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dazdaz1
25th Dec 2014, 15:50
I was asked this question today from a young (12 year old street wise male) family member.............

"If Mary and Josef were married, how come she was a virgin" I nearly choked on my cherry brandy, made my excuse and took their dog for a walk.:hmm:

Checkboard
25th Dec 2014, 15:59
Jewish marriage law consists not only of ishut, the determination of prohibited and permitted partners, but of kiddushin, the legal process of establishing the marriage bond. The Bible has no single word for marriage, as it has none for religion. But the codes define it by these two categories: ishut and kiddushin, persons and process.


Maimonides begins his code on marriage with the Torah's unconditional requirement that a man and a woman may live together only with the formal sanction of kiddushin.


Before the revelation (at Sinai), a man would meet a woman on the street and if both desired marriage, he would bring her into his home and have intercourse privately [without the testimony of witnesses] and she would become his wife. When the Torah was given, the Jews were instructed that in order to marry a woman, the man should "acquire her" in the presence of witnesses and then she would become his wife. As the Torah says, "when a man takes a woman and has intercourse with her." This taking is a positive commandment and is performed in one of three ways—with money, by contract, or by cohabitiation... and it is everywhere called kiddushin or erusin.

And a woman who is "acquired" in one of these three ways is called mc'kudeshet or arusah [a betrothed woman]. And as soon as she is "acquired" and becomes betrothed, even though she has not cohabited and did not even enter the groom's home, she is a married woman.

The Jewish Marriage Ceremony - "According to the Laws of Moses and Israel": <i>Ke? dat Moshe Ve? Yisrael:</i> - Marriage (http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/465162/jewish/The-Jewish-Marriage-Ceremony.htm)

Flypro
25th Dec 2014, 16:01
Lavender marriage?


Hat, coat, hate mail........

dazdaz1
25th Dec 2014, 16:18
As the Torah says, "when a man takes a woman and has intercourse with her." This taking is a positive commandment and is performed in one of three ways—WITH MONEY, by contract, or by cohabitation.

Jezz!!!!! I hope non of my Brighton ladies escorts are Jewish, they could screw me for thousand for misinterpretation:oh: of my desires.:uhoh:

Flying Lawyer
25th Dec 2014, 16:24
Further to Checkerboard's helpful and interesting explanation -

When the angel Gabriel visited Mary and told her she would give birth to a son, she was espoused/betrothed to Joseph but was still a virgin.
Mary was puzzled and asked 'How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?'
Gabriel explained that she would conceive of the Holy Ghost and give birth to the Son of God, whom she should call Jesus. He reminded her that, for God, nothing is impossible.
Mary gave birth to the Son of God.

Joseph was faithful to the law but did not want to expose her to public disgrace so he had in mind to divorce her (break the 'engagement') discreetly. However, Gabriel appeared to him (in a dream) and reassured him saying, 'Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.'

dazdaz1
25th Dec 2014, 16:34
FL..."Gabriel also appeared to Joseph (in a dream) saying, 'Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.'

I would pay good money/go back in time to hear Joseph's reply, I would suggest..."You taking the pi**"?

Flying Lawyer
25th Dec 2014, 17:08
dazdaz1

You can't go back in time but I recommend 'Jesus My Boy', a monologue in which Tom Conti relates the story of the birth of Jesus from Joseph's point of view.
Joseph relates, amongst other things, how he came to meet Mary and how he handled finding out that she was pregnant.
I think it's is still available on CD - possibly downloadable from the internet.

A few years ago, we were fortunate to get tickets for a one week re-run at a small theatre in North London. If I recall correctly, Conti did it as a favour to the theatre owner. It was very funny and Conti was brilliant. Although a comedy, the events - including those leading up to Jesus' death on the Cross - are handled sensitively and in a way which does not give offence to Christians.


Short clip from the original West End production:

oOepqWxlefw

airshowpilot
25th Dec 2014, 17:10
"Which is more likely: that the whole natural order is suspended, or that a jewish minx should tell a lie?"
David Hume (1711-1776)

Checkboard
25th Dec 2014, 18:01
If it wasn't a VERY unusual event - it wouldn't be a miracle ;)

Checkboard
25th Dec 2014, 18:26
Merry Christmas to you, henry :D

A A Gruntpuddock
25th Dec 2014, 18:37
Read somewhere recently that a 'virgin birth' at that time meant only that she was pregnant for the first time.

No idea whether that is true.

Rosevidney1
25th Dec 2014, 19:01
This is explained in 'Jesus the Man' by Barbara Thiering. Apparently the sect of which Joseph and Mary were members (the Essenes) had strict rules regarding marriage. There was more than one ceremony involved and intercourse was not permitted after the first ceremony, consequently the bride was still considered to be a virgin until other ceremonies took place weeks or months later.

papajuliet
25th Dec 2014, 19:36
Or it could be that the Greeks, when translating from Hebrew, confused the word for "young woman" with the word for "virgin".

Dash8driver1312
25th Dec 2014, 20:01
Like the German word "Jungfrau" and how it may be rendered several ways into English? Are you doubting the Gospel, translated and edited several times over since its source???

Heresy, I cry!!

Checkboard
25th Dec 2014, 20:10
Except that the Greeks didn't translate from the Hebrew.

The New Testament was probably originally written in Greek.

The original texts were written in the first and perhaps the second centuries of the Christian Era (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_Era), generally believed to be in Koine Greek (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Language_of_the_New_Testament), which was the common language (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lingua_franca) of the Eastern Mediterranean (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Mediterranean) from the Conquests of Alexander the Great (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conquests_of_Alexander_the_Great) (335–323 BC) until the evolution of Byzantine Greek (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byzantine_Greek) (c. 600). All of the works which would eventually be incorporated into the New Testament would seem to have been written no later than around AD 150.[1] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Testament#cite_note-1)

dingo9
25th Dec 2014, 22:03
I recommend Prof Richard Dawkins 'The God Delusion' to shed a little light on this particular subject. Happy Holidays everyone?

Tankertrashnav
25th Dec 2014, 23:39
In an earlier thread I promised a festive punch on the nose for anyone who wished me "Happy Holidays" - consider your conk well and truly thumped! Oh and pass it on to Dawkins should you happen to bump into him!

;)

rh200
25th Dec 2014, 23:49
"Which is more likely: that the whole natural order is suspended, or that a jewish minx should tell a lie?"

Yes, she was most likely getting a bit on the side:E. But then we live in a quantum world of probability, hence there is a finite probability of the egg self fertilizing:p

Oh my gollygosh, here are grown adults quoting a piece of hearsay, word of mouth many times over, plus inspired storytelling, and treating it as though it were the, um, Gospel Truth.

Regardless of ones particular belief in such things, there is a lot be learned from such things, more importantly it can be interesting.

I recommend Prof Richard Dawkins 'The God Delusion' to shed a little light on this particular subject.

An extremist atheist fruit-loop just as dangerous as any religious zealot.

Captain Dart
26th Dec 2014, 00:12
On what behaviour, statements or actions of Richard Dawkins do you base your last statement?

Keef
26th Dec 2014, 00:55
Very interesting, Checkers. Thank you for that. My minimal knowledge of Jewish marriage law has improved!


I've read several of Dawkins' books. I wasn't impressed or convinced by the content, his reasoning, or the conclusions, but that wasn't a surprise. I share rh200's view.

How the "Professor for the Public Understanding of Science" decided he could reinterpret that position into "professional debunker of religions" baffles me, and how it improves the understanding of science even more so.

There isn't much support for the "fringe" theory that Joseph and Mary were Essenes. Joseph was a village carpenter in Nazareth, which was not consistent with belonging to an extremist sect: the Essenes lived in closed communities, mostly in the desert (for example, in Qumran). John the Baptist is a more likely candidate, but even that is not widely accepted by mainstream scholarship.

There are several theories about the virgin birth. Mainstream theology takes the view that if the creator of the universe wants a virgin to conceive, then that is what will happen. Some debate the meaning of the Greek "παρθένον" in Luke 1:27 - it's the Koine Greek word for "virgin", and reflects the Hebrew of Isaiah 7:14. עלמה is rendered as παρθένος in the Greek translation: the Hebrew word is usually translated damsel, maid or virgin. It may mean "young woman" or "unmarried woman" - Checkers makes the point above.

Either way, it's late and it's been a busy day. Happy Christmas!

John Hill
26th Dec 2014, 01:46
In at least one modern society 'girl' means virgin and it is taken as somewhat offensive to call a female of any age a 'woman' (or worse 'lady') if she is not married.

jolihokistix
26th Dec 2014, 02:27
Which is more likely, that Mary was a minx, or that Joseph was a spitting cobra?

Ascend Charlie
26th Dec 2014, 03:19
So, when your daughter comes to you and says, "Daddy, God made me pregnant", do you look forward to having a chat to your potential Father/Son/ Ghost-in-law or does she get booted out of the house?

Why is it that there have been no really good miracles for 2000 years? Walking on water, raising from the dead, feeding the grand Final crowd with one pie and a can of Coke?

And anyway, who wrote Genesis? There wasn't anybody around who could observe, least of all write down what he/she saw.

Mr Optimistic
26th Dec 2014, 05:25
I think the marketing dept got it badly wrong. Big opening number including kings and astronomical fireworks but then it all goes quiet for 30 or so years. Plenty of opportunity to reprise the opening number to a more alert world( afterall resources can hardly have been a problem), but not taken.

probes
26th Dec 2014, 05:43
Plenty of opportunity to reprise the opening number to a more alert world
yeah, but it would've spoilt the grand finale, then?

ORAC
26th Dec 2014, 07:08
I think the marketing dept got it badly wrong. Damn right - born and died on the only 2 days in the year you can't buy a newspaper.......

Dash8driver1312
26th Dec 2014, 07:17
Ascend Charlie, it is accepted generally that Genesis was written down by one of the Patriarchs after the Almighty told him. Basically ghost-writing after a fashion.

Yes, there is an answer for everything. Mo wasn't the first to do the "taking notes from God" thing...

B Fraser
26th Dec 2014, 08:04
Peter Gabriel wrote the old Genesis, I prefer it to the modern version written by Phil Collins.

goudie
26th Dec 2014, 08:06
In the '50's the Daily Mirror ran a story about a woman who claimed she'd experienced a virgin birth, it was all rather inconclusive.
At that time I'd just started going out with a girl, waiting for her to get ready one evening, her father said to me, ''do you believe all this malarkey about a virgin birth?' ''Not a bit'' I replied. Looking me straight in the eyes he said very meaningfully ''no, neither do I''.
I got the message.

dingo9
26th Dec 2014, 08:12
I am by no means a fan of Dawkins for many reasons but he speaks logic which is something as a pilot I get, however he is not an atheist. He is open to the idea of intelligent design but seeks scientific evidence for it, which to date there has been none. An atheist will reject God even in the face of evidence. Rather like most religious folk do with the theory of evolution, for which there is plenty of evidence.

Mr Chips
26th Dec 2014, 08:30
Getting back to the original question, at the time of the Immaculate Conception Mary and Joseph weren't married.

eastern wiseguy
26th Dec 2014, 08:42
Dingo " an atheist will reject God even in the face of evidence"

What evidence?

Thomas Paine wrote "The study of theology, as it stands in Christian churches, is the study of nothing; it is founded on nothing; it rests on no principles; it proceeds by no authorities; it has no data; it can demonstrate nothing; and it admits of no conclusion. Not any thing can be studied as a science, without our being in possession of the principles upon which it is founded; and as this is not the case with Christian theology, it is therefore the study of nothing."

Give me evidence of a god...quantifiable evidence and NOT based on the bible..and I am a convert.

Paolo6691
26th Dec 2014, 08:42
He could have pursued a different career path.

Rowan Atkinson Amazing Jesus (http://youtu.be/fTzXJMU1sLc)

funfly
26th Dec 2014, 09:35
It's not as simple as that.
Christians believe that every child born is born 'in sin'. This goes back to the basic belief that Adam disobeyed God and God, in his anger, decided that the human race be punished. For this reason babies are christened to remove this sin and mothers are 'churched' to help remove the guilt of conception.
So when Jesus is written about there was a problem that had he been born naturally he would have had sin, the only way around this is to make his birth one where a man was not involved so there was no sinful act of sex. The answer make his a birth without intercourse, i.e. a virgin birth.
That in itself raises a problem with the Virgin Mary herself as she, as a figure worshiped only second to JC, carried sin from her birth and as a woman who had had sex. The answer here is to make her birth in some way pure as an act of God itself and also to deny further children by her and Joseph thus retaining her purity.
As with a lot of things, a tangled web you weave when you wish to deceive.

funfly
26th Dec 2014, 09:52
The other questionable area is the conviction that "Jesus died on the cross to save us". Of course JC did not go to his death willingly and in the end is reported to have suggested that God had deserted him so any claims that this was an act if his must be wrong. The church explains this by saying that it was God himself who 'sacrificed' his son so that we might be saved.
Saved from what? you might ask. Again the official church explanation goes back to the episode with Adam causing, by his actions, the whole of mankind to be born with sin. The church explains that sin against God can only be punished by death but in some way the death of JC was a sort of 'payment in advance' for our own death penalties which thus become 'prepaid'. Further perusal of christian websites brings up the analogy with having a driving fine but not having to pay it because someone has already paid it for you.
To my mind the idea that a baby is born with some sort of 'sin' already embedded in it is unacceptable. To my mind the idea that a 'perfect' God would place a punishment on the whole human race because he go angry at the act of the first man is equally puzzling.
The final question is, of course, how many Adam and Eves were there before who didn't 'sin' and therefore left no offspring?

Keef
26th Dec 2014, 10:11
Rather like most religious folk do with the theory of evolution, for which there is plenty of evidence.

