Dec 2006, 11:40
shedhead, its clear that you have been reading the Bible so you should know that all the books from Matthew on reveal God's mercy and grace, starting with Him coming to earth in bodily form and dying for the sins of mankind. Seems like a good deal to me.

Are you really an atheist?

Cheers,

ABX

G-CPTN
2nd Dec 2006, 11:59
As I said, God is just, isn't it reasonable for Him to protect His own followers against those who would have killed them? The crusades are over now, its not the Christians making 'forced conversions' these days mate.
So let me get this straight:- God is the creator of the World (and, presumably the rest of 'our' solar system) - and the other galaxies (and, presumably, the whole Universe)?

HE is the one (and only?) true God, and determines the destiny of all creatures?

However, only those fortunate enough (and so inclined) to have been educated into the tenets of Christianity and have responded by adopting the Faith are entitled to the protection of His mercy?

R I G H T . . .

Seems fair - only members of the club can benefit from the perks. Is that true?

I think we should be told.

ABX
2nd Dec 2006, 12:16
Well, I think you got it partly right there.:}

God offers His love to all mankind whether they choose to follow Him or someone else, whether they even bother to acknowledge His existence or not. His love is available to all, however, I don't think God is running 'a boys club' where only the members get the benefits, He seems to bless people according to His own agenda, people all over the world have good and bad experiences regardless of their faith. It does seem to me to be God's prerogative to protect whom He wants, to bless whom He wants etc., doesn't it make sense to you? He is omnipotent & omniscient, He must know a few things we don't know, He runs things the way He sees fit to do it. I doubt any of us could do it better. (Haven't you seen Bruce Almighty?):ok:

Regards,

ABX

vanderaj
2nd Dec 2006, 12:18
According to your definition perhaps.I don't see anything there saying it has to be either testable or falsifiable. Same as Darwin's Theory of evolution. I don't see any way that can be either tested or falsified. Theory, hypothesis, conjecture, faith, belief all very close synonyms.

Okay, certain fields have specialist terms. Economics has many terms which make absolute sense to economists but no sense at all to laymen.

http://www.frbsf.org/tools/glossary/glossReg.html

Even piloting has many terms which make no sense to an uninitiated outsider, but make perfect sense to pilots the world over. Think "rotate" and "ab initio".

Science has specialist words, too. Science overloads the meaning of many common words, including some which are in common usage by the lay community (top, bottom, strange, theory, hypothesis, etc), but with different meanings.

This is actually a blessing for creationists who want to muddy the waters and confuse the mainstream of society, who are typically unschooled in the scientific method and baffled by even basic calculus or the periodic table (dihydrogen monoxide (http://www.dhmo.org/msdsdhmo.html) anyone?).

This is not to say the mainstream are stupid; patently they are not, just as not everyone is an economist or a pilot. However, creationists and IDeologues are misrepresenting what "theory" and "hypothesis" mean and conflating it with other, unrelated meanings. This deliberate conflation is linguistic sophistry, designed to confuse and diminish the respect of science.

In science, several terms that mean very specific things.

Law - would be called "theory" today. Things like the "Laws of Motion". Generally, these laws are well accepted, even though some have been modified in the last 100 years, e.g. quantum mechanics modified our understanding of classical mechanics. It wasn't that classical mechanics was wrong, it's just that it wasn't the complete story.

Observed fact, observation, or just "fact". Scientists take measurements or observations all the time, for example the position and velocity of asteroids, or watching fruit flies, or < insert thingy here >.

Hypothesis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypothesis) - a testable description of observed facts. A hypothesis is only published when there is sufficient thought or facts behind it to justify it being published. Sometimes, the maths work out right (as in string theory), or sometimes direct observations leads to the hypothesis (such as orbital mechanics (http://www.braeunig.us/space/orbmech.htm) in Kepler / Gallieo's time)

Theory (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory#Theories_as_.22models.22) - is the simplest model (a set of hypotheses) which adheres to currently known facts. A good theory will be testable and falsifiable, and thus provide avenues of research to find as yet unobserved facts.

Theories become accepted over time as more and more observations fit the model. If there's a fact which doesn't fit the model, the theory is either wrong, missing something or needs modification or all three. This is the beauty of science as we'll never get as dogmatic about our theories as most folks have in the belief system of their choice. However, I'm not going to stop believing in gravity any time soon.

(Sadly) You don't need to know anything about a car to drive it, and you do not need to know about highly specialized theories to appreciate TV, computers, the Internet, space travel, or digital cameras. Some theories are basically correct, and you should either trust us when we say so, or spend the time learning the basics to satisfy yourself that we're not lying (we do publish books and web sites on this stuff, you know!)

Without a doubt, the modern synthesis (i.e. the modern theory of evolution, or just "evolution" to lay folks) is proven beyond reasonable doubt (http://www.pandasthumb.org/) as is quantum theory and a few others that were highly controversial in their day, like the motion of the planets around the sun, or that all materials are made of atoms (http://www.almaden.ibm.com/vis/stm/gallery.html), and so on.

There will be change to modern synthesis as more facts come in (this is the way of science), but it'll be fine tuning only as we've observed every single element of evolution as we understand it (inheritance of traits, inability of descendants to breed together (i.e. the creation of new species, and so on). Similarly, the understanding of early cosmology is improving (http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg19225780.043-big-bang-echoes-through-the-universe.html) to a state that there are no competing theories (steady state, etc) against the big bang left, simply because those other theories do not match observed facts, whereas the big bang does. It is highly likely that the big bang theory (as currently understood by scientists working the field) will undergo change as more facts and observations come in, but it will still be ... a big bang. Right now, it's like when you drive past a bad car accident and there's cars all over the road, some in incredible positions. We may not know what caused the accident (yet), but we do know there was an accident.

So, on the science issues of evolution and cosmology, as we can prove they exist and work that way, let's leave that to the scientists and teach our kids science in science class. Let the kids thrill at seeing the cosmos in its raw glory, like the Eagle nebula (birthplace of stars) (http://hubblesite.org/gallery/album/tours/), pass on to them the thirst for knowledge and continuous learning, the beauty of our universe and the fragility of our home planet. Don't confuse them with false facts or waste time on stuff that is simply wrong.

If you want to believe the world is swimming through space supported by gigantic elephants standing on the back of Great A'Tuin or was created in six days (both as plausible as each other as far as I'm concerned and in fact, the turtle space swimming "theory" is far more likely if the laws of thermodynamics are taken as read), that's actually not your business as we can and have disproved these alternatives.

However, if you believe in the Great A'Tuin, Flatulus (my personal favorite), Offler, or a deity or deities of your choice, that is your business, not mine. But respect my right not to believe in your deity, and don't teach my kids hogwash in science class. That time is for science. If I want my kids to believe in the Great A'Tuin, I'll give them a very pleasant fiction book to read ... out of school time.

Andrew

shedhead
2nd Dec 2006, 12:22
shedhead, its clear that you have been reading the Bible so you should know that all the books from Matthew on reveal God's mercy and grace, starting with Him coming to earth in bodily form and dying for the sins of mankind. Seems like a good deal to me.

Are you really an atheist?

Cheers,

ABX
yes I have read the bible and yes I am an atheist ." you should never base your opinions on things if you have not read the arguments from both sides " thats what my (atheist ) dad told me when I was young and he was handing me a bible, good philosophy I always thought, good book as well I might add but not,in my opinion,The Good Book . still lots of sex,violence,intrigue and betrayal no wonder its the number one best seller. Sadly it should really be shelved under fiction though.

Cheerio
2nd Dec 2006, 18:50
I can't work this out.......

"The Middle East conflict came to Ibrox this week, when a protestor ran onto the pitch during the Huns (Glasgow Rangers) versus Maccabi Haifa game to protest Israeli oppression of the Palestinian people.

But in a move that will have social theorists the world over scratching their heads, the lone protestor not only carried a Palestinian flag but also wore a teeshirt emblazoned with an image of Pope Benedict AND proceeded to hurl sectarian abuse at the Rangers fans.

Professor Beaker of Stirling’s Department of Semitic Studies told The JT: "I’ve had calls from colleagues the world over wondering what this confusing melange of signs and action signify. I can only respond: it’s a Scottish thing, you wouldn’t understand."

Elsewhere on planet God this week, The Christian Peoples' Alliance Scotland, a dingbat collation of God Botherers aiming to contest the upcoming Holyrood elections, claim the support of Muslim Scots for their anti-gay agenda. Which just goes to show that traditional torn-faced Scottish bigotry is starting to benefit from multi-culturalism.

Contacted for comment, The Deity told The JT : "I’ve no idea why all the world’s major religions claiming fealty to me are totally obsessed with other people’s sexuality. Jesus, give it a rest."


http://www.thejaggythistle.co.uk/nov06footballprotester.htm

BellEndBob
2nd Dec 2006, 21:17
People would get one hell of a shock if God pitched up tomorrow. He would be white, middle class, ultra right wing and racist.

Look at the facts:

He hates Asia and Africa, he keeps them poor, hungry and overcrowded.
Along with the birds and the bees, he also created cancer.
He did not stop the Atom bomb.
He did not stop the Holocaust.
He lets thousands of children die of starvation and disease every week.
The list is endless.

My wife's Uncle and Aunt are devout Christians and they got very angry over the Divinci Code. They said that that people were stupid to take a simple book so seriously. Just like the Bible then..........

Religion is a means of controlling the masses and Islam is particularly effective at that.

If I met God, I'd kick him in his celestial crown jewels.:*

Davaar
2nd Dec 2006, 21:26
1. I think what Davaar is trying to say through all his confusion is that he is happiest when picking and choosing the bits of the bible he likes. He could equally be quoting the koran.

2. And I simply don't believe Davaar when he says "You will not find "bank" defined anywhere." If that was true how would the regulators know what to regulate?

1. For once, slim slag, you got it. That is exactly what I do. Now why not in all systems? One system is enough for me, and this is the one I was born to. Unlike you, I do not spend a whole lot of time worrying about witches, and I have never persecuted nor, so far as I know, met one. Given your own absorption with that topic, this reassurance will come to you as a relief.

Since my time is limited I do not study every theological text in the world, but the fact that the several I do read (the Koran included) share common themes does not surprise me in the least. I should be surprised if it were otherwise. The Koran, by the way, I find less to my thinking than the Bible, but then I am not dogmatic, and I do not force either of them on or off anyone. You are the one, well one of several, who is so concerned by what other people read. For one thing, though, to understand many of the Koran’s allusions I have to look them up in the Bible. How do you assess the Koran?

2. Now to your “belief” on "banking". Let us start with “Banking and Bills of Exchange”, Crawford and Falconbridge, Canada Law Book, 7th ed., 1967, paragraph 103. Not only do courts “right around the English-speaking world find difficulty” in defining banking, but “some eminent jurists” (sources given) “have expressed the opinion that it cannot be defined”.

Crawford is the main text I use, but there are many. No doubt you have already analysed the discussion of the House of Lords in UDT. It is very instructive. You know better, of course. You “don’t believe” the difficulties they found in defining a bank. I expect you will be writing next to point out not only how wrong I am but also how wrong was the House of Lords.

You place your trust, in fact your Faith, in regulation.

Banking in Canada is governed by the Bank Act, R.S.C., 1985, c. B-1, as amended. At section 2 this federal statute defines “bank” as “a bank to which this Act applies”. That is as circular a definition as you will find, and it requires the pre-existence of an (undefined) bank.

To which “banks”, then, does the Bank Act apply? Why, to those listed in a Schedule to the Bank Act. In other words, to whatever entity the Schedule happens to list.

The effect and I expect the purpose of the definition “bank” in the Bank Act is administrative or regulatory, to ensure that a bank (undefined but listed) is regulated.

The “Regulation of Banks” is provided for in Part XIII of the Bank Act, and conducted by the Superintendent of Financial Institutions appointed under the Superintendent of Financial Institutions Act. The Office of the Superintendent, like all regulators I have encountered, acts on statute law, judicial decisions, and raw power (euphemistically known as “moral suasion”). I do not recall who does these things now in England, but it used to be, even less formally than here, the Bank of England and its old-boy network. Perhaps it still is.

I shall just let Capt.KAOS be. I tried to show him from the difficulties we meet in defining small and simple things that it is immensely difficult to define large and difficult things (like religion and the creation), but he finds it all very difficult to follow. No matter.

Your “simply don't believe Davaar” is indeed put simply enough, and I suggest as wrongly as simply; but you can easily prove me wrong. The law is easy enough to check. I suspect you have not checked yet, and that your belief, so simply and clearly stated, is based firmly on Faith. That is very refreshing.

ExSimGuy
3rd Dec 2006, 03:54
G-CPTN - A third Nigerian was later arrested at another Tyneside address in a joint crackdown by Northumbria Police and Customs officers

a joint crackdown ;)

MORE puns than enough!!!

G-CPTN
3rd Dec 2006, 03:59
Yes! I saw that in the original read-through. Thought I'd leave it for the more observant folk here to raise :p :ok:

wiccan
3rd Dec 2006, 17:11
Old TestamentTo "paraphrase"......Psalm23
Yeah,though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death,
I shall fear no evil, for Thou art with me.........
New Testament "paraphrase".......
God so much loved the World, HE gave HIS only SON
bb

Davaar
3rd Dec 2006, 19:12
[QUOTE=Cheerio;2998854]I can't work this out.......
" QUOTE]

After the great reformation in which it became possible, though not really accepted, for Rangers to play RCs and the Celtic to play Proddies, one Protestant player for Celtic was disconsolate in the locker room after an old firm game.

A kindly team mate asked what was the problem.

The Prot Celtic player said he was dejected by the barracking, especially at the hurled insult: "P*p*st b*st*rd".

"Oh" consoled the other, "Don't let that worry you. I get called a P*p*st b*st*rd all the time!"

"Aye", said the sad one, "But you ARE a P*p*st b*st*rd".

arcniz
3rd Dec 2006, 19:29
People would get one hell of a shock if God pitched up tomorrow. He would be white, middle class, ultra right wing and racist.

Given the advertised property of omnipresence, perhaps is likelier "he" would turn up ubiquitously as a housefly or mosquito. Perhaps even a plurality of spiders, Davaar.

Sanitation may be a form of inadvertent godlessness.

Davaar
3rd Dec 2006, 20:00
Perhaps even a plurality of spiders, Davaar.

.

This is awful. You are meddling with Forces Beyond Your Ken and the implications are unthinkable. If Beelzebub is, as some believe, the Lord of the Flies, does it follow that the enemy of Beelzebub is the enemy of the flies, and the enemy of the flies is the spider, from which it follows that ...................... You see where this takes us! Can this syllogism have an undistributed middle? Let's hope not. Can you define plurality?

You can? Too bad. Is it worse than Trinity, with or without capital?

Mind you, I have never had much regard for those little brown jumpers, or their bigger cousins the huntsmen, or the tarantulas (an unevolved branch of arachnids, whose mandibles move only vertically, did you know that?), but I have always had a sneaking respect for the trap door spider as evidence of intelligent design. Are you telling me that just evolved? That trap door and all? Sl*m sl*g has never mentioned it. Not yet. I am zipping through the Pentateuch for the Word.

Capt.KAOS
3rd Dec 2006, 20:06
I shall just let Capt.KAOS be. I tried to show him from the difficulties we meet in defining small and simple things that it is immensely difficult to define large and difficult things (like religion and the creation), but he finds it all very difficult to follow. No matter.I admit, it´s always difficult to follow a genius with an ego like an inflated tire, or should I say a hovercraft? Mr.Davaar is one of the few people who can actually drown in his own words.

Keef
3rd Dec 2006, 20:07
People would get one hell of a shock if God pitched up tomorrow. He would be white, middle class, ultra right wing and racist.

Something adrift in the analysis there. Check the assumptions again.

The God I worship identifies with the downtrodden and the suffering, not with any particular skin colour, social group, or political leaning.

wiccan
3rd Dec 2006, 20:28
Davaar,
As you and I [should] know the "pentateuch" could read the "decateauch", cos there are two versions......in the Bible....
bb

arcniz
3rd Dec 2006, 21:22
Davaar asks:
Can you define plurality?

More than one singularity.

tony draper
3rd Dec 2006, 21:36
Here's another religous mystery for yer,why does the Archbishop of Canterbury have the most irritating voice in the United Kingdom?
:uhoh:

Cheerio
3rd Dec 2006, 21:38
Something adrift in the analysis there. Check the assumptions again.
The God I worship identifies with the downtrodden and the suffering, not with any particular skin colour, social group, or political leaning.

I'm understanding, the veils have lifted from my logical positivist eyes -
Its irrelevant whether or not an Atheist can debate you into a corner, its just an irritation. God is whatever you want it to be. When Einstein said that there is no Personal God, he was wrong! Literally correct, but you can have one if you want, it can be in whatever form you choose. Pre Nicene Romans had personal gods, did Pagans? Christians have one, Muslims have one; personal, but shared by millions.
You don't need to prove their existence, because their actual existence is irrelevant!

Davaar
3rd Dec 2006, 23:44
Davaar,
there are two versions......in the Bible....
bb

Many, it seems, of the Biblical tales are told twice over. Is the resurrection of Christ a retelling of the assumption of Elijah? Bishop Spong offers interesting thoughts on this and associated questions.

Blacksheep
4th Dec 2006, 01:10
The pagan people in these parts are generally referred to by those who classify religions as "Animists". They supposedly worship many gods and make offerings to them to ensure a good hunt or whatever. Missionaries have tried over the years to change their primitive ways and civilise them. The majority have converted, but many still follow the old ways and even among the converted many of the old customs survive.

A cousin of Mrs B is married to a charming Kadazan lady. [Her brother works on an oil rig in the South China Sea and, because many of his workmates are 'Smoggies', supports Middlesbrough F.C.] Talking to her about the spirits that they allegedly worship, she tells me that they don't worship them, they pay their respects, which is quite different. The 'spirits' are not gods, they are invisible but nonetheless real and the more important spirits include the souls of their ancestors. There is a God, who watches over his creation, but doesn't interfere.

Out there in the forest, when its quiet and you're on your own, its very easy to feel that 'spirit' of the place - that same feeling that you might get in a cathedral or other place of worship. Primitive tribesmen aren't perhaps, quite as primitive as missionaries have painted them.

Blacksheep
4th Dec 2006, 01:28
2. And I simply don't believe Davaar when he says "You will not find "bank" defined anywhere." If that was true how would the regulators know what to regulate?A splendid example from our resident legal eagle, Davaar. I'm no legal eagle, but in my economics education I discovered that it took a quarter of one whole year's work simply to (unsuccessfully) define money. Banks came later, and after another quarter of a year's work studying the workings of the banking world, it was quite a revelation to discover there are as many types of bank as there are definitions. And you can even make up definitions of your own! Nevertheless, I believe in both banks and money.

Nay I have faith in them, for are not the fruits of my labour deposited in 'the bank' by my employer? The promissary notes that I am given freely, either at one of the main temples or else the smaller roadside shrines, enable me to obtain all the food and other goods required for my daily needs.

Thinks.... If I stop believing in banks, will the money disappear too?

Blacksheep
4th Dec 2006, 01:34
Apologies for the thread creep, but it says right here on this promissary note...

"I promise to pay the bearer, on demand, the sum of five pounds."

If I pop down to Threadneedle Street and hand over the note to The Governor of The Bank of England, what exactly will he give me when I demand my sum of five pounds...? :confused:

OK chaps, back to the pagan/Christian debate.

G-CPTN
4th Dec 2006, 01:44
You would get the sum writted on a piece of paper, just like Eccles had the time writted on a piece of paper. :ugh:


For Septics and Antips:- http://www.hexmaster.com/goonscripts/what_time_is_it.html

BlueDiamond
4th Dec 2006, 03:33
... what exactly will he give me when I demand my sum of five pounds...?
I believe you would get coin to the value of the amount on the note.

slim_slag
4th Dec 2006, 09:29
1. For once, slim slag, you got itWell good for me, now email my missus and let her know as she hasn't thought that for some time. Isn't it interesting that while all around were losing the will to live and tearing their hair out trying to decipher your prose, all it took was a argument (is) at the kindergarten level to work it out.

So another kindergarten level question for you. Who made God? Oh heck, I can sense the rest of them now losing the will to live, so let's not bother with that one and move on to Banks.

Davaar said You will not find "bank" defined anywhere.

I replied
And I simply don't believe Davaar when he says "You will not find "bank" defined anywhere." If that was true how would the regulators know what to regulate?