I don't think you'll find that "most" reject the theory of evolution. I don't personally know any Christians who reject evolution, although there are some fringe groups who claim that - they are mostly the ones who haven't really got past the first few chapters of Genesis.

funfly - it's not as simple as that, not by a long way. Have a read of Tom McLeish's "Faith & Wisdom", and Dietrich Bonhoeffer's "Sanctorum Communio" (the second is easier to follow if you read it in German).

B Fraser
26th Dec 2014, 10:33
As a child, I was told by a minister that God knew what we were thinking. My response was to ask him that if that were true, why did we have to pray ? I don't think he was very pleased.

I cottoned on that it was all a form of control rather quickly. Do as we tell you or a bloke with horns will poke you with pointy hot things for eternity is not much of a belief system.

Ascend Charlie
26th Dec 2014, 10:38
The world's population has supposedly twice descended from only 2 people.

A&E were first, and to populate, there must have been a certain amount of incest going on. The church says that at this stage, the human race was still pure, so incest carried no genetic worries about Tasmanians or even Americans being born. Several thousand incestuous births later, the lines of descendants became fairly well separated.

But then The Great Sky Pixie wiped out the whole world again with a flood, so it was up to Noah's family to repopulate the world. But by then, the human race had become more like a walk than a race, so there were genetics involved, with defects and mutations, and we ended up with all sorts of colours and facial features, even New Zealanders.

probes
26th Dec 2014, 10:38
funfly, I think you've got tangled yourself :E. "This goes back to the basic belief that Adam disobeyed God and God, in his anger, decided that the human race be punished. For this reason babies are christened to remove this sin and mothers are 'churched' to help remove the guilt of conception."
Conception as such can't be a sin, for God said that there should be many people.
The thing I can't understand is why there are so many religious pieces of art and music. There must be a point?

funfly
26th Dec 2014, 10:39
My biggest dilemma is that while I cannot accept the Christian beliefs and while I know the harm carried out in the name of all religions, I have to accept that in the country where I live Christianity has produced a social structure and a set of moral values that support the best values in which to live.
Religions are in a unique position that they have greater power to encourage social structures than the state structure. I might question the methods they use and I might question the ideas that they plant in peoples minds but they do seem to exert this control where social administration fails.
I was in South America once and visited a church in a very poor area. The church was - well bling is the only word to describe it, and I said to the priest "If Jesus walked in here would he say this is what it was all about?" I thought it was a pretty smart comment of mine but the priest explained that the people who came to the church had meaningless lives and lived in poverty from which they would never escape, by being members of this church they were able to feel part of a different world and the community was to some extent socially controlled by membership of the church. I found this difficult to accept but on reflection maybe he had a point. He felt that his church contributed to the community and the values of that community and maybe was in a far better position to exert a social responsibility in the area than the local civilian council (who were probably corrupt anyway)

funfly
26th Dec 2014, 10:42
funfly, I think you've got tangled yourself


I know full well that I am tangled as far as religions are concerned. The answer to the puzzle has never been revealed to me and I suppose it never will.

By the way that's a very nice way to put your comment about me.

FF

dingo9
26th Dec 2014, 11:00
Eastern wiseguy- either I've missed something or I completely agree with you. I don't class myself as an atheist as I can't prove God doesn't exist in as much as I cant prove fairys don't live at the bottom of the garden as my daughter tells me.

Funfly- "My biggest dilemma is that while I cannot accept the Christian beliefs and while I know the harm carried out in the name of all religions, I have to accept that in the country where I live Christianity has produced a social structure and a set of moral values that support the best values in which to live".

- good post

Keef
26th Dec 2014, 11:10
As a child, I was told by a minister that God knew what we were thinking. My response was to ask him that if that were true, why did we have to pray ? I don't think he was very pleased.


I think he misunderstood you, or was in a bad mood. Prayer is about bringing our thinking into line with God's. "Works for me", as they say.

The "Do as we tell you - or else!" approach is a relic from another era. Folks in our church would laugh if one of our ministry team said that. I can imagine the churchwardens telling me "No, you do what we tell you!" (with a grin, of course).

BabyBear
26th Dec 2014, 11:16
My biggest dilemma is that while I cannot accept the Christian beliefs and while I know the harm carried out in the name of all religions, I have to accept that in the country where I live Christianity has produced a social structure and a set of moral values that support the best values in which to live

Interesting, I have great trouble with the suggestion morality is solely the domain of believers.

BB

cattletruck
26th Dec 2014, 11:20
Behold.

http://media.treehugger.com/assets/images/2013/12/snow10.jpg.662x0_q100_crop-scale.jpg

There is a lot of science on how such a fascinating object is formed, but science can't answer the why? Does it really matter?

"The most vitally important thing in all of our lives is keeping the peace that is already within us. We can find it by giving it" - Steve Vai, 2014.

funfly
26th Dec 2014, 11:30
How many times have we seen someone looking at a sunset and commenting what a beautiful sight it is?

If I knew the answer to that I think I would know the meaning of life.

FF

G-CPTN
26th Dec 2014, 11:31
Having been brought up as a practising Christian (Sunday school, choir, server, adult church choir) and with my sister (Sunday school teacher) marrying the curate - later, vicar - I married into a humanist family.
My father-in-law had better morals than my brother-in-law (the vicar) and I became a 'doubter' - which is where I remain.

BabyBear
26th Dec 2014, 11:37
but science can't answer the why?

Seems to be the human question why is not necessarily applicable to 'everything', the assumption why can always be answered is where one of our biggest errors is.

More often than not the question does not exist and therefore has no meaning.

BB

goudie
26th Dec 2014, 11:45
Conception as such can't be a sin,

It's only a sin if the process is enjoyed by the participants!:=

Mr Chips
26th Dec 2014, 12:01
Funky,very interesting posts, but before you post such again I suggest a modicum of research. The original sin, the mark of which stains us all when born was eating from the one tree that was forbidden in the garden of Eden, nothing whatsoever to do with sex....

Baptism removes this stain...Jesus was baptised.

dingo9
26th Dec 2014, 13:08
So... can I still eat apples?

Shaggy Sheep Driver
26th Dec 2014, 13:30
Interesting, I have great trouble with the suggestion morality is solely the domain of believers.

Logically, it's the other way around. If you need a man-made belief system to keep you on the straight and narrow then that suggests lack of an internal moral compass.

There's an odd program on Radio 4 called 'Beyond Belief' where people sit around a microphone and discus the supernatural as if it were any more real than Dumbo being able to fly using his ears as wings. Maybe its title is ironic? Sadly, it seems not.

Dawkins - I can see why he gets people's backs up when he debunks wibble by use of logic, but unlike 'believers' he does argue from the standpoint of logic and evidence. When making personal decisions about whether to believe in anything (for instance, the claims of a double glazing company), surely the tools to use are logic and evidence? I realised at age 6 that the Catholic Church I was being indoctrinated into failed to stand up to any logical analysis at all. In fact, it made absolutely no sense whatever. Makes even less after several decades of experience of life, power bases, etc.

So talk of virgin births and ghosts impregnating women might make a nice story, but does it really deserve serious consideration?

Checkboard
26th Dec 2014, 13:52
I was told by a minister that God knew what we were thinking.No, that's Santa ;)

funfly
26th Dec 2014, 14:02
Mr. Chips

Do you really believe that?

BabyBear
26th Dec 2014, 14:15
where people sit around a microphone and discus the supernatural as if it were any more real than Dumbo being able to fly using his ears as wings

That is generally how believers talk, as if it's fact. They don't appear to want to entertain any possibility their beliefs are wrong, as if they don't want to know the truth, whatever it may be.

Dawkins is only too happy to say he would become a believer in the face of evidence.

As indeed I would, here's hoping it comes. Although I won't be holding my breath.

BB

dingo9
26th Dec 2014, 14:38
So here's one then, and keeping this thread vaguely aviation related.

Scenario 1. I go for my class 1 medical, doc clears me fit and in fine fettle for another year.I tell him "I pray each night that God keeps me fit and healthy." He politely smiles and sends me on my way.

Scenario 2. I go for my class 1 medical, doc clears me fit and in fine fettle for another year. I tell him "I pray each night to the moon fairys to keep me in such shape". He double takes, "excuse me" he says. " you know, the moon fairys that controll the universe and everything we do". He makes a call, men in white coats come. I guess I loose my license..... Right?

fitliker
26th Dec 2014, 14:43
It is easier to describe the colour of the wind to a blind man, than to describe the joy and love of God to someone with a closed mind ,or hard heart.








I had a friend who had doubts about the divinity of Christ ,but he had no doubt about the existence of the Devil. He was sure he had married the Deils sister :)

G&T ice n slice
26th Dec 2014, 14:54
"I pray each night to the moon fairys to keep me in such shape".

He double takes, "excuse me" he says.

" you know, the moon fairys that controll the universe and everything we do".

He makes a call, men in white coats come.

:confused: but why, the Moon Fairies are real aren't they:confused:

dingo9
26th Dec 2014, 14:58
So joy and happiness is un-achievable without belief in God? How very un-Christian of you. And how lucky you are to be in a constant state of joy ;)

dingo9
26th Dec 2014, 14:59
The moon fairys may be real, only a small section was landed on. Keep the faith.

Checkboard
26th Dec 2014, 15:21
Even though I am not blind, you may find it difficult to describe the colour of the wind to me as well :confused:

funfly
26th Dec 2014, 15:29
Fitliker,
I think you may find that some of us who question the 'beliefs' of the many religions and who try to understand why different people accept different ideals, have very open minds indeed.

probes
26th Dec 2014, 15:39
It's only a sin if the process is enjoyed by the participants!
so, enjoyment is a sin? :uhoh: Aren't we supposed to enjoy the world and creations around us?

As for the virgin birth, it could be just about concepts, not conception, as explained in the previous posts. Isn't it weird how much words mean, I mean 'matter'? Replace 'God' with 'Moon Fairies', leave the rest as it is, and there you are... who is to say Moon Fairies aren't the same to you as God to others? Beethoven is said to have had synesthesia - yet most of us do not see music in colours (why shouldn't wind have it (=colour), then? For some people?). I know a person who claims she sees better after she went blind. And she's not mad.

And yeah, aviation. Who would have believed there will be metal machines that fly?

eastern wiseguy
26th Dec 2014, 15:46
Mainstream theology takes the view that if the creator of the universe wants a virgin to conceive, then that is what will happen.

Really? You presume to know what your creator wants?

1 Corinthians 8

Those who think they know something still have a lot to learn.

There is a thread running through history of "virgin births" from discredited religions. Christianity has hijacked a pagan myth and squeezed it into its own particular set of myths to justify its "truth" .

The same "mainstream" theologians will happily dismiss the ancient religions as being false whilst insisting that they and only they are the one true religion.

I think that you will go EXACTLY the same way as Ra,Utu ,Mithras or any other piece of nonsense that has fallen from favour.

The idea of modern day theologians having discussions about 2000 year old myths and expecting it to have ANY relevance today is laughable.

421dog
26th Dec 2014, 16:00
I think that you will go EXACTLY the same way as Ra,Utu ,Mithras or any other piece of nonsense that has fallen from favour.

The idea of modern day theologians having discussions about 2000 year old myths and expecting it to have ANY relevance today is laughable.

Yup, because none of the framework that has served us well has any relevance,

You know everything, and it's just a bunch of stuff that happens.


Einstein said that he knew there must be a God because ice floats.

There are innumerable examples of scientifically describable, but really improbably illogical things like that that surround us.

It's our job as humans to do what we can to understand, but anyone who thinks he's got it all figured out is lying to himself.

fitliker
26th Dec 2014, 16:03
The Druids used to sacrifice virgins or as the modern politically correct term might be " persons that nobody wants to pump" .Several times a year in some parts of the U.K.
The Druid religion did not spread very far north as they will pump anything North of Watford.
Was it the lack of virgins that led to the demise of the Druids ?
Or was it just replaced by an imported religion ,just like another imported/invading religion is replacing the previous imported religion in the EU?
The number one boys name in the UK last year was ...................?


QED

M.Mouse
26th Dec 2014, 16:04
I guess I loose my license..... Right?

No, wrong. There is only one 'o' in lose.

421dog
26th Dec 2014, 16:08
Legislation of morality is working so well for us, isn't it?

When it comes right down to it, Christianity is about a bunch of stuff that we generally hold to be moral.

Most of it is fairly incontrovertibly so, and the bits that we fight about don't really justify tossing out the baby with the bathwater.

When we attempt to create a legal situation in which right and wrong is defined purely by laws, and not by what we know damned well is right and wrong, things don't work out so well.

dingo9
26th Dec 2014, 16:18
Just to rewind, is there actually an official PPRuNe Chaplain??

Keef
26th Dec 2014, 17:14
Just to rewind, is there actually an official PPRuNe Chaplain??

You mean, am I a figment of my own imagination?

BabyBear
26th Dec 2014, 17:23
421dog, are you suggesting Christianity has a monopoly on morality?

BB

Mr Optimistic
26th Dec 2014, 17:24
What were the afterlife options for those who died before Christianity in the Christian view and is it now agreed by the Abrahamic religions that women have souls, or are there still doubts?

dingo9
26th Dec 2014, 17:28
Keef - :D:D

Shaggy Sheep Driver
26th Dec 2014, 17:49
Ah yes, souls; that part of the person the believers say survives death of the body. Do our biologically near relatives, chimps, have them? Dogs? Cats? Budgies? Goldfish? Wasps? Single-cell organisms?

Did Neanderthals?

If not, where is the line drawn? And why?

Oops, sorry. Doesn't work when you try to ask logical questions about wibble, does it?

BabyBear
26th Dec 2014, 17:53
I think the modern word for soul is consciousness, which granted has yet to be explained. Looking for supernatural explanations is certainly not going to enhance understanding.

BB

ExXB
26th Dec 2014, 17:59
Ascend Charlie, it is accepted generally that Genesis was written down by one of the Patriarchs after the Almighty told him. Basically ghost-writing after a fashion.

OK, On the first day God said "Let their be light, etc"

And what did he create on the fourth? Sun, moon and stars.

So where was the light coming from ... ???

con-pilot
26th Dec 2014, 18:11
The world's population has supposedly twice descended from only 2 people.

A&E were first,

Ah, but were they?

Adam and Eve had two sons, one named Adam and one named Cain. Course we all know happened to poor Adam, was done in by his brother Cain. Then Cain was sent off to the Land of Nod where he did a lot of begetting.

So, where did these Nod people come from and if they already had a "Land" wouldn't that mean they were on Earth before Adam and Eve dropped out of the sky?

Inquiring minds want to know. :p

Checkboard
26th Dec 2014, 18:18
Oops, sorry. Doesn't work when you try to ask logical questions about wibble, does it?Actually, logic works just as well with philosophical argument as with truth - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophical_logic

That's why we have the study of Theology.\

Con:

Cain (http://christiananswers.net/dictionary/cain.html) was the first child of Adam (http://christiananswers.net/dictionary/adam.html) and Eve (http://christiananswers.net/dictionary/eve.html) recorded in Scripture (Genesis 4:1 (http://christiananswers.net/bible/gen4.html#1)). His brothers, Abel (http://christiananswers.net/dictionary/abel.html) (Genesis 4:2 (http://christiananswers.net/bible/gen4.html#2)) and Seth (http://christiananswers.net/dictionary/seth.html) (Genesis 4:25 (http://christiananswers.net/bible/gen4.html#25)), were part of the first generation of children ever born on this earth.
Even though only these three males are mentioned by name, Adam (http://christiananswers.net/dictionary/adam.html) and Eve (http://christiananswers.net/dictionary/eve.html) had other children. In Genesis 5:4 (http://christiananswers.net/bible/gen5.html#4) a statement sums up the life of Adam (http://christiananswers.net/dictionary/adam.html) and Eve (http://christiananswers.net/dictionary/eve.html)—“And the days of Adam (http://christiananswers.net/dictionary/adam.html) after he had fathered Seth (http://christiananswers.net/dictionary/seth.html) were eight hundred years. And he fathered sons and daughters.” This does not say when they were born. Many could have been born in the 130 years (Genesis 5:3 (http://christiananswers.net/bible/gen5.html#3)) before Seth was born.
During their lives, Adam (http://christiananswers.net/dictionary/adam.html) and Eve (http://christiananswers.net/dictionary/eve.html) had a number of male and female children. The Jewish historian Josephus wrote that, “The number of Adam (http://christiananswers.net/dictionary/adam.html)'s children, as says the old tradition, was thirty-three sons and twenty-three daughters.”[11] (http://christiananswers.net/q-aig/aig-c004.html#11)
The Bible (http://christiananswers.net/dictionary/bible.html) does not tell us how many children were born to Adam (http://christiananswers.net/dictionary/adam.html) and Eve (http://christiananswers.net/dictionary/eve.html). However, considering their long life spans (Adam (http://christiananswers.net/dictionary/adam.html) lived for 930 years—Genesis 5:5 (http://christiananswers.net/bible/gen5.html#5)), it would seem reasonable to suggest there were many! Remember, They were commanded to “Be fruitful, and multiply” (Genesis 1:28 (http://christiananswers.net/bible/gen1.html#28)).
Cain's wife was his sister, from Adam and Eve and she would have thus travelled to the land of Nod (it doesn't say the land of the people of Nod ;) ) to be with Cain.

B Fraser
26th Dec 2014, 18:24
At least it makes Astrology seem respectable.

Shaggy Sheep Driver
26th Dec 2014, 18:25
Con - stop being naughty! It's fish in a barrel stuff to rip into this fairy-tale nonsense by applying even a teeny bit of logical deduction. := ;)

con-pilot
26th Dec 2014, 18:29
doesn't say the land of the people of Nod ;)


And I'm accused of being naughty. :ooh:



:p

Checkboard
26th Dec 2014, 18:39
It's fish in a barrel stuff to rip into this fairy-tale nonsense by applying even a teeny bit of logical deductionI don't think you understand, Shaggy.

The New Testament has been around since before the First Council of Nicaea in AD 325 - well over a century and a half. The old testament, of course, perhaps five or ten centuries before that.

In that time it has been studied by countless people smarter than you or I. There are logical, fully reasoned explanations for every sentence in the texts. You will not find a flaw in the texts through even the best logical deduction.

I am an atheist, should anyone be wondering.

obgraham
26th Dec 2014, 19:23
Well here we are again, with the self-righteous making mockery of those among us who admit to believing in something merely out of "faith".

As in all previous generations of religion-haters, they exhibit the hubris of thinking that their way of thinking is obviously correct, they understand the way things work, and those opposed must be, by definition, idiots.

As for me, I have a degree in biologic science, and a doctorate level degree also. I think I'm pretty well knowledgeable on the meaning of evolution and Darwin's contributions. However, to my scientific mind the currently espoused theories are untenable, and defy logic, especially as the molecular basis of life science has developed.

I don't know how the universe developed, or how life begins. But I am absolutely sure it is not via the evolutionary process as we currently understand it.

Perhaps future knowledge will define these matters further. Or perhaps not.

Keef
26th Dec 2014, 19:41
It's easy to make "clever" comments about ancient religious texts, particularly if it's done deliberately to give offence. However, unless the context, circumstances and situation of the text are known and understood then it says more about the person making the comment than about the text.

Some outstandingly intelligent people have studied and commented on the Old and New Testaments. I'll go with Guy Consolmagno (world-famous astronomer), John Polkinghorne (former Professor of Mathematical Physics at Cambridge University), and Tom McLeish (Professor of Physics and Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Durham University) to pick the first three off my shelf. There are many more of their kind. If these folks don't think it's all "fish in a barrel", then maybe there's more to know before coming to such conclusions.

There is little future in trying to read Genesis as history - that way lies creationism and confusion. To understand what the book is about requires understanding, just as complex scientific subjects do. There is plenty of material that can help, but it's not simple. It involves knowledge of the culture, environment, society, and history of the period.

Those who don't want to know aren't forced to learn. They might do well not to try to teach the subject, though.

Checkboard
26th Dec 2014, 19:55
Well here we are again, with the self-righteous making mockery of those among us who admit to believing in something merely out of "faith".
I hope that I'm not in that group :O

I like religion. I just don't believe in it.

I think that it serves (on balance) a good purpose in the world. Many talk about the crusades (historical and modern, current, ones) - but your typical "church" (as in mosque, temple etc) service is one of the very few forums we have in this world where people gather to talk about the morality of events, and not the facts (as in the news) or the effects (as in parliament) or the legality (as in the courts).

We haven't IMHO found anything to replace that forum, to date - so I like the cultural role of religion, for that reason, but don't profess to belief in a God.

dingo9
26th Dec 2014, 20:21
And we have our first mention of hatred, and it comes from..... Wait for it...Religion.

What's been a quite entertaining/enlightening thread really. A shame.

I have degree in Mechanical Engineering but I'm in no way an Engineer, I studied 20 years ago and things move on. To be current in a subject especially science you need to study it and devote your life to learning, which is what real Profesors and Scientist of Biology/micro biology/quantum mechanics/astrology do, they keep on pushing the boundaries into the unknown and expanding our understanding- I thank them for this work.

So what is it for us so called haters obgraham... A stoning or are you gonna lop our heads off? You're a real ambassador of the Faith, well done.

PS. Have a read of current micro biological work, a lot of the quandaries - not all! Have been figured out and as time goes on more mysteries of this amazing science are unearthed, thankfully they don't just sit back and say, "nope, got me..must be god, any questions? No, the pub it is then! "

eastern wiseguy
26th Dec 2014, 20:28
There is little future in trying to read Genesis as history - that way lies creationism and confusion.

Regrettably there are many of faith for whom it IS history,it IS literal. That is where the danger lies. In my former part of the world they still toil under young earth creationists and these people are the government. (Northern Ireland the DUP in case you are wondering) .These people want to introduce a"conscience clause" in order that the religious may opt out of laws they disagree with. No such accommodation is offered,much less sought by the NON religious. Tolerant? Not so much unless I agree with their world view.

As far as people of faith are concerned,believe what you wish. Enjoy your superiority over those of us for whom faith is a cop out but please keep it to yourselves. In my experience however that seldom happens. (When was the last time you answered your door to an atheist or humanist doing a little light proselytizing? )

If I don't understand something the default setting is NOT Jesus/God/Allah.

Keef
26th Dec 2014, 20:41
Enjoy your superiority over those of us for whom faith is a cop out but please keep it to yourselves. In my experience however that seldom happens. (When was the last time you answered your door to an atheist or humanist doing a little light proselytizing? )

I don't think I've had anyone knocking on my door in favour of or against religion in decades. I don't do it myself.

However, the enthusiastic atheists do knock hard and regularly on my computer screen. I think that makes it acceptable to answer - and even, maybe, to disagree with them.

If I don't understand something the default setting is NOT Jesus/God/Allah.
Indeed. We were given a brain and are expected to use it. Those scientists I mentioned above do exactly that.

Shaggy Sheep Driver
26th Dec 2014, 20:42
Religionists can believe what they like, even disbelieve in evolution if they like. But they are out of order when they castigate rational folk for applying the tests of logic and evidence to 'faith' and the stuff pedaled by priests and finding it wanting (and oh boy, it is!).

And then they have the brass neck to call such entirely reasonable observations 'clever comments'.

As Dara Ó Briain would say "get in the bloody sack!"

funfly
26th Dec 2014, 21:01
And to mutilate young children in the name of some sort of religion. female circumsision in africa, male circumsision in the US and some parts of the UK.
What a disgusting practice.
For medical reasons of course, but for religous reasons doing 'things' to underage children with all sorts of rituals and ceremonies - no one with any justification for what they believe in can justify that in this year 2014.
I call it abuse, what do you so called believers call it?

FF

eastern wiseguy
26th Dec 2014, 21:10
I don't think I've had anyone knocking on my door in favour of or against religion in decades. I don't do it myself.

However, the enthusiastic atheists do knock hard and regularly on my computer screen. I think that makes it acceptable to answer - and even, maybe, to disagree with them.

Lucky you. I live in the US and have regular visits from Mormons and Jehovahs Witnesses. Formerly in my home town in Northern Ireland it was impossible to move along the Main Street without tracts and hellfire being dished out. Never once did I ,as a humanist, feel the urge to pick up the
cudgel of truth :)

The religious are as thick as bees round honey here (USA) on tv ,on my computer screen,so I guess we have a shared experience.

In all things though politeness is the key (something my religious chums forget....especially if they disagree with you).

Mr Chips
26th Dec 2014, 21:14
Funfly, I'm sorry but you are just throwing out random stuff and using it to attack religion. Female circumcision (note correct spelling) is not a Christian thing, and yet earlier you were commenting on Christian beliefs.

You asked if I believed what I wrote a few pages back. Actually, what I was doing was correcting you on what you were saying about original sin etc. Your arguments are fascinating but you have done no research, so you are arguing over incorrect "facts". If you wish to criticise the teachings of a religion, kindly actually read them first.

Whether I believe or not is a matter for me, and only me, but you'll note that I'm not ramming beliefs down anyone's throat, nor picking a fight over beliefs, merely correcting inaccurate data.....

obgraham
26th Dec 2014, 21:14
So what is it for us so called haters obgraham... A stoning or are you gonna lop our heads off? You're a real ambassador of the Faith, well done.Dingo, where did I propose any of that? What I am alluding to is that JB and other web-based opportunities for expression of opinion are rife with disparaging remarks about people of faith, to the point of suggesting that religion be "banned". Referring to belief in Sky-fairies, Cloud-thinkers, etc., and the tiresome Pedophilic references are not showing any of the so-called "tolerance" so often espoused.

I hold no quarrel with someone who chooses the secular humanist approach to things. It has been going on for centuries. In our Western cultures, so far at least, one is free to believe in higher powers or not, as one wishes.

All I'm suggesting now is that science, be it biochemistry, quantum mechanics, or molecular chemistry, has not provided me with an explanation of the nature of things which I can accept. Perhaps in the fullness of time it will. I'm not so sure.

JFZ90
26th Dec 2014, 21:17
However, considering their long life spans (Adam lived for 930 years—Genesis 5:5),

...

There are logical, fully reasoned explanations for every sentence in the texts. You will not find a flaw in the texts through even the best logical deduction.

What is the logic & fully reasoned explanation behind saying a human lived 930 years?

dingo9
26th Dec 2014, 21:24
Knocking on doors from anyone, although annoying, isn't dangerous. What IS dangerous IS the tiny percentage of fanatics trying to tear any peace out of the Middle East and if they get their way the rest of the world. A small percentage of literally billions of people is bad news and IS the biggest single threat to our future. Whatever denomination you are, you share similar beliefs to these people, no doubt on another end of the spectrum, you're still on the spectrum.

funfly
26th Dec 2014, 21:25
I am in full agreement woth Checkboard.
I also like religion and like a number of thinking people not only question it but have studied. Unfortunately at my age I sometimes don't get my facts right but that's not through ignorance but deteriorating memory.
I have read Keef's posts over the years and I do respect his views (although I am not sure how 'official' he is). Keef's strikes me as a 'thinking' Christian who interprets his doctrines and his bible rather than blindly following it.
I think what frustrates many of us (and possibly people like Keef's) are those who follow the bible, Koran or other written tomes in a literal fashion and stubbornly close their eyes to any adverse comments.
Sorry Keef's if I have put words into your mouth but I consider that if you need religios guiders then someone like you will present a more balanced view than the more fundamentalist person.
If there is room for religious people in the world then there should be room for non believers like myself. Each must be prepared to lay out their thoughts and even questions with due respect to each other.
I would suggest that it is the 'antisocial' activities of some religious zealots, which includes murder as well as child mutilation, that strengthens the case of those who are suspicious of religions, the areas that we simply think of as unprovable, creation, original sin etc. are talking points but in themselves do no harm and those who believe this have to accept that there are many who cannot understand their logic.