Hint: The clue is in the question.

Davaar responded with an answer which demonstrates that lawyers are paid by the word, and that Davaar has a very limited reference library when it comes to 'anywhere'. Davaars world when it comes to 'anywhere' is

Banking and Bills of Exchange”, Crawford and Falconbridge, Canada Law Book, 7th ed., 1967
Bank Act, R.S.C., 1985, c. B-1, as amended

That's two documents, the most recent over 20 years old, which deals with what happens in a quite insignificant country (population wise) a long way west of Europe. Hardly everywhere.

Davaar's world of clearly doesn't include the Financial Services Authority (a UK regulator with draconian statuatory power) rulebook where bank (http://fsahandbook.info/FSA/html/handbook/Glossary/B) is defined as

(a) a firm with a Part IV permission which includes accepting deposits, and:
(i) which is a credit institution; or
(ii) whose Part IV permission includes a requirement that it comply with IPRU(BANK);
but which is not a building society, a friendly society or a credit union;
(b) an EEA bank which is a full credit institution.

Now it might not be a very good definition for Davaar, but definition it is. So perhaps instead of "you will not find "bank" defined anywhere", Davaar should say "you will not find "bank" defined to Davaar's satisfaction in any statute which applies in that country you might find just to the north of the USA"

So Davaar, you don't appear to rely on a very wide source of literature. When you say "you will not find bank defined anywhere" you are just showing you don't consider any other source apart from your two favourites to be authoritative. Isn't that much the same as saying that man came along in six literal days because one book says so and no other source is authoritative either? How about reading around and being open to other explanations. The next stage after that is accepting that it's OK to be wrong if new evidence comes up to falsify what was previously considered to be gospel truth, like how vanderaj describes the scientific method works in his excellent post.

So with this new evidence, do you still believe You will not find "bank" defined anywhere.?

And how about you ABX. Plenty of evidence that man was not made in six days, are you going to consider the huge amount of literature which demonstrates just that - and even accept you might just be wrong?

ABX
4th Dec 2006, 10:33
I'm a man who knows a good debater when he sees one, in regard to 'arguments' I consider myself somewhat out gunned, as I said in a previous post, my opinions may seem 'a little thin' when compared to some.

That said:

I hope this contains some obvious logic for you.

Here are the created, trying to prove the Creator wrong.

Nearly all scientific research on the origins of life seems to be aimed at disproving creation. Many will say that as new evidence comes forth old theories are either retired or built upon, but carbon dating, for example, has been proven to be wildly inaccurate by orders of magnitude, yet it was quoted for a long time as being extremely accurate and the basis for many early evolution arguments. At the time (the 1970's for example) carbon dating was the thing to quote, now that it has been found lacking somewhat it slips quietly from public prominence.

It has often been said that Darwin himself recanted from his theory of evolution before his death.

vanderaj posted an excellent post as you say and clearly has a good grasp of the topic, (that's one reason I didn't try to engage in debate with him/her), however even that post contained subjective opinion that would not meet with broad acceptance, namely:

Law - would be called "theory" today. Things like the "Laws of Motion". Generally, these laws are well accepted, even though some have been modified in the last 100 years, e.g. quantum mechanics modified our understanding of classical mechanics. It wasn't that classical mechanics was wrong, it's just that it wasn't the complete story.

This is simply not true, AFAIK, the law of gravity is still a law, it is not a theory. Also, AFAIK (I stand to corrected) the theory of evolution has never been officially upgraded from a hypothesis.

You and vanderaj would know even more than I the importance of due process and convention, a law does not simply become a theory because the media refer to it as such, nor does a hypothesis become a theory just because it is constantly referred to as a theory.

In for a penny I guess ...

Who made God? Oh heck, I can sense the rest of them now losing the will to live

All the Bible says about who made God is simply that 'He has always been.'

We Christians find that a difficult topic to debate, about as hard to answer as questions about the origin of the matter of the universe. What matter precipitated the big bang & where did it come from? (Another good one is, "How big is space? Where does it end? Surely if it ends, then beyond space is ... space?)

Cheers,

ABX

tony draper
4th Dec 2006, 10:48
Darwin recanted I doubt it, he did however continue to visit church with his family every sunday,but he used to sit outside and wait forrem, he was no longer a believer,incidently I do not know where you get your information re carbon dating from,and it is true poor calibration in its early development did lead to innacuracies but since it had been calibrated and fine tuned with other dating methods is is now very very accurate indeed.
:rolleyes:

G-CPTN
4th Dec 2006, 10:51
All the Bible says about who made God is simply that 'He has always been.'
We Christians find that a difficult topic to debate, about as hard to answer as questions about the origin of the matter of the universe. What matter precipitated the big bang & where did it come from? (Another good one is, "How big is space? Where does it end? Surely if it ends, then beyond space is ... space?)
Cheers,
ABX
ABX highlights the shortcoming of the human. We wouldn't expect chimpanzees (were it possible to communicate with them) to comprehend these concepts, and, indeed, neither do we. Maybe higher beings do?

The paradox is how something can ALWAYS have existed or have been created from nothing.

ORAC
4th Dec 2006, 11:08
Nearly all scientific research on the origins of life seems to be aimed at disproving creation. A totally false allegation. Most scientists are more involvd in researching very narrow points of scientific interest. This reeks of paranoia.
It has often been said that Darwin himself recanted from his theory of evolution before his death. This doesn't need science to discredit, just a moment of effort. The allegation rests solely on one unsupported claim (http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/d/darwin.htm), "The report about Darwin's change of heart comes from one person, Lady Hope, an energetic Nineteenth Century Christian, while many members of Darwin's family denied it and there is nothing from Darwin's friends, colleagues, his own statements or writings to substantiate it."
This is simply not true, AFAIK, the law of gravity is still a law, it is not a theory. There is nothing about "laws of nature" in the scientific method. Isaac Newton produced the theory of gravity in 166, no conference or announcement said that it had been a theory long enough to become a law, but as it predictions proved to be accurate, it eventually gained broad public acceptance. The point here is that when something holds true for long enough, people assume it has some underlying truth that cannot be changed, "You cannot repeal the law of gravity!"

Newton's theory, of course, has been overtaken by that of Einstein. Was or is Newton's theory a "law"? I refer you to the flaws revealed by the precession of Mercury (http://theory.uwinnipeg.ca/mod_tech/node60.html). So, no more than Ptolemy's celestial sphere, Newton's theory was just a series of hypotheses giving a theory of how gravity worked - which proved false. Will Einstein's theory become a law? Probably not for a while, it has only been around for a 100 years...

a law does not simply become a theory because the media refer to it as such Absolutely correct! A theory starts to be called a law because the media refer to it as such... :hmm:

G-CPTN
4th Dec 2006, 11:14
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/6199716.stm

ABX
4th Dec 2006, 11:36
Yes, its pretty obvious isn't it ... debating is not a great strength of mine, however I have been enjoying this thread even so.

Perhaps I should have stuck to the crux of my argument which was simply this:


I hope this contains some obvious logic for you.

Here are the created, trying to prove the Creator wrong.


Other than that perhaps a little clarification might be in order:


Nearly all scientific research on the origins of life seems to be aimed at disproving creation.


The operative word is seems. It is my subjective opinion, although I doubt that it reeks of paranoia. The only allegation that I make here is that it seems aimed at disproving creation.

The account of Darwin recanting is a persistent one despite the link you posted, however, upon reflection it is probably superfluous to the argument anyway.


Absolutely correct! A theory starts to be called a law because the media the media refer to it as such.


However it wont become a law simply because the media refer to it as such.

Cheers,

ABX

Choxolate
4th Dec 2006, 12:11
The whole discussion of Creationism (whether renamed intelligent design or not) -v- Evolution is based on the concept that all views are equally valid and that because something is called a "Theory" it automatically means that it may NOT be true and hence an opposing view is equally valid.

Forget the word theory and use the word model in its place. No model is a perfect representation of "reality", this does not mean that because all are imperfect that they are all equally valid. as some are a lot better than others.

In the Creationist v Evolutionary models the first is based on:-
1. It is written in a single, unverifiable and internally inconsistent book with unknown authorship.
2. The complexity of life, the universe and everything, being beyond our full understanding, OF ITSELF implies that it "must" therefore have been created by a "superior" being / intelligence / thing.
3. The opposing model has some flaws and is therefore in its entirety incorrect.

The second is based on:-
1. Verifiable geological data collected over many decades that is consistent and on which huge industries have based their success (mining, oil exploration, etc - most based on stratigraphic consistency)
2. A superb "fit" with many other independently developed models (aka theories) such as continental drift, radio dating, cosmology, genetics.

The undeniable fact that the evolutionary model is not perfect and does not answer every question about the origin of life itself or every species thattexists does not mean that it is not the best available model.

Scientists do not discover "truth" they make better and better models to represent reality. Science has NO absolute certainties, this does not make the scientific method invalid, it highlights the ignorance of the non scientifically trained in what science is all about if that is their perception.

Carl Sagan summed it up very well "Think of how many religions attempt to validate themselves with prophecy. Think of how many people rely on these prophecies, however vague, however unfulfilled, to support or prop up their beliefs. Yet has there ever been a religion with the prophetic accuracy and reliability of science?"

ORAC
4th Dec 2006, 12:36
But now we really are into major thread drift. To be truthful, many scientists are religious and have no problem in the difference between science and faith; some of the most outspoken critics of creationism are from the church, who see it as dragging faith into an area which is not appropriate and where some would see the discrediting of one as bringing discredit on the other (The vatican astronomer for example).

So perhaps we can mov away from creationism and accept that those who believe literally in the bible are somewhat of a minority, even among believers.

Huck
4th Dec 2006, 13:17
So perhaps we can move away from creationism and accept that those who believe literally in the bible are somewhat of a minority, even among believers.

True, that....

(This very topic was discussed in my United Methodist Church yesterday.)

Choxolate
4th Dec 2006, 13:31
So perhaps we can mov away from creationism and accept that those who believe literally in the bible are somewhat of a minority, even among believers.
Minority of zero - surely it cannot be possible to believe LITERALLY in the WHOLE Bible when it contradicts itself?
Also which version - the translation of the translation of the edited translation or just the translation of the translation of the translation?

Davaar
4th Dec 2006, 13:43
So with this new evidence, do you still believe You will not find "bank" defined anywhere.? ?