FF

Keef
26th Dec 2014, 21:30
Shaggy Sheep Driver - I'm not (as far as I know) a religionist. Certainly, it's not a title I'd claim. The only thing I pedal (rarely nowadays) is a bicycle.

I have no desire to get in a sack. I'm not sure why I should, for expressing my views. If you wish to, that's up to you.

eastern wiseguy - I appreciate that can be a pain. It's very rare here these days. UK experience tends to feature followers of Dawkins: they seem to be more active on computer screens than the supporters of the major faiths.

I sit and read without responding to most of the shouty-atheist posts on here, but occasionally I'm moved to respond.

funfly
26th Dec 2014, 21:33
Mr. Chips.
Appreciate my spelling is rotten, blame my spellchecker.

I did not suggest that circumcision was a Christian practice, I understand that it is a Jewish practice to mutilate young males and a West and East African practice to mutilate young females. Both are so called religions.

I would hope that all Christiand would agree with me that in whatever form it is child abuse.

I'm not against Christians or people of any other faith. It so happens that there are some things that I am not comfortable with. At my age I am allowed to be opinionated but whatever you do don't take it personally if there are some things that you accept as fact that I question.

FF

By the way we are not shouty atheists as you suggest. We might be athiests but most of us are just questioning what we understand others believe. You might actually be wrong in your faith you know. I have friends of many faiths including those with a different God structure than Christians, I find them just as convinced that they have the correct religion.

As Ihave said before, there is room for us all but that does not give any group the excuse to do acts that are considered by many of us as immoral or just wrong.

Shaggy Sheep Driver
26th Dec 2014, 21:40
All I'm suggesting now is that science, be it biochemistry, quantum mechanics, or molecular chemistry, has not provided me with an explanation of the nature of things which I can accept. Perhaps in the fullness of time it will. I'm not so sure.

Ah, that's the thing about science. It doesn't ever claim to 'have the answers'. If it thought it 'had the answers', it would stop.

Science says "this is the best explanation we have to date, and if someone thinks they have a better one, let them put it up for peer review". You really can't say fairer than that.

I don't understand how anyone can say "I don't understand 'X', science doesn't have an answer to 'X', so therefore God must have done it". That raises more questions than it answers!

Keef
26th Dec 2014, 21:43
funfly - exactly so. Extremists of any kind tend to be unpleasant, and the madmen at the fringe of Islam particularly so. I can see no justification whatever for what they do, and while I know relatively little about Islam I would say they seem to have got it horribly wrong.

The ancient religious texts were written for a time and a situation, and need to be read in context. Most have a relevance for today, but literal interpretation isn't universally valid - for example, dietary laws designed for a nomadic tribe in a desert 3500 years ago are not essential for modern living with refrigerators and clear understanding of foodstuffs.

Mutilation of any sort is "out" as far as Anglicanism is concerned.

Official position - yes, I have an official teaching and preaching role in the Church of England and have had many years of training and a relevant degree. I think the "Official PPRuNe Chaplain" tag was added with a wry smile by the moderators many years ago. I've not done much to deserve it!

dingo9
26th Dec 2014, 21:51
So anyone have the answer then?

Checkboard
26th Dec 2014, 21:51
What is the logic & fully reasoned explanation behind saying a human lived 930 years?
What is your evidence that a human cannot live 930 years? Obviously there aren't many documented current examples of much more than 110 - but science is working on this, and the average and total lifespan has been increasing (with the help of science) for the last few decades ...

female circumsision in africa, male circumsision in the US and some parts of the UK.
These are both CULTURAL practices - not religious practices.

Commonly confused.

Checkboard
26th Dec 2014, 21:55
Bible conundrum
So anyone have the answer then?

Answered in the first post - in Jewish law, a woman is considered "married" if her husband takes a woman and has "intercourse" with her her - "intercourse" in this case defined as:
- Paid money [as a bride price],
- by contract [with her family as an arranged marriage], or
- by cohabitiation

(so a Jewish woman can be "married", and still a virgin).

BabyBear
26th Dec 2014, 21:56
All I'm suggesting now is that science, be it biochemistry, quantum mechanics, or molecular chemistry, has not provided me with an explanation of the nature of things which I can accept. Perhaps in the fullness of time it will. I'm not so sure.

Why, in the absence of zero evidence, do you choose to have faith until such times as science provides you with sufficient evidence (assuming it is possible)?

I genuinely cannot see the logic in choosing a faith based answer because science doesn't yet have the answers.

BB

Keef
26th Dec 2014, 22:02
So anyone have the answer then?

You mean to "If Mary and Josef were married, how come she was a virgin"?

The text says this:
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary.
(Luk 1:26-27)

and then a few verses later on:
Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I am a virgin?"
(Luk 1:34)


That's from the NRSV, which is probably the best modern translation of the original Greek. Checkboard gives some useful information about Jewish marriage practice (above).
My understanding is that they were engaged to be married, but not yet married (yet). They did marry later, because Jesus had brothers and sisters.

dingo9
26th Dec 2014, 22:08
Well that sorts that one out then.

JFZ90
26th Dec 2014, 22:13
What is your evidence that a human cannot live 930 years?

There is fairly reasonable empirical evidence available that suggests it is rather unlikely.

Do you literally accept that Adam did live 930 years as it is written in the book? Can I ask why are you willing to accept this?

I subscribe to a biological theory that belief is a key genetic feature of humans that has evolved - humans who believe (and all that entails) have proven over time to have survived better and hence it has become an established & success-related human trait to believe. In times gone by the unifying aspect of belief has no doubt favoured some religious groups in certain situations, and evolutionary biology has therefore cemented it in the successful gene pool. Having a belief in something has powered numerous individuals to achieve great things, and is a proven great motivator towards goals.

One twist I believe is however that you don't need to be religious to use your evolutionary belief gene to good effect and be successful. I have a strong belief in the evidence that contradicts any god as a plausible entity - based on my confidence in science in (trying) to find the best most convincing explanation to our environment, whilst noting its shortfalls and holes.

I don't consider myself to be a non-believer in this respect - I'm a strong believer with a developed sense of right and wrong, highly motivated to be a good person and lead a fulfilling and happy life. I firmly believe - and I consider I prove on a day to day basis - that this is entirely possible without religion. I don't ever discuss religion on a day to day basis with those that do believe, as I worry this may lead to conversations that cause unnecessary offence, and may therefore be at odds with being tolerant and an accepting human.

That said, when 130 children get massacred at their school in the name of religion, the line between "tolerance" and "evil happens when good men do nothing" does seem rather blurry.

Lancelot37
26th Dec 2014, 22:20
And you belive that? And where is JC now? Floating around in the clouds pulling the strings with his dad, god? If so they are not making a good job of the world. When things go right they praise god but they keep quiet when he kills thousands in the towers of N.Y.

Keef
26th Dec 2014, 22:26
Nope, not pulling strings.

Humans (even believers) have free will. If they want to go off and murder a few hundred children, they will. Most of us think that is totally unacceptable, evil, etc. But they have freedom to do it.

The argument then continues into "are we puppets, or thinking individuals?" and "are we predestined to do this or that anyway?"

Lancelot37
26th Dec 2014, 22:29
I'd rather believe in Father Christmas and the Loch Ness Monster, I've never heard anything as silly but if weak minds need religion so be it.

Checkboard
26th Dec 2014, 22:56
Do you literally accept that Adam did live 930 years as it is written in the book? Can I ask why are you willing to accept this?

Cellular Compound May Increase Lifespan Without the Need for Strict Dieting | Science/AAAS | News (http://news.sciencemag.org/biology/2014/05/cellular-compound-may-increase-lifespan-without-need-strict-dieting)

A New Path to Longevity - Scientific American (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/a-new-path-to-longevity/)

Do you believe that a human can NEVER, perhaps at some time in the future, live to 930 years?

Checkboard
26th Dec 2014, 22:58
I'd rather believe in Father Christmas and the Loch Ness Monster

och aye the noo and ho ho ho to you :ok:

con-pilot
26th Dec 2014, 22:58
Can't see any reasons for this thread to become insulting, subtle or not.

I am anti-religious, very much so, however, my belief in God (for lack of a better term) is totally unshakable. And I think there is room for humour, because God just has to have a sense of humor

But, I have no problem with those that do not believe in God, it’s your life after all.

Or, as we are talking about God, afterlife. :p

M.Mouse
26th Dec 2014, 23:01
I'd rather believe in Father Christmas and the Loch Ness Monster, I've never heard anything as silly but if weak minds need religion so be it.

I take your quote at random as one of many from non-believers in that it illustrates a tendency of those who do not believe to be rude and offensive to those who do have faith.

I do not believe in God for many personal reasons and I also intensely dislike fanatics of whatever religious persuasion. However, I feel no desire to be rude, offensive or to otherwise denigrate someone for their beliefs however implausible I find them (fanatics of whatever persuasion aside).

It is quite noticeable in these debates how the believers, in general, engage in polite debate but those who don't believe, in general, cannot resist throwing in the odd insult and often imply that believers are somehow irrational and stupid people.

It is not amusing, it is not clever and it is certainly not intelligent debate.

Lancelot37
26th Dec 2014, 23:07
And I think there is room for humour, because God just has to have a sense of humor (Humour)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

He must when you look at the mess that he has made of the world. Still, with the wars that religion creates it keeps people in jobs making weapons of destruction and we employs many in the armed forces throughout the world.

Which cloud is he floating on?

Lancelot37
26th Dec 2014, 23:09
Minnie Mouse, it's simply a way of showing how daft the whole concept of religion really is. It should have died out in the 1500s.

Shaggy Sheep Driver
26th Dec 2014, 23:10
It is quite noticeable in these debates how the believers, in general, engage in polite debate but those who don't believe, in general, cannot resist throwing in the odd insult and often imply that believers are somehow irrational and stupid people.

I've not observed that in this debate. There have been put-downs and ruffled feathers and civilised discussion from both sides of the argument.

And isn't it irrational to believe in something for which there is not one jot of evidence?

Religion is losing its grip on society and that's what one would expect. Back before humanity understood natural phenomena and their causes, and a lack of rain meant failure of the crop and subsequent starvation for many, they would make sacrifices to 'the gods' to bring rain. Today we know that'd be pointless. But then to 6 year old me, dragged off to mass every Sunday to witness a church full of adults parrot the same words from the same book they parrroted last Sunday and will next Sunday, well that seemed pretty pointless as well. Still does.

Religion doesn't answer any of 'The Big Questions'. It just ads a step (a deity), then moves them to the right.

con-pilot
26th Dec 2014, 23:14
because God just has to have a sense of humor (Humour)

Oh, terribly sorry, at times the early years of my English schooling still slips through, I'll fix that.

"And I think there is room for humor, because God just has to have a sense of humor."

That better? :p

rh200
27th Dec 2014, 00:32
because God just has to have a sense of humor

Like hell he doesn't, he invented grass, and then prickles, sadistic maybe, but still a sense of humor:p.

Oh thats right I'm an atheist, must be that pesky evolution thing again:ugh:

Loose rivets
27th Dec 2014, 03:13
I spent a long time writing The Perfect Code. It’s just a yarn, but I thought the main premise might be a fun model explaining the creation of our universe, and indeed its inhabitants. Perhaps fun is the wrong word because I suggest we humans are far from perfect and just a sub-set of the original design. I also suggest we were not even known about for countless millennia after the creation of the Universe and even then, it took a long time to realise how our world was turning out minds that were a green-field site for the building of unbiased thoughts, and perhaps eventually, souls. By unbiased, I mean unaffected by certain knowledge of a creator, as it has always seemed clear to me how vital it is that we don’t know for sure God exists.

On one of the protagonist’s walks and talks, he suddenly realises there’s an entirely different reason for the sacrifice of a visitor from outside this existence. I never actually mention Jesus of Nazareth, but what I do say is that the suffering was very real and indeed the being making the sacrifice always knew what the end would be like. That he should feel abandoned would seem to me to be entirely natural in the last hours of extreme suffering.

At my request, Keef was kind enough to send me links to three different interpretations of the Doctrine of the Atonement. I feel distinctly uneasy about one of them, but in the event, I decided to build in my own thoughts on the matter and it was with some reservations about what God would think about my arrogance. (That fellow traveller is always there, though so often I fail to listen to the clearest of guidance.) Anyway, I feel the free will Keef mentions above, has to have some limits and it’s not a forgone conclusion that a creator could calculate or even imagine the pain that an evolutionary code could program into beings that seem to revel in hacking each other to pieces. They have to be protected from themselves. There has to be a limit to pain.

My man spends a lot of time being very angry now he knows just how quickly all the suffering on Earth could be ended with the technology he has at his fingertips, and while I’d like to say that I believe such suffering is needed to create valuable minds, in truth I agonize over the subject. (I’m sorry, but I can’t think of a better word.) The suffering I learn about every day tears my belief system apart but while I’m trying look at reality from a modern viewpoint, I have to try to accept that what is, is for a reason. I just can’t accept Blind Watchmakers or any other form of complex structures coming from randomness.

obgraham
27th Dec 2014, 03:24
To answer the earlier question of how a presumably thinking person (me, naturally!) could embrace something for which there is no evidence:

The simple answer is that there are many things in the physical world incomprehensible to the human mind. The nature of life itself is perhaps one of these. If I separate myself from the constraints of time and space, then many ideas which defy logic become at least possible. That leads to the border between faith and humanism. Christian tradition is only one way of presenting these questions, and like Keef has stated, its basic texts have to be considered in the context of the time and place they were written.