Your statutory definition "a firm with a Part IV permission" is as circular as the Canadian definition by Schedule, each in the discretion of whoever, ex cathedra as it were, makes Part IV or the Schedule.

I suggested a progression from the simple (banking) to the complex (God), and that what is hard in the former is very hard in the latter.

In both you rely on the literal and limited: for banking Part IV; for God, the Bible (right down to trying to zap me with your witch fixation). For me and many others, the problems at both ends are not so simple.

Is this short enough for you?

ORAC
4th Dec 2006, 13:49
Minority of zero - surely it cannot be possible to believe LITERALLY in the WHOLE Bible when it contradicts itself? No, not zero.....

Biblical Inerrancy: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_inerrancy)

"The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, the Lutheran Church - Canada, the Evangelical Lutheran Synod and many other smaller Lutheran bodies hold to Scriptural inerrancy, though for the most part Lutherans do not consider themselves to be "fundamentalists". The larger Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada do not officially hold to biblical inerrancy, though there are those within the ELCA and ELCIC who are Inerrantists."

seawings
4th Dec 2006, 13:56
My congratulation to all...164 posts and all articulate and civil. I am only on page 2 and just had to skip forward to see how it would end. For the most part all have been extreamly objective and many have offered view points that I had never considered and will in the future. Again congratulations...I am going back to page 2 and read them all.

G-CPTN
4th Dec 2006, 14:02
So how can anyone comment knowingly on 164 contributions without having read them?
Oh! I forgot! This is Jet Blast . . . :ugh:

shedhead
4th Dec 2006, 14:06
I dont even write my posts knowingly, so dont ask me

Davaar
4th Dec 2006, 14:16
I dont even write my posts knowingly, so dont ask me

.............. and he smiled, knowingly.

XXTSGR
4th Dec 2006, 14:17
What I still don't understand is how Christian Fundamentalists hold that there is no room in Darwin's model for a Creator...

shedhead
4th Dec 2006, 14:24
because they much prefer a simplistic solution to the whole question of existance its much easier to say god did this in six days than to say that he mapped out a plan covering millenia which led to us. the argument is hard to believe.they say that it is impossible for us to have evolved over millions of years from a single celled organism into the complex crearure that we are today, but this ignores the fact that we do exactly that in the space of nine months in the womb

slim_slag
4th Dec 2006, 14:43
I knew you wouldn't like that bit of it Davaar, in fact if you read my post I prophesised as much. However I didn't need a supreme being to whisper that in my ear, I just used that common sense again.

However, that is still a definition that you asserted did not exist. A definition that was found in a book you have never read, and which is dated later that the books you quoted as being authoritative.

I suggest the same applies with this religious stuff. A lot of water has passed under the bridge since these ancient texts were written and most of the stuff in there is now out of date or demonstrated to be false. A bit like Denning's stuff from back in the sixties which relate to banks. OK, the FSA definition can be debated, but it has got closer to a final definition than your old reference books gave. This is not unlike what is happening in science relating to subjects on which the bible might previously have been authoritative. You will find the answer to creation in a peer reviewed scientific journal that has not yet been published, not some thousands of years old text.

Sagan and Dawkins have been mentioned and should be on your bookshelf next to your bible and koran. I am sure you could even pick holes in their arguments like you picked a hole in my definition. That doesn't mean they are not essentially correct.

Choxolate
4th Dec 2006, 14:46
No, not zero.....

Biblical Inerrancy: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_inerrancy)

"The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, the Lutheran Church - Canada, the Evangelical Lutheran Synod and many other smaller Lutheran bodies hold to Scriptural inerrancy, though for the most part Lutherans do not consider themselves to be "fundamentalists". The larger Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada do not officially hold to biblical inerrancy, though there are those within the ELCA and ELCIC who are Inerrantists."
Biblical inerrancy is the doctrinal position [1] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_inerrancy#_note-0) that in its original form, the Bible (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bible) is without error; "referring to the complete accuracy of Scripture, including the historical and scientific parts." [2] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_inerrancy#_note-inerrancy)

The relevant words being "in its original form" which now no longer exists - ALL bibles in current existence are copies of translations. Inerrancy in itself contains the seeds of its own fallibility, how can anyone say that they believe that an ancient record was totally correct when it no longer exists and there is no unaltered copy of the original?? Or is this just another example of the catchall "Faith" when all else fails?

Davaar
4th Dec 2006, 15:16
which is dated later that the books you quoted as being authoritative. .

I was very careful not to quote any book as authoritative. You are the man who loves literality and authority. In post # 133, the one you have in mind, I wrote: "Crawford is the main text I use, but there are many". Do you understand what "many" means? Look it up. The quotation from Crawford cited a decision of the House of Lords. Do you deny the existence of the decision? I gave you the reference.

Their Lordships had to consider corporate activities that did not fit the relevant English statutory requirements for the subject transactions. The amount involved was not great but the implications for "banking" were immense. I hope you have read the report. To avoid what they saw as a disastrous result in fact, they found that in law the corporation really really really really was in its heart a bank all along, even if it had not complied with the requirements. They could not define a bank, but it jolly well better be a bank, so it is a bank.

If a listing in your Part IV required that the chairman of the bank wear frilly panties that would perhaps be arbitrary but equally authoritative with any discretionary definition that is, as I said earlier, regulatory in purpose. It does not define banking. It says that if you want to be regulated under the statute, you better get on the list.

But there we are. You like things, as you say, simple. Go for it.

slim_slag
4th Dec 2006, 15:35
But there we are. You like things, as you say, simple. Go for it.

For once, Davaar, you got it. That is exactly what I do.

Simplicity generally tends to provide a far better solution. Complex things break and don't succeed.

There you go, bit of Darwin for you.

If I called it lex parsimoniae would you understand better? :)

Bob Lenahan
4th Dec 2006, 19:02
..... and he smiled, knowingly.
or..... and he smiled knowingly.
or..... and he knowingly smiled.
or..... and knowingly, he smiled.
or..... knowingly(,) and he smiled.

wiccan
4th Dec 2006, 22:00
Chox, the "Bible" [in whatever genus that you have to hand,mine happens to be the "Good News" version] is a "tranlation of Vocal Traditions/Histories" dating back over 4000 years. The "Core" of this "Tradition/History" is the belief in one God[Jehovah/Yaweh]. The "New Testament" brings in some other "ideas"....Father, Son and Holy Spirit....as stated in post 1. I have been into many Catholic homes, and the main "icon" is a statue of [the Virgin] Mary, or a close second, the Bleeding Heart. Jesus, and the Cross are secondary.
To all who have contributed to this thread, a very greatful Thank You for keeping it on track, and in the Spirit in the reason it was started.....
Oh yes, my Minister is quite happy about it too :ok:
bb

seawings
4th Dec 2006, 22:18
So how can anyone comment knowingly on 164 contributions without having read them?

Point well made...I skipped forward to see how it was going...and I was pleased to see it doing quite well thank you...good points of view without getting ugly.

The Bible is not primarily intended to give us disembodied information but to lead us into an encounter with God and to equip us for faithful living in fellowship with him. God is not an object to be speculated about but a person to be worshipped.
Ian Parkinson
May 2004

seawings
4th Dec 2006, 22:20
So how can anyone comment knowingly on 164 contributions without having read them?

Point well made...I skipped forward to see how it was going...and I was pleased to see it doing quite well thank you...good points of view without getting ugly.

The Bible is not primarily intended to give us disembodied information but to lead us into an encounter with God and to equip us for faithful living in fellowship with him. God is not an object to be speculated about but a person to be worshipped.
Ian Parkinson
May 2004

Blacksheep
5th Dec 2006, 00:01
The paradox is how something can ALWAYS have existed or have been created from nothing.To have always existed would be eternal. Assuming that The Creator exists and the universe is not simply a random event (and just think of the odds against such an event!), in order to perform the feat, The Creator would need to be outside time, or eternal. It seems to me that since time and space are inseperable entities, the two were most likely created together - ergo when matter came into existence, time began.

Look at it this way: velocity is a measure of distance with respect to time. Distance is a measure of velocity with respect to time and time is a measure of velocity with respect to distance. The three are inseperable. (A bit like that good old Trinity eh? After fifty five years, maybe I'm getting to grips with this trinity thing at last.) Time itself is a route dependent variable - that is, it isn't a constant. A particle travelling at the velocity of light would instantly transport itself from one location to another from its own point of view. From another point of view, say planet Earth, the transformation would appear to take hundreds or even thousands of years. Both points of view being absolutely correct, time isn't constant everywhere.

The Creator would necessarily have produced the universe by creating time, so He has always existed - and conversely, always will. The question of who or what created The Creator does not therefore, arise. Neither does the question of what was before the Big Bang. If the Big Bang theory is correct, there was no time before the Big Bang - it always happened and always will.

Which brings us back to the original question - are Christians Pagan?
Well, when the Pagans say that their ancestors still walk the forests, they are correct. From one point of view, they always have and they always will. How primitive is that? And are not Christians therefore Pagans too? Like all the rest of us....

shedhead
5th Dec 2006, 09:34
And the answer is still no. Christians are not pagans. paganism is not wholely defined by its polytheism in the same way that christianity is not wholly defined by its monotheism if it was then christians could also be described as muslim or jewish,all three share common texts and are monotheistic but they are not interchangeable, the trinity shares more in common with the hindu belief,Ganesh etc being different manifestations of the same god,still that is not to say that it is any more feasible as an explaination for the universe

tony draper
5th Dec 2006, 10:14
Facinating documentry on BBC4 last night or rather the early hours of this morning, called The Lost Gospels,apparently there were about twenty gospels that Christians had access too until about 300 years after Christianity kicked off, the Church decideded some of them didn't quite fit the image so they were banished and lost,so only four made it into the book,apparently they show that Jesus chap of yours in a totaly different light,what light exactly one cannot say as one fell asleep,halfway through,well it was 2 am.
:rolleyes:

shedhead
5th Dec 2006, 10:29
Facinating documentry on BBC4 last night or rather the early hours of this morning, called The Lost Gospels,apparently there were about twenty gospels that Christians had access too until about 300 years after Christianity kicked off, the Church decideded some of them didn't quite fit the image so they were banished and lost,so only four made it into the book,apparently they show that Jesus chap of yours in a totaly different light,what light exactly one cannot say as one fell asleep,halfway through,well it was 2 am.
:rolleyes:
I seem to remember being told years ago that two versions of the NT existed at one time one being the jamesian version the other being the pauline version which is the one in general use ,not sure how true it is but they were supposed to be very different in tone and interpretation , there is also supposed to have been a big punch up between the two sides which led to the pauline doctrine being the accepted version.ancient history now though.

tony draper
5th Dec 2006, 10:33
Hmmm, this is the write up on it,probably be repeated so one shall keep toot for it and stay awake this time.