Not for a minute do I ask others to reach similar conclusions. All I ask is that I not be insulted for mine. Many esteemed scientists have considered these same matters.Science and theology are not mutually exclusive.

421dog
27th Dec 2014, 03:38
I am a product of a scientific education, engaged in a scientific discipline to make a living.

I see no mutual exclusivity between belief in God and science.

Jesus, just look at the perfect way some things work, or the fact that some things, we think we've figured out, but a few pieces here and there just don't quite fit, or the fact that some things are needlessly beautiful.

I don't personally believe in fairies, but I'll be pretty surprised if there's not quite a bit more going on than meets the eye.

Pascal was a much smarter man than I, and I know that one way or another, he won his big bet.

MarcK
27th Dec 2014, 04:59
From Catch-22:
The God I don't believe in is a good God, a just God, a merciful God. He's not the mean and stupid God you make him out to be.

Mr Optimistic
27th Dec 2014, 07:07
One problem is that all religions were dominated at some stage by a motivated church ie a male committee. What resulted from their agreements is now orthodoxy. So any original revelations have been refracted into a manmade consensus.

B Fraser
27th Dec 2014, 07:12
If I can link science and religion for a moment, there is one awkward truth. The near perfect alignment of SI units. There are two dreadful conclusions. Gravity is slightly undercooked at 9.81 meters per second and God must be French.

probes
27th Dec 2014, 07:30
for me there's one big thing - did God really intend the church (=institution) to be as it is and has been? Keef?

Keef
27th Dec 2014, 07:43
for me there's one big thing - did God really intend the church (=institution) to be as it is and has been? Keef?

While I have no privileged information that isn't available to everyone, my inclination is to say "No, but it may be getting there." The mediaeval church, with leaders set on secular power and authority, seems to have missed the point in many ways. When I look at the present-day Anglican and Catholic churches, I have much more hope.

JFZ90
27th Dec 2014, 07:49
This is obviously a sensitive subject and difficult to discuss without the risk of offending some views.

I see no link or compatibility between science and religion/belief. Religion and belief systems do not - in my view - match even the most basic requirements for a scientific justification. Sure you can try and find clever interpretations to say they are not exclusive, but science heavily suggests alternative explanations (with evidence) that is highly contradictory to what is declared by many religions. These contradictions in themselves present significant difficulties in reconciling the two. The 930 year old human is but one example.

One thing is clear however, human belief dynamics are complex, and it is absolutely the case than you can be highly intelligent and also believe in god and religion. I don't understand it, but there are lots of clever people who provide ample evidence that intelligence and belief are not exclusive.

probes
27th Dec 2014, 08:01
thanks, Keef - maybe. Sure, there are lots of good priests and pastors, but the pompous are not extinct. And then, to think of the Orthodox Old Believers who had a major disagreement on how many fingers should be used for the sign of the cross, or the other separate branches started through the history, who all think they are the most right believers.

Ascend Charlie
27th Dec 2014, 08:05
Jesus was supposedly born a jew, and raised as such, because dad was the leader of the pack.

Why then did the renegade son break away from the mainstream of jews, and why did his followers abandon the basics of the jewish faith and go to worship on Sunday instead of Friday, start eating pork (thank you! I love my roast pork!) and shellfish and all the stuff that Big G had been making the troops avoid?

How can this "Christianity" be acceptable, if JC was meant to follow in Dad's footsteps and become a Rabbi?

Keef
27th Dec 2014, 08:31
Quite so, probes. There are many (most humans?) who get lost in the detail and work themselves up about relatively unimportant issues, and miss the important. There are questions that will keep philosophers happy (such as how many angels can dance on the head of a pin) but have very little relevance to most people.

Likewise, I don't worry about the aetiological stuff like how old Adam was, or where all those other people came from (Genesis chapter 6 will confuse those who think we're all descended from Adam, but don't get hung up on it). It needs to be read in it context. There are academics who have researched it in depth: it means little to the average person in the pew or the pulpit.

My mandate is much simpler - Matthew 28:18-20 and John 3:16. There is much, much more but that is the basis.

JFZ90 - yeeees, but... Science and religion (and their interplay) has fascinated me for many years. There are some very erudite people working on and in the field: I've sat and listened to them often - I just wish I had their grasp on the subject. Angela Tilby wrote a fascinating book about 20 years ago, called "Science and the Soul". John Polkinghorne wrote one a couple of years later called "Science and Christian Belief". Both are a good read.

Sallyann1234
27th Dec 2014, 08:41
Another one here with an education rooted in science and absolute provable values.

When trying to understand the creation of the universe I find it no more difficult to accept the existence of a supreme deity, than I do to think it started itself out of an infinitely small atom that came from an indescribable infinity. To my hopefully open mind, both seem equally un/likely.

And I pity those who think it fun to scoff at believers, and prate about sky fairies. They usually seem to be bullies looking for a soft target.

Tankertrashnav
27th Dec 2014, 09:35
But, I have no problem with those that do not believe in God, it’s your life after all.

Well said con. Would be nice if some of the "sky fairy" brigade took that tolerant attitude towards believers :*

funfly
27th Dec 2014, 09:52
As I said on the missing page 3, there is room for us all as long as we do not use our belief as an excuse for actions that most civilised people would consider wrong.

Shaggy Sheep Driver
27th Dec 2014, 09:58
I see no mutual exclusivity between belief in God and science.

Jesus, just look at the perfect way some things work, or the fact that some things, we think we've figured out, but a few pieces here and there just don't quite fit, or the fact that some things are needlessly beautiful.

To answer the earlier question of how a presumably thinking person (me, naturally!) could embrace something for which there is no evidence:

The simple answer is that there are many things in the physical world incomprehensible to the human mind. The nature of life itself is perhaps one of these.

Isn't that just saying "I don't understand how that came about, so there must have been a creator involved"? And if so, isn't that just lazy thinking? Fill the knowledge / understanding gap with a made-up entity for which there is no evidence? Not only that, but if you invent a creator you don't answer the question, because where did this creator come from? All you did was add a level of complexity that wasn't really there. See the cult of the spaghetti monster.

Why not just say "I don't understand how that came about" without feeling the need to make stuff up to explain it. What's wrong with saying "I just don't know. For now for me it's a mystery".

One thing is clear however, human belief dynamics are complex, and it is absolutely the case than you can be highly intelligent and also believe in god and religion. I don't understand it, but there are lots of clever people who provide ample evidence that intelligence and belief are not exclusive.

Amen to that. All I can say is that life has taught me that some very intelligent people don't always display common sense. The caricature of the brilliant scientist who goes out in the morning having forgotten to put his trousers on may be an exaggeration, but I'm sure we have all met folk who trend to that direction.

Sallyann1234
27th Dec 2014, 10:55
Isn't that just saying "I don't understand how that came about, so there must have been a creator involved"?

or equally,
"I don't understand how that came about, so there must be a non-creator explanation"

BabyBear
27th Dec 2014, 11:16
I don't accept they are equal.

BB

funfly
27th Dec 2014, 11:17
I'm reading a book called 'The Perfect Code'. Just can't put it down.
Brilliant.
FF

Loose rivets
27th Dec 2014, 11:38
Thanks. ;)


It occurred to me last night that the 400 or so folk in my tale live for around 1,000 years. The point being that they had to, so they could achieve the tasks they were designed for. I suppose the fact that Adam is credited with starting the human race allows him to have special physiology, though I'm not at all sure how it was degraded in his descendants. Bad living, perhaps.

It's an incredible fact that we could live much longer but there seems to be several 'devices' tuned to our three score years and ten. Even the lens in the eye, very necessary for survival in past times, seems to switch on a cataract. My mother was one case where when one eye was lost in surgery the other cataract cleared for many years. She was told this is not uncommon. So, could it be just another mechanism acting as an age-limiter?

My son sent me a computer generated cartoon of the inner workings of a human cell. The minute entities making their way about seem to demonstrate some sort of intelligence. This film is based on our limits for viewing such things without destroying them, so as yet, 'we' can't get into the minds of the little mechanisms.

The film is a stunning piece of work, so I'll try to find the link.




.

G-CPTN
27th Dec 2014, 11:41
The Perfect Code.

When Boeing captain William Grant hears an odd question in his headphones, he is too preoccupied with a storm to take much notice.
Later that night the same voice enters his mind, and he is just moments away from entering an entirely new reality.
The beings monitoring the development of the human race have been close by for millennia. Despite possessing very advanced technology, they occasionally seek out people who are naturally gifted with rare and often extraordinary abilities.
When Will is offered a chance to serve, he readily accepts—the alternative not tempting him for one moment.
Only their commander knows there is more to the soul of William Grant than her team can be told, but even she has to come to terms with Will’s unbreakable love for his widow.
Nothing will alter his resolve to be with his family again, despite knowing he could watch them grow old while he scarcely ages a day.

Sallyann1234
27th Dec 2014, 12:02
I don't accept they are equal

And I don't accept that they are not :)

Your view is entirely valid to you, but that doesn't mean it is more correct than anyone else's.

421dog
27th Dec 2014, 12:03
Why not just say "I don't understand how that came about" without feeling the need to make stuff up to explain it. What's wrong with saying "I just don't know. For now for me it's a mystery".

I didn't in any way say that I was inventing a construct to explain stuff I don't understand.

What I am saying is that there are so many things/phenomena that behave in ways that are outside our expectations based on the way everything else seems to fit together, very often to our benefit, that I can't help but suspect that there's just a bit more than a bunch of cosmic accidents going on.

Why doesn't a diminished 6th sound consonant?

Why are ligers and tigons extant and sometimes fertile, but humans can't produce offspring with any other species, despite much greater DNA homology?

What's the deal with water? Nothing else exists in all three phases at temperatures and pressures that are survivable.

The stuff that happens as the result of hydrogen bonding still hasn't all been adequately explained ( why is ice slippery? Why does diamond dust (IC) form instead of just snow? How come ice Ih is the predominant form on earth as opposed to amorphous ice which is what exists just floating around in the universe?

It's a bunch of wonderful stuff that we get to figure out scientifically, but the explanation of how something works is t the same as the reason why.

JFZ90
27th Dec 2014, 12:50
And I don't accept that they are not

Your view is entirely valid to you, but that doesn't mean it is more correct than anyone else's.

I think the point being made is that it is arguably not unreasonable to imply the probability of certain explanations are more likely than others.

We don't know what happened to MH370, but certain evidence suggests some explanations are more likely than those that are more outlandish e.g. alien abduction, despite a lot of missing evidence.

Why are events from 2000 years ago any different or to be somehow more revered than those of today?

I don't think it should be considered offensive to express the opinion that alien abduction of MH370 seems a lot less likely than other explanations. You can say it is just as likely as other explanations of course, but I think you can see the point about how that maybe perceived by some.

Sallyann1234
27th Dec 2014, 13:05
I think the point being made is that it is arguably not unreasonable to imply the probability of certain explanations are more likely than others.Yes JFZ I see the point all right. But again, the reasonable bit is in the eye of the beholder and modified by the beholder's own experiences and prejudices.
I have yet to see a reasonable (to me) explanation from the Hawkings of this world for the beginning of the universe. That may of course be due to the limitations of my own comprehension rather than the accuracy of their theories. But for the moment I think it unreasonable to accept that the big bang came about out of nothing and nowhere. Until someone can explain that to me I consider it just as unreasonable as the supreme being theory.

I'm not of course saying that a supreme being theory justifies the details printed in any particular holy book - although the 'be nice to each other' texts are most attractive if one can only get people to follow them.

Mr Optimistic
27th Dec 2014, 13:18
Ah, the tiny human specks think they will be able to determine the process by which the universe was created and then even 'understand'. Isn't going to happen, at least in the time before the sun goes rogue. Maybe cosmology is really just an intellectual excursion played out within the scientific rules as known at any one time, and not science per se (is cosmologists should get proper jobs)?

funfly
27th Dec 2014, 13:29
Science has never been able to explain how, when a single cell splits into two - thus making two identical cells, each cell communicates with the other and based on that information has to take a decision about its own development.

When you think about it this, 'communication' has to take place in order for cells to become different and this has to apply to all subsequent cells.

The technical side of cell division is well researched but this need for each cell to taken a decision and how it arrives at that decision has never been explained. Consider that any cell has to communicate with others to locate their own position in the process.

Now that's as close to a miracle as it comes.

FF

Mr Optimistic
27th Dec 2014, 13:38
I think you are in danger of an anthropomorphic fallacy there. Ultimately chemistry does that job. If we can't fathom the details, so be it, but the framework is there. Origin of everything is in a bigger league perhaps? 'Understand' is a tricky word and only means something within a limited context. Life is the story of loss and religion mitigates against a why bother attitude so perhaps our biology and the survival of the species gives a mechanism for acceptance and hope?

Shaggy Sheep Driver
27th Dec 2014, 15:00
There are lots of things science can't explain (yet), and lots of things it has come up with pretty believable explanations for, and some stuff that is less peer-accepted such as big bang and other cosmological theories.

But science never says "this is the truth, and therefore you should believe it". It is always open to someone else challenging it.

Some clever men have been persecuted and murdered by the church in the past for shining light on superstitious darkness - after all, they were challenging a serious power base and that always leads to trouble.

But I doubt there's an educated person alive today who truly believes that the Sun orbits the Earth.

BabyBear
27th Dec 2014, 15:04
And I don't accept that they are not

Your view is entirely valid to you, but that doesn't mean it is more correct than anyone else's.

Everyone is certainly entitled to a view, to suggest all views are equally valid is certainly incorrect.:)

In the case in question the evidence is strongly in favour of one explanation.

Loose rivets
27th Dec 2014, 15:06
Gosh, there is so much here that has filled my mind for years. Position and communication between cells?

I suppose there is just the remotest chance there is another form of communication. A fifth force. Ghostly action at a distance. Much as I like the notion, I’m inclined to think there is not, but consider the way in which certain components in the brain seem to travel to an address which becomes permanent before bursting into life. I’ll risk saying it’s mind-blowing. It’s as though it knows its position relative to the rest of the brain, and to make ‘chemistry’ a broad answer in this case would be woefully inadequate. There just has to more to it.

This clip explains a huge amount, but there are two problems. The question I posed earlier: are the little entities intelligent in their own right and if so, how far down do we go to get to the prime instruction set? It’s much easier to think they’re being remote controlled.

The other thing is the difficulty in believing what we’re seeing.

I fear this wonderful production will do little to help with the latter.


Secret Universe The Hidden Life of a Cell HD 720p - Video Dailymotion (http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x10ui7t_secret-universe-the-hidden-life-of-a-cell-hd-720p_school)

Sallyann1234
27th Dec 2014, 15:08
In the case in question the evidence is strongly in favour of one explanation.
And that explanation is...?

BabyBear
27th Dec 2014, 15:31
Well, the explanation that does not favour a creator, of course.;)

Which by definition makes that view more likely to be correct. In other words the two views are not equally likely to be the explanation.:)

I will reiterate though that people are entitled to their own view.:ok:

Loose rivets
27th Dec 2014, 15:40
Then there's the issue of space. The only comment I can make is that I try to urge young inquiring minds to truly grasp the concept of nothing. So many times they imagine space expanding into something - or somewhere. There is nothing there, oh, until perhaps, a creator And then along comes the singularity - an entity that suddenly unpacks. That's if the Big Bang model is right.

In Brief History, the then Pope asked Hawking not to work back to the big bang - the moment of creation, or before. He was too late, but I doubt the professor could have got a clear picture of 'before'.

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=GhFNzTQGSvIC&pg=PA100&lpg=PA100&dq=pope+kneels+before+hawking&source=bl&ots=e7a3pa1pYJ&sig=dEz96-hS50VG1cLIXYL6coMdgUg&hl=en&sa=X&ei=5NqeVM2FCci3UZrjgbAL&ved=0CCEQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=pope%20kneels%20before%20hawking&f=false

BabyBear
27th Dec 2014, 15:47
I try to urge young inquiring minds to truly grasp the concept of nothing.

Not an easy thing to grasp, to help youngsters grasp it....best of luck.:):ok:

Sallyann1234
27th Dec 2014, 17:09
Well, the explanation that does not favour a creator, of course.In other words, you are accepting Unproven Explanation #1 against Unproven Explanation #2.
You say "of course" because your predisposition is to favour an explanation that avoids the existence of a creator. You haven't given any proof of Explanation #1, but it suits you because it confirms what you want to hear.

Which by definition makes that view more likely to be correct. ... in your own mind.

It is a perfectly valid opinion to have, but it is only an opinion. Others are equally entitled to theirs, which at least is something we can agree on. :O

BabyBear
27th Dec 2014, 17:48
It is a perfectly valid opinion to have, but it is only an opinion. Others are equally entitled to theirs, which at least is something we can agree on.

Certainly equally entitled to an opinion, but that does not make it equally valid. Far from it.

You haven't given any proof of Explanation #1, but it suits you because it confirms what you want to hear.

If we were talking of proofs there wouldn't be differing opinions, so why do you expect a proof?:bored: As far as favouring any particular viewpoint due to being what I want to hear, I say again: far from it.

The evidence is in experience. The countless number of seemingly unfathomable problems, many of which eventually turned out to be straight forward to understand, which have been fully explained and proven by science to have natural explanations supports a non creator.

On the other hand there has never in history been a single case of an 'unfathomable' being explained and proven by supernatural forces.

To suggest the two views are equally likely to explain a current unfathomable is not logically correct.

Do you seriously believe they are, I've assumed you've been playing devil's advocate so far?:O

Science is very often misunderstood. The objective of science is to determine the truth, whatever it may be. Science is not out to disprove the existence of God.

In my experience religion is hell bent on self preservation irrespective of what the truth is. I personally find it very telling that a major argument for the existence of God is the inability to disprove his/her existence. A rather telling and negative argument, don't you think?:)

Rosevidney1
27th Dec 2014, 18:01
A book I can freely recommend is The Supernatural A-Z by James Randi.

G-CPTN
27th Dec 2014, 18:02
What percentage of the World's population believe in 'God'?

I appreciate that some faiths have multiple Gods whilst others have a different God to that which we seem to be discussing here.

Is it because some societies (if you can call them that) haven't been indoctrinated by 'missionaries' - or do some of the primitive communities believe, nevertheless, in the existence of a superior being that determines their destiny? (It could be that that superior being is an inanimate object.)

If faiths evolved separately in different societies, is that proof of the existence of a common superior being - or is it that humans invent a superior being in order to explain that which they cannot explain?

We shall probably never know what the non-human species on Earth believe in (apart from recognising that some animals dominate their lives in some way).
Do amoebae give worship to creatures with living entities such as insects and molluscs?

Nobody would claim that an octopus lacked intelligence.
Likewise, ants organise themselves into colonies - do they have moral rectitude and ethics?

BabyBear
27th Dec 2014, 18:07
We shall probably never know what the non-human species on Earth believe in

Oh I think we already do...;)

Nobody would claim that an octopus lacked intelligence

Steady on I don't know we understand what intelligence is in humans yet.:)

Shaggy Sheep Driver
27th Dec 2014, 18:09
It's pretty much impossible to prove a negative. I know there are no such things as ghosts, but I can't prove it; my belief stems from 100% lack of any evidence for their existence at all. Same for fairys.

Astrology is an easier piece of bunkum to shoot down as it can be proved that the gravitational effect of planetary alignments are completely swamped and negated by the gravitational effects of much nearer objects such as beds, tables, chairs, and midwives.

Everyone is entitled to as many opinions as they want, but that doesn't mean they have to be considered as valid. One would expect to see some proof or evidence before giving them credence.

If someone tells me (as someone in all seriousness once did) that they went for a walk on the moors and met a little green spaceman climbing out of a flying saucer that had just landed, I reserve the right to consider them delusional.

highflyer40
27th Dec 2014, 18:12
sallyann -

there are already numerous theories that solve the Big Bang from nothing problem (of course they just create other something from nothing problems) the multiverse says that new universes bubble off from existing universes forming new universes, and there are many other theories. obviously every theory has to start from nothing,BUT that is only if you accept time as a concept, but time is just a human construct, at the moment of the Big Bang the laws of physics break down so time doesn't exist.

religious folk love this Big Bang from nothing conundrum, but the fact is they have the same problem... you can't just claim that HE has been here for infinity, even if he created everything, then where do HE come from originally?

Mr Optimistic
27th Dec 2014, 18:29
Seemed odd to be in a carol service honouring Yahweh, the Israelite god of war, surrounded by the symbolism of meek flocks and other victoriana.

JFZ90
27th Dec 2014, 18:36
If faiths evolved separately in different societies, is that proof of the existence of a common superior being - or is it that humans invent a superior being in order to explain that which they cannot explain?


You are hitting on a point raised earlier - in my view the need for belief is a fundamental human genetic feature - developed through evolution. Humans who have had a common "belief" have through time been success in groups. This is key feature of our dominance of the planet.

As such what is actually believed in is secondary to the motivating power & reassurance of having a belief. This is consistent with humans through time and all around the world, and reflected in the fact that many different religions are very different indeed (multiple gods etc.) and also in the fact that humans can also have a strong "belief" in science and reject the validity of any religion as having any basis in fact.

The real reinforcement of this is that religion is of course just a human creation - religion has been invented by humans, and only feature in that species. It is literally a figment of our - admittedly powerful - imagination. I'm not sure there is a practical difference between the guys who wrote the bible etc. x thousand years ago and what David Icke today might think is the answer to life and the universe. Obviously the guys from the past have had considerable success in persuading many to follow their world view.

421dog
27th Dec 2014, 18:38
So the idea that "in the beginning was The Word" (not a tangible thing) which was "With God"(the idea of a thing) and subsequently " Was God" (A{The}Thing) actually describes the conundrum eloquently. Doesn't try to invoke pixies or anything, just states the observation/presumption quite nicely.

That being said, religion, specifically Judeo-Christian traditions serve another, much more important purpose. They codify, in what is actually a fairly logical fashion, moral development.

This is a good thing, because the best we're ever gonna do with nothing but laws is the least common denominator.

I'm not really interested in hanging out with a bunch of people whose only motivation not to behave badly is the threat of punishment.

That is all that the state can mandate, and it incentivizes poor behavior in people who should know better, not just in those in whom we have no higher expectation.

JFZ90
27th Dec 2014, 18:45
This is a good thing, because the best we're ever gonna do with nothing but laws is the least common denominator.

I'm not really interested in hanging out with a bunch of people whose only motivation not to behave badly is the threat of punishment.

That is all that the state can mandate, and it incentivizes poor behavior in people who should know better, not just in those in whom we have no higher expectation.

I think this is one of the offensive fallacies of the believers in religion - that those who do not subscribe to the same beliefs are somehow lacking in compassion. Humans capacity for compassion is not linked to religion - indeed there are numerous examples where it is severely lacking in those in the church.

Furthermore - are you really saying that if you did not have religion would you have no compassion for your fellow humans?

421dog
27th Dec 2014, 18:49
And to those who would state that Christian religion merely adds a layer of, possibly theoretical, punishment in the form of damnation, I would add this:
The stated standard of mere salvation is impossibly low.

All that is asked is that one ascribe to the belief in a (the) savior and try not to make a dog's breakfast of it.

Of course, as one screws up less, this gets harder, but that's the beauty of the construct.

Mr Optimistic
27th Dec 2014, 18:54
Does my cat have the need to understand it's own existence or rationalise the decisions made throughout her life or ponder on her destiny? Is that because there is a lack of self-awareness? Something happened in evolution 100000 years ago which wrenched our species out of the common slough. We became self-aware and the concepts of regret and guilt were born.

BabyBear
27th Dec 2014, 18:56
This is a good thing, because the best we're ever gonna do with nothing but laws is the least common denominator.

I'm not really interested in hanging out with a bunch of people whose only motivation not to behave badly is the threat of punishment.

What a sadly cynical and somewhat offensive view 421dog.

I can assure you that as a non believer it is not the threat of punishment that keeps me moral.

Mr Optimistic
27th Dec 2014, 19:03
Social behaviour is not connected to religion. It is based on social organisation, tribalism being an example. Hunters needed to coordinate. Agriculture spread the organisation wider. To be an outlaw was to be outside the accepted law: you could be killed without the need to pay the blood geld.

421dog
27th Dec 2014, 19:07
I think this is one of the offensive fallacies of the believers in religion - that those who do not subscribe to the same beliefs are somehow lacking in compassion. Humans capacity for compassion is not linked to religion - indeed there are numerous examples where it is severely lacking in those in the church.

Furthermore - are you really saying that if you did not have religion would you have no compassion for your fellow humans?

No. You're missing the point.

There are all sorts of morally advanced people running around the world with all sorts of belief systems.

My point is, in Christian theology, the game is rigged.

2000 years of people a heck of a lot smarter than you or me have continually maintained and expanded upon the message that we should strive to be better.

There isn't a flat standard. Those who would stone the whores should examine their sins first, while the "rich" need to think about camels and needles.

What I'm saying is. we all need to acknowledge that we can be better. The Orthodox Church (with apologies) says that this can be taken a step further by mandating that we acknowledge that we all suck, which may well be the case, and that we are nothing without forgiveness which can only be obtained by admitting our flaws and trying to get better.

Either of those constructs sounds like a recipe for a much better world than one in which The Law says you've got a 25% chance of going to jail if you commit a violent felony, or "The Prophet" says you're gonna have a bunch of virgins in paradise for blowing yourself up and doing in a bunch of schoolgirls.

Yup. I do think there's a little moral dry ground hereabouts...

JFZ90
27th Dec 2014, 19:11
All that is asked is that one ascribe to the belief in a (the) savior

Who is asking that you ascribe? A fellow human? Who told him, and how is that word somehow worth more than any other story?

No. You're missing the point.

There are all sorts of morally advanced people running around the world with all sorts of belief systems.

My point is, in Christian theology, the game is rigged.

2000 years of people a heck of a lot smarter than you or me have continually maintained and expanded upon the message that we should strive to be better.

There isn't a flat standard. Those who would stone the whores should examine their sins first, while the "rich" need to think about camels and needles.

What I'm saying is. we all need to acknowledge that we can be better. The Orthodox Church (with apologies) says that this can be taken a step further by mandating that we acknowledge that we all suck, which may well be the case, and that we are nothing without forgiveness which can only be obtained. Y admitting our flaws and trying to get better.

Either of those constructs sounds like a recipe for a much better world than one in which The Law says you've got a 25% chance of going to jail if you commit a violent felony, or "The Prophet" says you're gonna have a bunch of virgins in paradise for blowing yourself up.

Yup. I do think there's a little moral dry ground hereabouts...

I'm not sure if you understood my post, but no matter how much you might want it to, or have been told it does, religion does not have any kind of monopoly on moral behaviour and furthermore it is extremely offensive to suggest it does.