The Lost Gospels, presented by Anglican priest Pete Owen Jones, is a fascinating exploration into the huge number of ancient Christian texts that didn't make it into the New Testament. Shocking and challenging, these were works that presented a Jesus who didn't die, who took revenge on his enemies and who kissed Mary Magdalene on the mouth. This Jesus is unrecognisable from that found in the traditional books of the New Testament.

Pete travels through Egypt and the former Roman Empire looking at the emerging evidence of a Christian world that's very different from the one we know. He discovers that in addition to the gospels of Mark, Matthew, Luke and John, there were over 70 gospels, acts, letters and apocalypses circulating in the early Church.

Through these lost Gospels, Owen Jones reconstructs the intense intellectual and political struggles for orthodoxy that were fought in the early centuries of Christianity, a battle involving different Christian sects, each convinced that their gospels were true and sacred.

The worldwide success of Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code has sparked new interest, as well as wild and misguided speculation, about the origins of the Christian faith. Pete Owen Jones sets out the context in which heretical texts like the Gospel of Mary emerged. He also strikes a cautionary note: if these lost Gospels had been allowed to flourish, Christianity may well have faced an uncertain future, or perhaps not survived at all
:cool:

Davaar
5th Dec 2006, 13:13
presented by Anglican priest Pete Owen Jones, :

"............ thou art Pete, and upon this rock ......."

Does this mandate entire new fields of study for the witch-watcher?

shedhead
5th Dec 2006, 13:22
hmmm tricky.going by your definition of time then time is subjective if this is so then God having always existed would have a time that also (as far as he was concerned) have existed.the creation of the universe could not have happened otherwise. the universe must not have existed at some point in gods time and then have been created if God did not have time then the universe would not have had a starting point. From my point of view time started forty odd years ago before then time for me did not exist but if god is eternal then time from his point of view must also be eternal so he can not exist outside of time. I think

XXTSGR
5th Dec 2006, 14:12
No, shedhead - time is a dimension like the others. God exists outside all dimensions, otherwise he would have to exist only within our Universe and could not have created it.

Blacksheep
6th Dec 2006, 02:07
Oh good! Someone else on the same wavelength.

wiccan
6th Dec 2006, 09:05
As for the "Big Bang Theory", who lit the fuse?.......only ONE conterder at that time
bb

shedhead
6th Dec 2006, 12:57
OK time is a dimension but I am still not convinced that you can have something that exists outside of it , even other universes must have a dimension that is defined as a time line, if god exists outside of our universe he must still have an awareness of time because if he did not then neither would his creation. this universe does have time therefore god must have an awareness of time which means that time exists for god as well! but to clarify my earlier point what I meant to say is that time cannot be created because in order for something to be created there must have been a time when it did not exist, as any time is in and of itself time then time must always exist

XXTSGR
6th Dec 2006, 13:17
Sure, God has an awareness of time. That doesn't mean that he exists within it. Difficult to comprehend anything outside the dimensions within which we live, I know. Imagine a creature that exists only in two dimensions - say, a flat plane like a piece of paper. Can it imagine anything outside those two dimensions? No, but we can see it and we exist outside that plane, and are not bound by it.

slim_slag
6th Dec 2006, 13:56
Yep, these vague hypotheses are starting to fall apart at the seams now and people are starting to waffle.

Quantum mechanics is such a wonderful thing but they never had that until quite recently, and before then they had to explain things using something else. As has been demonstrated already in this thread, people really need to buy and read the up to date books :)

ORAC
6th Dec 2006, 16:01
God existing outside the universe. Does that make him the Great Brane?..... :} :}

G-CPTN
6th Dec 2006, 16:06
As for the "Big Bang Theory", who lit the fuse?.......only ONE conterder at that time
bb
HE was only supposed to blow the bloody doors off . . .

vindaloo
6th Dec 2006, 16:18
I'm familiar with the Christian beliefs of how the world was created, but I must plead ignorance when it comes to other religions. However, I'm pretty sure that they don't all accept the view that it was created by the Christian God. For an event as fundamental as this, there can only really be one answer, whether it be that God created it in six days, or it was created by the Big Bang, or sneezed out of the nose of a being called the Great Green Arkleseizure (Douglas Adams :ok: ), or something else. Therefore a fundamental belief of many religions must be untrue by definition, so where would that leave the actual religion itself?
This is a serious question - I'm agnostic myself and am interested in others' views.
Vindaloo

tony draper
6th Dec 2006, 16:47
As someone once said, we could have all been created just ten minutes ago along with false memories and holes in our socks.
:rolleyes:

oojamaflip
6th Dec 2006, 19:10
As someone who escaped the catholic church before assimilation was complete, just a couple of thoughts:

1. God is omnipotent - therefore one of the things he knows is what it feels like not to know everything. Ergo: at one point God did not know everything and was therefore not omnipotent. God evolved to a state of omnipotence. If evolution was good enough for him, is it not good enough for us?

2. If heaven exists, non-belief is the safest way to be. If you believe, you live your life in fear of being found wanting and getting your toes burnt. If you don't believe, God can only view you as a hapless fool and cannot punish you for your lack of wisdom by not giving you wings and a harp. He can only punish those who believe in him but deliberately go against his teachings. Personally, I pity those who believe for not having the brains to work it out for themselves - I can enjoy my life, not waste time praying to an imaginary being or contributing to corrupt organizations and even if I'm wrong I definitely get in upstairs whilst they have to sweat it.:O

chiglet
6th Dec 2006, 20:05
Many many moons ago, I read a "Sci-Fi comic" where WE [the Human Race] were on the wrong end of the microscope.......Makes one think, though
watp,iktch

arcniz
6th Dec 2006, 20:05
Carl Sagan summed it up very well "Think of how many religions attempt to validate themselves with prophecy. Think of how many people rely on these prophecies, however vague, however unfulfilled, to support or prop up their beliefs. Yet has there ever been a religion with the prophetic accuracy and reliability of science?"
Reply With Quote

Carl Sagan comment nicely validated by the following tale -- excerpted as fair use content from a story in the December 4 Wall Street Journal commemorating the 50th anniversary of Leon Festinger's theory of Cognitive Dissonance....which explains logically why people do many weird and inconsistent things..... to maintain their own illusion of making sence.


...But where Mr. Festinger found the richest raw material for his theory was in a cult that developed in Chicago in 1954. A woman Mr. Festinger called Marion Keech claimed she was receiving messages from another planet, Clarion. The messages predicted that on a given date, a cataclysmic flood would engulf most of the continent. Those who joined Mrs. Keech's sect would be picked up by flying saucers and evacuated from the planet.

A brief newspaper story about the cult came to the attention of Mr. Festinger. He was reminded of the followers of a New England farmer, William Miller, who predicted that the Second Advent of Christ would occur in 1843. Thousands of people who believed Miller's prophecy prepared for the world to end. But 1843 passed without incident. Far from admitting that the prediction was wrong, the Millerites attempted to lessen their cognitive dissonance in two ways: They changed the date of the Second Advent to the following year and stepped up their campaign, trying to convince even more people that their belief was right.

Mr. Festinger and two colleagues infiltrated Mrs. Keech's movement, acting as participants for three months. They watched as about two dozen well-educated, upper-middle-class people, "who led normal lives and filled responsible roles in society," quit their jobs and threw away their possessions. Before the dates of the expected flood, the cult was mostly averse to publicity and had no interest in attracting other believers.

On the day before the flood, the group was told that at midnight a man would appear at Mrs. Keech's house and take them to a flying saucer. But no knock came at her door, and the group struggled to find an explanation for why there would be no flying saucer or flood. At 4:45 a.m., the group said, a message arrived from God saying He had stayed the flood because of their strength.

What interested Mr. Festinger was not so much this face-saving explanation as what the cult members did in the following weeks. Rather than shunning public attention as they had before, they began zealously proselytizing. "There were almost no lengths to which these people would not go now to get publicity and to attract potential believers," Mr. Festinger wrote. "If more converts could be found, then the dissonance between their belief and the knowledge that the prediction hadn't been correct could be reduced."

BDiONU
7th Dec 2006, 14:51
Each of us has our own belief system (or not!), and I hope this thread can continue with logical reasoning but, from past experience, I doubt it will and the idiots will be in here soon to trash the thread:ugh:
Well this clip convinced me that aethists are deluded (http://atheistdelusion.cf.huffingtonpost.com/)

BD

chiglet
7th Dec 2006, 20:31
Mmm The "Earth" [and Mankind] was formed at 2pm, 22nd October 2003BC 'cos the "Bible" says so.....:ugh: The BIBLE is a "recorded history" of the JEWISH people....."Christianity" came a little bit later, but hey, what the heck, "They" are right....and we are wrong.....
watp,iktch

Keef
7th Dec 2006, 21:08
That clip of BDIonU's is so well written, I reckon it must be a spoof. I suspect Professor Dawkins or one of his angels must've knocked it up on his laptop on a boring train journey. A Christian web-author wouldn't have the technology or the skill to make stuff fade in and out like that.

I'm off for another deluded pagan Highland Park. It's excellent stuff, and helps no end with "the voices".

Anyway, it wasn't 2pm, 22nd October 2003BC. I was in the taverna then having a quaff with my mate Moshe while we planned a little bimble round Sinai in his Cessna Caravan. We were chatting with a group of Egyptian guys who wanted to sell us shares in a pyramid company they were forming.

Blacksheep
7th Dec 2006, 23:43
The creation of Earth and mankind may well have begun at 2 pm on 22 October 2003 BC. However it remains a work in progress and the Creator hasn't finished yet. Not by a long, long way. He rested on the seventh day, but then it was Monday again and time to get back to work... ;)

I'm ever so glad he allowed us to discover single malt scotch, though. Philosophy would be so very difficult without it. Highland Park eh, Keef? I like a bit of smoke in mine, so Talisker is my first choice, but I'm no fundamentalist. I'll even sup Red Label if necessary.