Indeed, over those 2000 years quite the opposite is the case in sometimes a truely horrific fashion. Look at the inquisitions and the poor Cathars, not to mention the current persecution and discrimination against homosexuality in the church.

In deriding "the prophet", you are of course saying "my religion is better than another one". Moral dry ground indeed.

Mr Optimistic
27th Dec 2014, 19:11
How about you stop looking for others to give you 'the answers' and start looking inside yourself to figure what you yourself think? PS there are no answers.

421dog
27th Dec 2014, 19:21
Who is asking that you ascribe? A fellow human? Who told him, and how is that word somehow worth more than any other story?
I dunno.

I don't really care.


I have my own issue with belief in a dead guy coming back to life 2000 years ago, but, that being said, the fact that a society can be a hell of a lot more pleasant in which to exist when the state isn't trying to legislate morality, and in which I don't have to worry about some pervert legally screwing my kids with a clear conscience is a good thing.

In deriding "the prophet", you are of course saying "my religion is better than another one". Moral dry ground indeed.

Yup, I am.

I am at the stage of moral development (define it as you will) where I find it unacceptable, under any circumstances, to murder children. My religion, even under such torsion as "just war theory" has a remarkably hard time justifying this.

What I AM saying, is that Christianity has resulted in a remarkable amount of good in the world.

I am not saying that everything done under its aegis is right, but I think that the world is a much better place than it would be in its absence.

421dog
27th Dec 2014, 19:55
I'm not sure if you understood my post, but no matter how much you might want it to, or have been told it does, religion does not have any kind of monopoly on moral behaviour and furthermore it is extremely offensive to suggest it does.


Please suspend your offense long enough to hear my point:

I have no doubt that the Dali Lama, Mahatma Ghandi, The Buddah and a slew of other secular guys had it all figured out.

WHAT I AM SAYING is this:

Christianity is unique in that it doctrinally takes people at a certain level of moral development and challenges them to get better.

No other major religion does this.

Certainly, no secular legal system is capable of this, or, indeed would be tolerable, should any attempt be made to impose it upon a society.

I'm sure you're a good person. Probably a lot better than me in most ways.

But guess what, we can both be better.

As Bluto said:

It don't cost nothin...

JFZ90
27th Dec 2014, 20:34
421, you seem to really believe that your religion has some sort of monopoly on encouraging one to be a better person.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

I'm sure many are always considering ways to be a better boss/father/husband etc. and have no need for religion to seek out ways of bettering themselves.

If your religion encourages that, then good for you/it, but you should not infact need a religion to do it. Why do you need to be told to be a good person? You don't. Why do you think society needs to enforce it through law? It doesn't.

PS several hundred years ago now, but in its time your religion has slaughtered tens of thousands of people through intolerance of other religions. This is hundred of years after the hallowed book was written however. How does that work then?

421dog
27th Dec 2014, 21:24
You should actually read what I wrote, and try not to view it through a jaundiced lens.

I do feel, abstractly as well as personally that the world is a much better place because of Christianity, specifically for the reasons I laid out.

Clearly, I feel that legislated morality is not a good idea, and just as clearly, I am not aware of any other moral construct that is as effective in its insistence on the self improvement of its adherents. as is Christianity.

I'm certainly open to prostelytization by adherents of other belief systems, and I freely acknowledge the downsides of this one, but I challenge anyone to make a cogent argument that

1)The world would be better off in the absence of Christianity

or

2) That Man can function optimally absent an abstract, but well elucidated moral code replete with mores and taboos.


If we can rely on each other not to be prikcs, we can enjoy a great deal more freedom.

If we need to have a law that says, in essence, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you", it sort of defeats the purpose, and we are all reduced to a very basic moral level.

This may be comfortable for some, but most people can be trusted to exercise a bit more self control.

Keef
27th Dec 2014, 21:29
I see interesting points above.

Something is extremely offensive - yes, I can see that. Some of what the more aggressive atheists say about sky fairies and the like is extremely offensive to those who have a faith. Courtesy is a two-way street (or should be).

Christianity isn't about "being a good person" or otherwise. It's about the response to Christ. The moral compass is part of that response, and the excesses of those in past centuries who abused the church structure for their own motives do not (or should not) invalidate the principles.

421dog
27th Dec 2014, 21:40
My point exactly.

I got a B in a college religion class when I wrote an essay attempting to elucidate that exact sentiment, and my professor, who's father had been great friends with C.S. Lewis, and upon said knee he had been dawdled multiple times, took offense at my description of Lewis' defense of general, non-denominational Christianity as "Machiavellian"

Didn't mean anything bad by it, but hey...

JFZ90
27th Dec 2014, 21:57
I challenge anyone to make a cogent argument that....man can function optimally absent an abstract, but well elucidated moral code replete with mores and taboos.


You seem to be saying that I - as an atheist - am not able to function optimally as I lack religion.

I hope you can see why this is offensive.

I'm not sure which part of your post you think I am misreading, I think I understand you sentiment correctly, and I'm afraid I find it somewhat judgemental and of course I disagree with the implication I am somehow inferior to someone who is christian. If christianity is challenging you to be a better person, why are you being offensive towards me - a fellow human?

I do not think I have made any offensive statements, yet I have been accused of being jaundiced (why? as I disagree?).

The moral compass is part of that response, and the excesses of those in past centuries who abused the church structure for their own motives do not (or should not) invalidate the principles.


The head of the church pope innocent iii instigated action such as 20,000 massacred in one town (Beziers) for their beliefs, around 800 years ago. The 20,000 even included many catholics as it was deemed so important to make sure all the (peaceful) dualist cathar heretics were killed and they could not be distinguished. This is historical fact; essentially the bible then and now were the same, so there are some challenging issues about that moral compass here.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massacre_at_B%C3%A9ziers

obgraham
27th Dec 2014, 22:17
The excesses of the Inquisition, Beziers, what have you have nothing to do with the Bible.
They were actions determined and carried out by men. Extremely fallible men. Claiming they were religious truths does not make them so. (For reference, see "Islamics")

But, I digress.

Quite simply, can someone espousing active opposition to religion give me an explanation of what it is that drives your moral standards? I'm not suggesting any degree of inferiority or superiority -- but I want to understand what it is that separates humans from lesser creatures, where the goal in life is simply self preservation and replication, devoid of any "higher calling".

JFZ90
27th Dec 2014, 22:38
what it is that drives your moral standards

I do not actively oppose religion, but can answer your question rather simply; compassion.

Compassion - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compassion)

Whilst adopted and promoted by nearly all religions, it is a fundamental human trait that exists to an extremely powerful extent without religion.

It is sometimes portrayed as "belonging" to religion - and indeed Matthew 7.12 is perhaps the best known "do unto others" etc. phrase that captures the intent - but it predates Christianity and is a much more fundamental characteristic of humans with or without religion.



PS I'm not sure how you can say what the pope did as head of the catholic church has nothing to do with the Bible?

421dog
27th Dec 2014, 23:03
I'm not sure which part of your post you think I am misreading, I think I understand you sentiment correctly, and I'm afraid I find it somewhat judgemental and of course I disagree with the implication I am somehow inferior to someone who is christian.

I would hope you're not as thick as you're letting on to be.



I have never said anything about religious people being more moral.

What I am saying, is that Christianity, (not religion in general), challenges, or even philosophically requires men at whatever level of moral development to be better than they are.

You may well be at a moral level I'll never see.

I hope that's true, because the world is a better place with you.

On the other hand, my assertion that the basic tenants of Christianity would likely challenge you to become even better than you already are continue to ring true.

BabyBear
27th Dec 2014, 23:05
I'm not suggesting any degree of inferiority or superiority -- but I want to understand what it is that separates humans from lesser creatures, where the goal in life is simply self preservation and replication, devoid of any "higher calling".

The error is in the understanding of the extent and consequence of the differences. If you consider humans as animals with differences no more physically significant than differences between other animals, problem solved.

Loose rivets
28th Dec 2014, 01:39
I'll just pop this in because I promised something like it. After an hour or so, my son had shown me some of his teaching notes that showed transport of material objects between a synapse and it's associated cell. It seems 'we' now know that there is some reverse traffic.

The point of this is that knowing this complexity makes me more inclined to believe in a designer than think it's the product of Dawkins' Blind Watchmaker.

This is a fairly serious pdf which may be of interest. It's just arrived so I haven't read it yet. However, I gather the mechanisms in the computer generated graphics are deduced from works such as this.

Orf to bed. My mind is boggled.

http://alford.bios.uic.edu/download%20folder/neus501/ch008_sb.pdf

Shaggy Sheep Driver
28th Dec 2014, 07:40
The point of this is that knowing this complexity makes me more inclined to believe in a designer

So where 'the designer' come from?

See, you didn't answer the conundrum by introducing the concept of a designer. You just added an extra level of unnecessary complexity.

Keef
28th Dec 2014, 08:21
I used to say that all the time when I worked in the car business. Pesky designers ... all creative, and artistic, and insistent and full of ideas.

Discorde
28th Dec 2014, 10:28
funfly - it's not as simple as that, not by a long way. Have a read of Tom McLeish's "Faith & Wisdom", and Dietrich Bonhoeffer's "Sanctorum Communio" (the second is easier to follow if you read it in German).

Here's an excerpt from the novella 'It's Not As Simple As That', which looks at the way of the world through the eyes of a 12-year-old lad:

<<The best teacher at my school is Bob Hollis. We get him for history and geography. He tells us amazing stuff. He got told off by Mrs Bellwood for teaching us that Jesus Christ was just a political activist like John Lennon, who used to be a rock singer until he got shot. Mrs Bellwood does RE. Her opinion is that Jesus was the son of God but let's face it - where's the evidence? Why wasn't his mother a God too? According to the New Bible we have to read the Christs were a poor family - Jesus was born in a stable with a load of animals. Not very cool for the son of God. These miracles he did - pretty simple stuff, changing water into wine, feeding loads of people with a few fish sandwiches. Okay, he is supposed to have brought some bloke back to life but was he really dead in the first place? Was Jesus really dead when he did the same trick on himself?

Is there a God for Jesus to be son of? And who created God? And who created the person who created God? If someone created the universe they made a pretty crap job of it. What's the point of having diseases? Why do people get dozy as they get older? Why can't people get smarter and healthier instead? Why do people have to die anyway? What's the point of earthquakes and droughts and floods? Why are so many grown-ups so miserable or so shitty? It's true, you know. You never get children who are as miserable or as shitty as grown-ups. Mrs Bellwood gets annoyed when you say this stuff. She says you have to have faith in God. Doesn't seem like much of a deal to me. The best way for God to make you believe in him would be to beam down to earth in the middle of the World Cup final. You couldn't argue with that.

Charlie doesn't believe in God. She says why do people use the Bible to tell us what to do when it was written 2000 years ago by people who thought the earth was flat and floods were God's punishment for being bad. But Martin says some people need God to help them when they're unhappy and it's wrong to tell these people that God doesn't exist.

Charlie reckons religion is a con trick. You tell people to put up with being poor or having a shitty life because when you die you go straight to heaven and live happily ever after. She says that religion is used as political control but I don't really know what that means. She laughed when I told her what Bob Hollis said about more people have been killed in the name of God than any other reason. My Dad says Mr Hollis is a subversive. I think that's like a boat that can go under water like a small submarine. I can't see the connection myself.

There's one thing I like about religion and that's the music although of course I wouldn't dare admit it to my friends. They already take the piss because I do piano lessons with Miss Hochdorfer who's an old foreign woman. If there's no-one at home I watch services on the telly. Some of the hymns have terrific tunes, even if the words are stupid. Don't laugh, but I've even made up some hymn tunes myself. I play them on my sister's Yamaha which can store stuff in its memory. I even tried to think of words in church-type English. One went:

Jesus thou art son of God
Upon this impious world thou trod
Thou fed the throng with crumbs of bread
Pray guard my soul when I be dead

I don't know what 'impious' means or even how you're supposed to say it but it looks good. On the radio on Wednesday afternoons they have choral evensong from one of the big cathedrals. The music is brilliant. One minute you get chanting - plainsong I think it's called, then you get these brill anthems with full harmony. Last Easter the junior classes went to hear the St Matthew Passion at St Paul's Cathedral. It was fantastic although of course I had to pretend it was boring like the other kids. I even did a mega fart to make the others laugh but I did it in one of the quiet bits rather than a chorus. (They wouldn't have heard it if I'd done it in a chorus anyway.)

My Dad says he's a Christian but he never goes to church. He says he doesn't go because lots of people who go to church are snobs who think they're superior to other people. So, I said, what about all people being equal in the eyes of God, which is what Mrs Bellwood told us. Also, why do they send out loads of planes and helicopters when someone falls off a boat in the Channel but no-one seems to be bothered when thousands of Bangladesh people get drowned in floods. Guess what Dad said. The usual answer. 'It's not as simple as that'.>>

Stanwell
28th Dec 2014, 13:18
Keef,
I salute you.
Your posts have always been the voice of reason and charity.

In my case, as the first-born of an Irish Catholic family, I was fully expected to join the priesthood (unbeknown to me). That's how it was in those days.

These days, though, I'm a fervent agnostic. Why? Because I've taken note of the strife that organised religion has, and is, caused/ing to our societies.

Now, should I want to go somewhere and have a one-way conversation with my own personal sky pixie, then that's fine but I wouldn't be running around telling everybody that I've seen the light - as some people feel compelled to do.

As for the followers of Islam, I think that's being covered on a couple of other threads.


Keep up the good work, mate.
Cheers.