BDiONU
8th Dec 2006, 07:23
Nearly all scientific research on the origins of life seems to be aimed at disproving creation. Many will say that as new evidence comes forth old theories are either retired or built upon, but carbon dating, for example, has been proven to be wildly inaccurate by orders of magnitude, yet it was quoted for a long time as being extremely accurate and the basis for many early evolution arguments. At the time (the 1970's for example) carbon dating was the thing to quote, now that it has been found lacking somewhat it slips quietly from public prominence.

It has often been said that Darwin himself recanted from his theory of evolution before his death.

You and vanderaj would know even more than I the importance of due process and convention, a law does not simply become a theory because the media refer to it as such, nor does a hypothesis become a theory just because it is constantly referred to as a theory.

ABX
Oh dear, you do appear to have swallowed some of the creationist stories which have been passed around (and disproven) for years. Being disproven unfortunately doesn't stop them going around and around again. For that reason a web site was constructed (http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/list.html)which gives answers to most of the creationist claims. Answers which are backed up scientifically (where thats possible) and with references. As to your claim that the theory of evolution is just a theory, well it is both a theory and a fact. There are literally thousands of scientific, peer reviewed, documents and papers which contribute to the fact. Please take some time to look through them, you can access all the free ones through this link (http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/) by searching for evolution. Alternatively if you have an hour to spare you could watch a video clip (http://www.hhmi.org:8080/ramgen/05lect1_225f.rm) for high school students about evolution.
A quote from Stephen J Gould which explains facts and theories:
Well evolution is a theory. It is also a fact. And facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts are the world's data. Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret facts. Facts don't go away when scientists debate rival theories to explain them. Einstein's theory of gravitation replaced Newton's in this century, but apples didn't suspend themselves in midair, pending the outcome. And humans evolved from ape-like ancestors whether they did so by Darwin's proposed mechanism or by some other yet to be discovered.

"Moreover, 'fact' doesn't mean 'absolute certainty'; there ain't no such animal in an exciting and complex world. The final proofs of logic and mathematics flow deductively from stated premises and achieve certainty only because they are NOT about the empirical world. Evolutionists make no claim for perpetual truth, though creationists often do (and then attack us falsely for a style of argument that they themselves favor). In science 'fact' can only mean 'confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional consent'. I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms.

"Evolutionists have been very clear about this distinction of fact and theory from the very beginning, if only because we have always acknowledged how far we are from completely understanding the mechanisms (theory) by which evolution (fact) occurred. Darwin continually emphasized the difference between his two great and separate accomplishments: establishing the fact of evolution, and proposing a theory - natural selection -- to explain the mechanism of evolution"

You should also be clear that scientists have little (or no) interest in disproving creation but are very keenly interested in the how and what of things and (more importantly) in truth. Creationists seem content to sit on their hands and when they don't understand something simply parrot "god did it"! Thankfully for mankind some people don't think that way and medicines etc. were invented.
If scientists had an interest in superstition or the supernatural (which is what religion is) they'd investigate it, unfortunately there is nothing to investigate. Just imagine how many Noble prizes could be won by someone who could prove that miracles do happen, that ghosts exist or that people can come back from the dead ;)

BD

slim_slag
8th Dec 2006, 09:40
The creation of Earth and mankind may well have begun at 2 pm on 22 October 2003 BC. However it remains a work in progress and the Creator hasn't finished yet. Not by a long, long way. He rested on the seventh day, but then it was Monday again and time to get back to work... ;)If you are going to take the bible literally you need to read it. Genesis 2:1 says (in all versions I have got) that he finished his work on the sixth day.

e.g

King James Version: "Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them."

You think that is a bad interpretation because it's a bit old? Well for a more modern interpretation:

Good News Bible "And so the whole universe was completed."

There really is no room for maneuver there, though I am sure it will be attempted.

G-CPTN
8th Dec 2006, 09:43
Don't ALL builders announce that they are 'finished' yet there always seems to be bits and pieces left to be done . . .

slim_slag
8th Dec 2006, 09:59
Don't ALL builders announce that they are 'finished' yet there always seems to be bits and pieces left to be done . . .Only ones that do a poor job and make mistakes.

But it seems like the prophesy in my recent post came to pass.

http://www.paganpeddler.com/images/PaganFishPlaque_200.jpg

Cheerio
8th Dec 2006, 10:28
Pastafarians can also declare their faith via the gift of the car badge


http://www.rof.com/photos/2290-PQ-2.jpg

ORAC
8th Dec 2006, 11:00
I like that site..... :}

http://www.rof.com/photos/5127-ST-2T.jpg

chiglet
8th Dec 2006, 23:32
Who are they?
Sallies.... do Great work
JWs.... 'nuff sed
Mormons, Nice Young Men....but...
It's not Tone and Cherry...is it?
watp,iktch

Blacksheep
10th Dec 2006, 01:07
There really is no room for maneuver there, though I am sure it will be attempted.It only says he's finished this one... :hmm:

And it doesn't say what it does.

Or why.

I once got a wind-up toy for Xmas. It looked interesting, so I wound it up and let it go. It ought to have stopped by now.

ABX
24th Dec 2006, 23:04
It has gone a little quiet on this thread lately, perhaps it has run its course ...

Thanks everyone for an enjoyable thread, a stimulating discussion and a good debate.:ok:

Merry Christmas and a safe & prosperous year in 2007 to all.

For me, Jesus is the reason for the season and, although I very much enjoy the food, festivities, the giving and the getting pressies and not having to work my job, Christmas is still all about celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.

And yes, before we have to go into it, I know that we may have got the date wrong, but we in Oz also celebrate the Queen's birthday on the wrong day too!:}

God bless and merry Christmas everyone.

ABX

wiccan
25th Dec 2006, 14:28
i echo ABX, a big THANK YOU to all contributries [sp]. Went to the Midnight carol service last night, and the local Imam was there along with several non-believers, [my guests, and yes they enjoyed it]
Merry Christmas to you all
bb

BDiONU
25th Dec 2006, 15:00
For me, Jesus is the reason for the season and, although I very much enjoy the food, festivities, the giving and the getting pressies and not having to work my job, Christmas is still all about celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.
To we heathens, infidels, barbarians (call us what you like), today is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate things such as family, peace and goodwill to others, the essential spirit of Christmas. But we don't believe in or feel the need to celebrate the supernatural.

Merry Christmas one and all.
BD

BDiONU
25th Dec 2006, 15:48
That clip of BDIonU's is so well written, I reckon it must be a spoof. I suspect Professor Dawkins or one of his angels must've knocked it up on his laptop on a boring train journey. A Christian web-author wouldn't have the technology or the skill to make stuff fade in and out like that.
Oh I dunno, Dr William Dembski (one of the leading lights in the Dover Trial for 'Intelligent Design') has made a quite remarkable Flash Animation (http://www.overwhelmingevidence.com/id/JJ_school_of_law/)totally overwhelming all the scientific evidence which Judge Jones based his judgement on (that 'Intelligent Design' was not science but religion). I think its a classic example of how christians refure scientific understanding and proof of how the universe and everything in it was created (not by magic).

BD

wiccan
25th Dec 2006, 15:51
As an aside, I was fortunate enough to be invited to the Pagan festival of "Yule" on the Solstice.[That is when the Tree "should" be displayed, and taken down at Candlemas (Feb 2nd)].Very similar to the Christian Festival...no real surprise, but I liked the exchange of presents, and the sharing of Goodwill. What was impressive, was the way a "Healing Candle" was inscribed with names of the sick, and then lit so that the powers would help them.
Perhaps we are not "that" far apart........
bb

Chimbu chuckles
25th Dec 2006, 17:05
My problem with the Bible and organised religion....as someone who suffered the same Nuns and Priests as Blacksheep as a youngster.

You get 20 people sitting around a room and whisper something very short and simple to the first...and see what arrives at the 20th....now tell me again about the Bible?

A simple message like "roses are red" can't make it around one room with 20 people in 5 minutes...and yet we are expected to believe several thousands of years of manipulation have had no appreciable effect on the word of God?

Anyone with a brain can recount endless examples of religous intollerance leading to wars, death and suffering on an truly stunning scale over the entire run of recorded history...but we are told that we must seperate the actions of man from 'the word'...BS!!!

The is no such thing as a tolerant organised religon...because they rely on faith...and when something becomes an article of faith then it is self evident to those of that faith that 'they' have all the answers and those who do not have that faith are 'wrong'. It is a very short step in human nature to see everything else that has followed over thousands of years. What we do see around the world is more or less tolerant societies...the western society is reasonably tolerant as is asian society...middle eastern society is at the other end of the tolerance spectrum.

You could never seriously suggest that the religous right in the US is anymore tolerant than the Islamic extreme in the ME...but in general terms US citizens are tolerant as are the people of the Islamic Asian country where I live.

Ask a Baptist what he thinks of the Roman Catholic Church...and the Pope in particular and be prepared for a shock....words like Mafia get used and normally gentle Baptists get really angry and agitated....it's scary:uhoh:

And they allegedly worship the same god!

You cannot seperate the word from action when the actions are so diametrically opposed on every front over thousands of years...organised Religion is people's actions not the words in a book that is merely the very selective choices of people with an adgenda...adgendas that have varied over thousands of years as thousands of people brought their own prejudices to bear.

Humanity seems to be equiped with a design fault that seeks out 'something' to believe in beyond this mortal coil...for some it is Christianity in it's various forms, for some Wahabiism....and for some, allegedly intelligent, people it's L Ron Hubbard:ugh:

And there is not a wit of difference between Baptist, RC, Wahabi, Scientologist, Environmentalist, Lutheran or Mormon....or any number of other faith based systems...

What's my 'religion'?

I am a Realist!

Flying Lawyer
25th Dec 2006, 19:11
ABX I know that we may have got the date wrong ......... As you say, the precise date Jesus was born isn't crucial.
Remembering that he was is what matters.

Happy Christmas everyone.


FL

Blacksheep
26th Dec 2006, 01:20
Whether one believes that Jesus was God in person, a man chosen for prophethood or simply as an enormously enlightened and wise Rabbi, it is impossible to deny the great influence for good that his birth, life and death brought to mankind.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

BDiONU
26th Dec 2006, 07:06
Whether one believes that Jesus was God in person, a man chosen for prophethood or simply as an enormously enlightened and wise Rabbi, it is impossible to deny the great influence for good that his birth, life and death brought to mankind.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
You're kidding right? Organised Religion is the cause of much fear and strife in the world, without it the world would be a much better place.

BD

Blacksheep
26th Dec 2006, 07:19
Except that Jesus didn't bring organised religion, or even preach it.

His opposition to the organized religion of his day upset the religious authorities, the final straw coming when he overturned the moneychangers' tables and accused the priests of turning the Temple of Solomon into a den of thieves. That so incensed the priestly hierarchy that they insisted upon the Roman civil authorities executing him.

Did you enjoy the day off regardless, BD?

Merry Christmas, anyway. :)

BDiONU
26th Dec 2006, 07:57
Except that Jesus didn't bring organised religion, or even preach it.
His opposition to the organized religion of his day upset the religious authorities, the final straw coming when he overturned the moneychangers' tables and accused the priests of turning the Temple of Solomon into a den of thieves. That so incensed the priestly hierarchy that they insisted upon the Roman civil authorities executing him.
If only there were some proof of all this, except the bible which is a circular 'proof'. :)
Did you enjoy the day off regardless, BD?
Merry Christmas, anyway. :)
I did indeed, cooked for the immediate family (11) and had a great time thank you :ok:

BD

tony draper
26th Dec 2006, 08:33
Well the ritual canabalism certainly smacks of the pagan.:uhoh:

Capt.KAOS
26th Dec 2006, 13:20
Interesting to know that Xmas originated from pagans. Dec.25th has nothing to do with the birth of Jesus, just being celebration of the Italic god Saturn and reborn of the sun god. In fact Xmas is a collection from many cultures and nations. In Germania the evergreen tree was used in worship and celebration of the yule god, also in observance of the resurrected sun god. The original Roman Catholic Church tactics were to absorb these cultures and general paganisms of many tribes in their effort to increase their control over many different religions.

In short the RC church told all these pagan cultures: "Bring all your gods and rituals to us and we will assign Christian names to it". All comes back power and politics.

As mentioned in an earlier thread this year, IMO Jesus was nothing more (or less) than a charismatic rabbi who had some fairly excellent revolutionary social ideas (for which he was punished by the Romans). It was a self-proclaimed apostle named Paul (who never met Jesus in the flesh) who started the mystification and personal salvation while in the process claiming Jesus' divinity, eventually entirely cultivated by the RC church. I don´t believe much is left of the orginal teachings of Jesus.

seawings
26th Dec 2006, 14:34
I participate in multiple forums…fishing, writing, and aviation. Over the holiday season (Thanksgiving to Christmas) I have delved deeper into the multiple postings in each. One interesting constant in all of them is the thread on…GOD, CREATION, and CHRISTIANITY.

These threads invariably brings a long string of responses. God no God, Creation vs. Evolution and what’s a Christian.

It is obvious that there are many learned submissions, passionately presenting their position, using references and writing by other learned students on the subjects.

One dominant observation is the fallibility of the human species…if God is perfect, how could He have produced the mess we live in? For me…the answer is that, as a father and grandfather, I have tried to provide a perfect environment for my children to grow and prosper. In spite of these efforts they have made mistakes, they have disappointed, they have failed, as we all have to our Father in Heaven.

We were imbued with free will…"that" causes us to fail, disappoint, and cause pain to those who love us…as our Father loves us.

However, failing is not failure unless you don’t get up and try again.

While we may fail, disappoint and cause pain…love accepts, forgives and extends a helpful hand to pick you up to try again.

Jesus, when asked, what commandment is first, He said “LOVE” the Lord thy God and second, “LOVE” thy neighbor as thy self.

chiglet
26th Dec 2006, 15:01
Watched an interesting prog on Channel4 last night. About "The Church" trying to deny that Jesus had a Family, by Mary and Joseph. [The Bible states four brothers and some sisters]. Two "Theories" were aired,
1 Joseph was a Widower, with a family, and Mary was a 14yo virgin who Joseph was asked by the Temple Priests to be her "foster Father".
2 Joseph had a Brother whose wife was also named Mary and it was this family which was named in the Bible.
The prog also found several sects/branches of the Greek and Russian Orthodox Church [and some schisms of the R.C.] have "elevated" Mary to Deity Status
watp,iktch

BDiONU
26th Dec 2006, 15:13
Jesus, when asked, what commandment is first, He said “LOVE” the Lord thy God and second, “LOVE” thy neighbor as thy self.
Hhhmmmmm in both Deuteronomy 5:6-21 and the other passage which mentions 10 commandments Exodus 20:1-17 whats written is:
I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and fourth generation of those who reject me, but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.

Hardly a god of love!

BD

seawings
26th Dec 2006, 16:53
Deuteronomy 5:6-21 and the other passage which mentions 10 commandments Exodus 20:1-17 whats written is:BD
BD...in many cases the Old Testament reflects a demanding God whereas in the New Testament, after He sent His Son you will find a "kinder, gentler" one as Jesus says here:

Mar 12:28 And one of the scribes came, and heard them questioning together, and knowing that he had answered them well, asked him, What commandment is the first of all?
Mar 12:29 Jesus answered, The first is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God, the Lord is one:
Mar 12:30 and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength.
Mar 12:31 The second is this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

BDiONU
26th Dec 2006, 19:25
BD...in many cases the Old Testament reflects a demanding God whereas in the New Testament, after He sent His Son you will find a "kinder, gentler" one as Jesus says here:
Phew! Thats alright then. You can choose which bits of the bible you like and just ignore the other, nasty and horrid bits which don't suit your purpose. Uuumm, not quite sure exactly how that works if you're supposed to obey your god and his word implicitely, unthinkingly and without question. However thats your choice and for your conscience to wrestle with :) Myself I'll continue as I am, a moral and 'good' person who does not need a 'book' to guide him nor one who believes in the supernatural :)

BD

Flying Lawyer
26th Dec 2006, 20:15
It seems odd to me that someone who claims to regard goodwill to others as something to be celebrated on Christmas day can't allow a day which is symbolically important to Christians to pass without making disparaging comments about Christians and their faith.

BDiONU
26th Dec 2006, 21:12
It seems odd to me that someone who claims to regard goodwill to others as something to be celebrated on Christmas day can't allow a day which is symbolically important to Christians to pass without making disparaging comments about Christians and their faith.
But Christmas has much deeper roots which were subsumed by christians to expand their religions hold. Nowadays I doubt that many people would claim that xmas is a celebration of a religious nature, just as it was not during Roman times. :)

If you think that I personally am disparaging those with 'faith' I would disagree most strongly. I would hope that my posts are seen as they were intended when written, as a challenge to those with 'faith' to question what they've been instructed in and to ask for proof instead of blindly following what they've been told to believe in without thought. We had a huge thread about this only a few months ago and I made my stance plain then (I hope). Whilst I accept that some people need the comfort blanket that religion provides please not let it interfere with the real world, the one where superstition and the supernatural plays no part in peoples lives.

BD

frostbite
26th Dec 2006, 21:28
Well said, Beady!

matelot
26th Dec 2006, 21:41
Some people need the comfort blanket of no god at all. That way they are not ultimately responsible to anyone or anything - except themselves.

But they'll still go to Christenings, marry in church, enjoy Christmas and the carol services (whilst shunning it all), tell their kids of the mythical Santa, decry religions that don't celebrate Christmas... and so it goes on.

True Christians are not 'pagan', but many who claim to be Christian follow a lot of unbiblical practices, because it suits them.

If an individual says that religion and God is all pants, then that is their decision. The worst are those that say, As long as I'm a good and decent member of society and look after my kids and... BY WHOSE STANDARDS DO YOU JUDGE 'GOOD'? YOURS? OR GOD'S?

Just a thought. :}

Keef
26th Dec 2006, 21:41
I suspect that what's written "reads" differently from what you intended, then, BD. It comes across as pretty aggressive and hostile to me. That's a pity, because it detracts from the argument.

I've spent many years studying the Bible and its interpretation. It's a very complex book, written down over a long period of time by many different people. It documents the development of a nation, from earliest times to the 1st Century AD, and the relationship of that nation with its God.

Some of it is history, some is philosophy, some is allegory, and so on. It's probably the most complex book ever written, and misquoting it ("eisegesis") out of context is easy to do and achieves little else but to confuse. There's a fair bit of that on Jet Blast.

There are those, on both sides of the divide, who like to interpret all of it literally (cf above) - often to mock those who believe, or because that's how they were taught. If that makes them happy, good luck to them. It doesn't stand up well to literary analysis, though.

In the end, none of the rock-lobbing by the evangelical atheists is likely to persuade a Christian to abandon his faith - it just shows how aggressive some people can be to those who don't share their world-view.

Happy Epiphany, and best wishes for 2007.

Flying Lawyer
26th Dec 2006, 22:54
BDiONU If you think that I personally am disparaging those with 'faith' I would disagree most strongly. Then we disagree most strongly and, as far as I'm concerned, will have to agree to differ most strongly.
Keef's suspicion (first sentence) is characteristically generous. He, as I'd expect, is much better than me at trying to see the best in people's motives.

If you wish to assume that I 'blindly follow what I've been told to believe in without thought', feel free. In fact, I've questioned it many times over the years; it's in my nature to question most or all things I'm told.
To use an expression from my own field, I remain satisfied so that I'm sure, or 'beyond reasonable doubt' to use the old legal expression, that God exists, that he created the world, and that Jesus was his son born by virgin birth, that Jesus died on the cross and that he rose again.

I respect your beliefs to the contrary, and think it's a pity you assume those who don't share them must have failed to think through their beliefs (or they'd agree with you) and, worse, dismiss us as people who need a 'comfort blanket'.

Yes, I remember the huge thread only a few months ago and, yes, you made your stance very plain; very plain indeed.

FL

BDiONU
27th Dec 2006, 06:37
Some people need the comfort blanket of no god at all. That way they are not ultimately responsible to anyone or anything - except themselves.
My goodness this is a very hairy olde chestnut. Many philosophers over the centuries have written about mans moral code (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morality)and this does not require a bible. I personally would be very worried if someone only 'knows' whats right and wrong by reference to that book :bored:

BD

BDiONU
27th Dec 2006, 06:42
To use an expression from my own field, I remain satisfied so that I'm sure, or 'beyond reasonable doubt' to use the old legal expression, that God exists, that he created the world, and that Jesus was his son born by virgin birth, that Jesus died on the cross and that he rose again.
And yet there is not a shred of proof of any of this. There is specific proof of how the world was created and how life on earth began and evolved. Yet you are willing to ignore the facts of that proof in obeisance of your faith. That is the danger of religious faith, believing what you want to believe, ignoring all evidence which contradicts it. Its more than just a crying shame.

BD

matelot
27th Dec 2006, 07:59
...There is specific proof of how the world was created and how life on earth began and evolved ...

Do tell. I'm sure you've also got proof or rational argument as to WHY this leaves a Creator out of the equation. The planet may well have started as a molten fireball; we may well all be stardust. The Bible doesn't dispute it, and largely agrees with scientific 'fact'. But why does that leave out a Creator?

It's very easy for an individual to be wise in his own eyes.

BDiONU
27th Dec 2006, 08:26
Do tell. I'm sure you've also got proof or rational argument as to WHY this leaves a Creator out of the equation.
Do a Google for evolution and/or abiogenesis you'll find hundreds of links to evidence about the start of life on Earth. Do a Google for big bang and you'll find links about the start of the universe.
There is no scientific evidence for a 'creator', the evidence points strongly against any such thing.
The planet may well have started as a molten fireball; we may well all be stardust. The Bible doesn't dispute it, and largely agrees with scientific 'fact'.
Uuumm, Genesis states that the earth was created in 6 days, man made in gods image blah blah blah. It also states the earth is flat and that the sun rotates around the earth, that there was a huge flood and the whole earth drowned etc. We know that this is not true.
But why does that leave out a Creator?
Total lack of evidence basically. Of course its impossible to prove that there is no creator but if you put forward an argument that there is one then you've got to back it up with facts (not myths and legends). Statements like, as an example, god exists outside of all known laws and is not subject to them is insufficient.
Oh and if there is a creator, bearing in mind that it would be an extremely complex and sophisticated thing, then it would take an even more complex and sophisticated thing to create the creator.

BD

slim_slag
27th Dec 2006, 08:39
Well, Christmas day has come and gone so I guess the athiest majority have permission to discuss this again.

One has read all BDiONU's posts and see nothing from his pen which is worth calling disparaging. In fact the argument from both sides has been extremely civil, but perhaps the 'believers' have shown a bit of frustration, but nothing to write home about.

One good thing about the bible is that it is in the public domain and in recent times we have (mostly) been taught to read. So we no longer have to accept the intepretation of the educated religious leader as to what it all means. We can read it ourselves and make our own minds up.

Now it's no fun painting religious people into a corner, but matelot did say one thing that peaked my interest - that the bible is aligned with scientific fact.

The planet may well have started as a molten fireball; we may well all be stardust. The Bible doesn't dispute it, and largely agrees with scientific 'fact'But the bible does indeed dispute it. According to the bible, the earth was made before the stars.

The earth was made in Genesis Chapter 1, verse 1. The stars were made in verse 16.

Therefore according to the bible, we cannot all be stardust. The Bible does indeed dispute accepted scientific fact.

Now I will be told I don't understand because I haven't studied this all my life. Well that argument simply doesn't wash. You see, I have been taught to read.

Best to leave it all woolly.

Flying Lawyer
27th Dec 2006, 08:40
BDiONU And yet there is not a shred of proof of any of this. You're entitled to that opinion, just as I'm entitled to mine.
As for the remainder of your post, you know nothing whatsoever about the thought processes through which I've gone before reaching the conclusions I've reached.

matelot
Since the advent of Google, it's become even easier for an individual to be wise in his own eyes. ;)

Capt.KAOS
27th Dec 2006, 09:32
To use an expression from my own field, I remain satisfied so that I'm sure, or 'beyond reasonable doubt' to use the old legal expression, that God exists, that he created the world, and that Jesus was his son born by virgin birth, that Jesus died on the cross and that he rose again.With all due respect, I find this totally in contrast with your usual pragmatic stance against events in life. It already surprised me in the former Bible thread.

If it wasn't for St.Paul or Constantinus, we easily could have worshipped one of the other godmen who had an uppergod as father born out of an earthly woman, died and resurrected, like Dyonisus or contemporary messiah like Appolonius.

The Jesus as we know of from the Bible is nothing more than a fabrication from the RC Church and looks part Italian, part Caucasian, and part European, not the original Jewish Jesus.

matelot
27th Dec 2006, 10:00
... You see, I have been taught to read...

A lot of atheists and agnostics have read the Bible. But quite often I've found that they say they've read it, purely so they can say they've read it.

Trying to understand it was never on the agenda.

So they are left with a mountain of information they don't understand (and don't WANT to understand as it may commit them to something they don't like and may interfere with their notion of what life should be about. You see, they like it that way.)

@ Capt. KAOS - The Jesus as we know of from the Bible is nothing more than a fabrication from the RC Church and looks part Italian, part Caucasian, and part European, not the original Jewish Jesus.

Agreed on image. But that doesn't disprove anything. Even Josephus acknowledged the prophet called Jesus.

Jesus is problematical for atheists in that generally they accept he lived - but can't (or won't) get their heads round what it means.

slim_slag
27th Dec 2006, 10:14
matelot,

Thankyou for the courtesy of accepting I have read the Bible and I don't get all my stuff off Google. Not that there is anything wrong with google, it is a fantastic tool and should be used by everybody. But some of us atheists do happen to have a copy of the bible on our bookshelf.

Why do you think us atheists don't want to understand as it will commit ourselves to something we do not like? Don't you think the concept of eternal life is appealing, that if we behave ourselves we will go to heaven and be looked after for ever more? Of course it is.

The problem is that the bible does not prove anything like this 'beyond a reasonable doubt', or even on the balance of probability. In fact quite the opposite applies, IMO.

If you want to use the bible as the basis of a moral code, for your personal benefit, then I see no problem in that. It cannot be used to explain creation.

As Hawking said, if there is a God then he has to obey the same laws of physics as the rest of us.

matelot
27th Dec 2006, 10:37
... Don't you think the concept of eternal life is appealing, that if we behave ourselves we will go to heaven and be looked after for ever more? Of course it is ...

Well, I applaud that admission. Most atheists (and I don't know what your stance is) I have spoken to are keen to get their life over with because there is nothing to look forward to.

But from a Christian standpoint, if that is what you would like, then why not properly examine and try to understand the reference source which will give you that opportunity? If there were no satisfying answers in the Bible, then there wouldn't be scientific, academic, or other highly intelligent Christians i.e. people who WILL examine and question Scripture, because it's in their nature.

A faithful Christian once said to me: if there is a God and you have genuinely tried to live up to His expectations, then you will have a great reward. If there is no God, then you have lost nothing, except lived a happy and fulfilling life in great expectation. However, if there is a God and you have deliberately shunned Him...

So, a very high 33% chance of crossing swords with the Creator.

Just a thought. ;)

BDiONU
27th Dec 2006, 11:47
Well, I applaud that admission. Most atheists (and I don't know what your stance is) I have spoken to are keen to get their life over with because there is nothing to look forward to.
ROFL!!! I have read a lot of christian, theistic and creationist websites and I've never come across that one before :) Following that reasoning surely 'christians' should want to get their life over with because of the huge reward awaiting them? In my experience most people who are not afflicted with belief enjoy their lives and make the most of them because this is the only one they'll have and when you're dead you're dead, the end. As we say in Scotland "You're a long time dead".

So, a very high 33% chance of crossing swords with the Creator.
Just a thought. ;)
Infinitesimally small chance given that the probability of a creator is infinitesimally small.

BD
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)

BDiONU
27th Dec 2006, 11:54
BDiONU You're entitled to that opinion, just as I'm entitled to mine.
But my opinion is a matter of scientific fact. I'm perplexed why, given that your job concerns evidence, you are able to totally disassociate the requirements of your professional from your personal life.
As for the remainder of your post, you know nothing whatsoever about the thought processes through which I've gone before reaching the conclusions I've reached.
I'm willing to bet that your religion is that of your parents, that you've had little or no choice in chosing that religion. Just the same as the vast majority of people in the world, they're the same religion as their parents because they were never given any choice or opportunity not to be, its been thrust upon them from birth which is tremendously sad.

BD

Navajo8686
27th Dec 2006, 12:16
As a total non-believer in faith would be interesting to know the answers to two questions:

1 - why do so many of the world have to have faith?

2- if I was to say that I am Jesus how would anybody prove I was not? Why wouldn't I get the world to accept me as Jesus?

Happy Christmas.................< this is (belated) irony :)

tony draper
27th Dec 2006, 12:37
I believe there is a new theory knocking about that faith and the illogical need to believe in some kind of higher power or the supernatural is a genetic thing, ergo one regards oneself as one of the blessed for not being born with the god gene.
:rolleyes:

BDiONU
27th Dec 2006, 13:08
I believe there is a new theory knocking about that faith and the illogical need to believe in some kind of higher power or the supernatural is a genetic thing, ergo one regards oneself as one of the blessed for not being born with the god gene.
:rolleyes:
Not heard that genetics were involved but certainly parents 'infect' their children with belief. When you're a child you believe authority figures, its built into humans and is one reason why we're so succesful as a species. For example if an adult tells a child not to run out into the road the child will (generally) obey, thus not get killed by a car and so the species continues. In the same way a child will believe an authority figure about religion and there are many religious authority figures around. Theres also the fear element involved with the invocation of Hell or if you're not good you won't go to heaven. What terrible abuses are done to children in the name of 'religion'.
Richard Dawkins has an interesting article on infections of the mind (http://www.simonyi.ox.ac.uk/dawkins/WorldOfDawkins-archive/Dawkins/Work/Articles/1993-summervirusesofmind.shtml)

BD

Capt.KAOS
27th Dec 2006, 13:15
Agreed on image. But that doesn't disprove anything. Even Josephus acknowledged the prophet called Jesus.It doesn't prove either. Josephus' Testimonium Flavianum has been disputed for centuries. As with so many biblical text it all goes back to variations in translation. He just described what Jesus' diciples said and merely mentioned "He was believed to be the Christ."
Jesus is problematical for atheists in that generally they accept he lived - but can't (or won't) get their heads round what it means.Strawman argument. I have no problem with Jesus, just rather like to see things in the correct historical context, instead of based on myth, tradition and politics.