Discorde
28th Dec 2014, 14:46
<<I got to thinking - when we used to say our prayers when I was a kid I used to pray for Mum and Dad and Granny and Grandad Fielding and Granny Forester and Uncle Maurice and Auntie Jessica and my disgusting sisters and all my friends and that. Then I used to pray for sick people and poor people, like I was taught. But then I thought that's unfair - what about all the billions of people you leave out. What happens to them? Okay, maybe they've got their own families to pray for them but you can see it's bloody complicated. Suppose someone gets missed out? Why doesn't everyone just pray for everyone else so it all evens out? Anyway, if God was as terrific as they make out he would want to help people without being asked to. So why bother with prayers anyway?>>

Shaggy Sheep Driver
28th Dec 2014, 15:06
Ha! Discorde, that's a teeny weeny bit of a massive can of worms you are set to open there! One could go on forever asking logical questions like that. What amazes me is that so many don't!

And if you were god, would you be minded to grant favors to those who constantly whinge at you, tugging your sleeve, to help them, or to those who just 'get on with it'?

And what an odd concept - a deity who is 'all knowing' (apparently) yet can be swayed to favor someone or grant something if they nag him enough!

It doesn't make any kind of sense, does it? Yet today churches were packed with people nagging their god to do stuff for them!

I'll never understand it. Didn't at age 6, don't now. It's bolleux!

funfly
28th Dec 2014, 15:08
Discorde,
:ok:


FF

funfly
28th Dec 2014, 15:12
My wife was a nurse, despite being epeleptic she worked her way to a senior ward sister looking after adults with severe mental handicaps. She was one of those dedicated people who we all have to admire.
She retired at age 54 and within 6 months of her well earned rest she died of cancer.
Part of some mysterious plan eh God?

obgraham
28th Dec 2014, 15:59
Sorry, slow responding here -- had to, you know, sleep.

JVZ90:

What you are saying is that "compassion" is innate to humanness, and forms the basis of morality. Correct?

Well how does that explain the willingness of humans to sacrifice in the extreme, as in military activity, or the willingness of a mother to give up her life for her child? How does one express compassion, if one is dead?

To me the foundation of this "extreme" morality is to be found in religious tradition, wherever it is. I think a person would have to have blinders to not accept that Judeo-Christian ethics has driven most of Western culture, morality, and history. Innate compassion will not do it. Whether one individual chooses to believe in that basis is up to him.

funfly
28th Dec 2014, 16:35
I think a person would have to have blinders to not accept that Judeo-Christian ethics has driven most of Western culture, morality, and history.

This is an area where many of us would say "Of course". Religion is the most powerful tool to control human society.

What we 'unbelievers' cannot agree with is not the ethics or morality preached by the churches but events that we just cannot believe happened and events that religious people unquestionably believe.

As I think Keef has said, Christians are not people who do good things but people who believes that Christ was the son of God, result of a virgin birth, died on the cross for our sins and that babies are all born with sin which backdates to an event with Adam.

And I'm convinced there is room for all. It's living together in peace and understanding that has proved difficult for the human race over the years.

We can't just say it's the extreme Muslims, recent history in Ireland illustrates that killing has been seen as justified between rival Christian groups.

Discorde
28th Dec 2014, 17:02
If God can occasionally violate the laws of nature (parthenogenesis, resurrection, ascension and the like) why doesn't he prevent natural disasters? Why doesn't he prevent man's inhumanity to man?

I would agree with those who suggest that religion is intellectually unsound and that God is man's invention rather than the other way round. Bertrand Russell was asked by a journalist what his reply would be if after death he found himself at the Pearly Gates with St Peter asking him why he hadn't believed in God. Russell's answer: 'Insufficient evidence'.

To those who ask: 'What is the purpose of life? What is the purpose of the Universe?' the answer might be: 'None whatsoever'.

<<Like I told you before, I don't normally bother much about religious stuff. But what about this - in the New Bible Jesus Christ always hangs around with poor people and sick people and that. So he obviously preferred them to rich people and important people. Is that why churches are big fancy buildings with loads of coloured windows and statues? Cos obviously they must have loads of money to pay for stuff like that. You see, if they gave their money to the poor people they wouldn't be poor anymore so they wouldn't be the sort of people Jesus liked. So they spend the money on other stuff instead. It makes sense to me. So therefore the answer to Hicksy's question is 'no' - it's wrong for rich people to give their money to poor people, despite what Martin says.

Mind you, people round here wouldn't want Jesus hanging around anyway, not when he looks like a foreigner. Even if he was wearing normal clothes they wouldn't like the long hair and the beard. They'd say he was an asylum seeker or a terrorist and they'd tell him to go back to where he came from.>>

Gertrude the Wombat
28th Dec 2014, 17:09
Didn't do them much good did it?
Certainly not the ones who were being burned alive by the agents of god for offending against god.

(Of course once we've dealt with all the "ah, but, those weren't real agents of god" replies we're back to "Communism, like Christianity, is one of those good ideas that nobody has yet got round to trying out".)

JFZ90
28th Dec 2014, 18:49
What you are saying is that "compassion" is innate to humanness, and forms the basis of morality. Correct?



Yes, I think that morality is fundamentally built in. It must be otherwise atheists wouldn't care about anyone - which is not the case.



Well how does that explain the willingness of humans to sacrifice in the extreme, as in military activity, or the willingness of a mother to give up her life for her child? How does one express compassion, if one is dead?

To me the foundation of this "extreme" morality is to be found in religious tradition, wherever it is. I think a person would have to have blinders to not accept that Judeo-Christian ethics has driven most of Western culture, morality, and history. Innate compassion will not do it. Whether one individual chooses to believe in that basis is up to him.

I'm not sure why you think innate compassion will not do? If your country was being attacked by e.g. the Nazis, I don't think you'd need a religion to go and defend yourself or fight with conviction? Equally, a mother giving her life for a child - what has that got to do with religion?

I would say our morals have more to do with us as humans, our society & our preference for living in a free democracy than any religion. When it comes to key pillars of our society, like free speech, what has that got to do with Religion?

Shaggy Sheep Driver
28th Dec 2014, 18:59
Quote:
What you are saying is that "compassion" is innate to humanness, and forms the basis of morality. Correct?

Yes, I think that morality is fundamentally built in. It must be otherwise atheists wouldn't care about anyone - which is not the case.


As I said earlier, it seems those who need the rules of a religion to keep them on the rails perhaps lack an inate moral compass. Furthermore, that implies that such people, lacking that compass, might consider anything not specifically excluded by 'The Rules' is OK to do!

Give me a rationalist any time!

Gertrude the Wombat
28th Dec 2014, 20:02
Furthermore, that implies that such people, lacking that compass, might consider anything not specifically excluded by 'The Rules' is OK to do!

Oh, you mean, like:

"The rules say we mustn't shed blood. So let's just pile rocks on his chest, and if that doesn't work we can burn him alive, both of those are allowed."

?

G&T ice n slice
28th Dec 2014, 21:15
It's very easy to believe in God when you're C of E. You don't have to do anything, other than turn up to the odd wedding & funeral or now and again a christening.

We C of E'ers know that God is very, very busy with important stuff like making sure the universe works as it is supposed to. This means that there are one or two things that slip past him, but we know that he's doing his best in difficult circumstances, what with all the Catholics & other 'Orthodox' busily rattling the prayer beads, the Jews wailing at the wall and the Muslims praying at him relentlessly 5 times daily. Not to mention all the other various religions doing whatever they do. The noise nust be deafening and must make it difficult to keep the old concentration going.

So we C of E 'ers do our best not to bother him.

The other thing is, of course, is that we actually are pretty certain that in fact God is an Englishman. He plods away all day at a job that no-one else particularly wants to do, for which he didn't really get any training and mostly he's doing it all with a bit of common sense and a bit of luck. He doesn't expect any thanks and is pretty sure there are a lot of people out there that aren't actually particularly grateful that he's there doing his best, but he knows it's his burden and he has to carry it.

C of E 'ers also know, of course, that Heaven is exactly like a quiet sunny summer Sunday in the English countryside.

obgraham
29th Dec 2014, 00:45
You are all concluding that God, whoever or whatever He/She/It is, looks essentially like a more mature "us. Head, shoulders, arms, legs (likely doesn't need those dangly bits). Sits around making decisions about what goes on here on the mostly waterfilled planet. Functions in the same time and place constraints as us.

If you eliminate all those, and consider the concept of "spirit", then all things are possible, and we do not need to find explanations for the rather petty things which keep cropping up here: what was there before God, why doesn't he stop bad stuff, how come we can't agree on him, etc.

I would submit that then one approaches the concept of "faith".

owen meaney
29th Dec 2014, 04:07
Goodness and Badness, inclusive or relative ethics.
The questions can have answers other than God.

Does God decide what is right or wrong, or does right and wrong exist without God?

If God decided that incest and wife beating is good, does that make it good?
Or would God never decide that?

probes
29th Dec 2014, 07:09
Good questions, owen.

ExSp33db1rd
29th Dec 2014, 07:21
C of E 'ers also know, of course, that Heaven is exactly like a quiet sunny summer Sunday in the English countryside.

With sounds of leather balls on willow bats, and muted calls of "well played, Sir "

Blacksheep
29th Dec 2014, 07:52
There are others for whom such a place would be a living hell. It seems that the afterworld may be very much like the present, with each allocated his own personal heaven or hell as they deserve. :rolleyes:

I think that, in the absence of a true understanding of the nature of things, all religions (except perhaps buddhism, which is more of an anti-religion) focus on the material world: what we can see, hear, feel and touch with our limited senses. Show me a religion that can make sense of quantum mechanics at one end of the scale and cosmology at the other. Yet some understanding of both is required, in order to understand the true magnificence of creation.

Then there's the mystery of the true nature of time. The variable kind, that changes according to where you are and your vector relative to other material manifestations.

From here to eternity, eh?

Keef
29th Dec 2014, 09:00
Show me a religion that can make sense of quantum mechanics at one end of the scale and cosmology at the other. Yet some understanding of both is required, in order to understand the true magnificence of creation.

Absolutely! The nearest I come to that is the end section of the book of Job (chapter 37 onwards). Written around the 4th century BC, it shows an awareness that is surprising (to me, anyway) for that time.

owen meaney
Does God decide what is right or wrong, or does right and wrong exist without God?
Yes, and yes.

If God decided that incest and wife beating is good, does that make it good?
No, and it would be totally inconsistent with New Testament teaching. Refer Ephesians Chapter 5 for more.

Or would God never decide that?
Seems highly unlikely to me, refer above.

RJM
29th Dec 2014, 11:47
If God can occasionally violate the laws of nature (parthenogenesis, resurrection, ascension and the like) why doesn't he prevent natural disasters? Why doesn't he prevent man's inhumanity to man?

Discorde, that's pretty close to 'The problem of pain', the suffering of innocents etc, which alone is probably enough to derail a theological train.

But despite that, it seems to me that Judeo-Christian ethics still provide a useful framework of humanist morality for people living together, encapsulated in the simple creed of 'do unto others as you would have them do unto you'. No need for difficult theological questions in living by that, especially in reducing man's inhumanity to man.

Lonewolf_50
29th Dec 2014, 13:07
Ascend Charlie, it is accepted generally that Genesis was written down by one of the Patriarchs after the Almighty told him. Basically ghost-writing after a fashion.
Wouldn't that be Holy Ghost writing? :}

Stanwell
29th Dec 2014, 13:15
Basil,
Yer not bad, mate.
Gave me a giggle, that one did.

Lonewolf_50
29th Dec 2014, 13:23
What were the afterlife options for those who died before Christianity in the Christian view and is it now agreed by the Abrahamic religions that women have souls, or are there still doubts? On the first:
Jesus apparently dropped by the underworld/hell after dying on the cross and before rising from the dead. The intention was to liberate the souls of the righteous. I am not sure if all Christian sects accept that particular bit of the belief, but it fits with the Apostle's Creed and as such is very much something most of the main denominations would be expected to agree with.
As to the second:
46 And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,
47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
48 For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
49 For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.
50 And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.
51 He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
52 He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.
53 He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.
54 He hath helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy;
55 As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.
This passage is known as The Magnificat. Thus at least one, and more likely two (since Mary was a Jewish gal) of the Abrahamic religions very much hold that women have souls. (The Christians and the Jews). Being directly derivative from the first two, I'd be very surprised if the Muslims don't hold the same, but do not know for a fact.
Response to RJM:Discorde, that's pretty close to 'The problem of pain', the suffering of
innocents etc, which alone is probably enough to derail a theological train.
As I understand Christian teaching, suffering is part of life, be one righteous or unrighteous. (It rains on the righteous and unrighteous alike ... )
Lancelot37: Minnie Mouse, it's simply a way of showing how daft the whole concept of
religion really is. It should have died out in the 1500s.
But it didn't. Perhaps there is more to it than you choose to admit. (In terms of religion/faith having a place in the world).
Ascend Charlie
How can this "Christianity" be acceptable, if JC was meant to follow in Dad's
footsteps and become a Rabbi? 1. In its early years, it was not acceptable to many among the Jews. (Heck, one of the movement's founders, James, was put to death less than 20 years after it began). But it grew anyway. Why? Christians will argue that the Holy Spirit was at work ... you can offer other explanations if you like.
2. If by his Dad you mean Joseph, he was a carpenter.
3. If by Dad you mean God, Jesus was a teacher. That is why they called him Rabbi - it meant "teacher."
The Rabbinical Judaism that you and I see today wasn't around in Jesus' day. It more or less evolved among the diaspora after the Romans destroyed the Second Temple, and you can argue that it grew from a faction of the Pharisees ... but then, that's open to some discussion among the scholars of the history of Judaism. There was a large overseas Jewish population in the Mediterranean basin, and in Persia, all of whom rarely got to visit the Temple in Jerusalem. They had already arrived at various practices of local meeting places to exercise their faith ... which is what a synagogue was originally.

Discorde
29th Dec 2014, 13:34
As I understand Christian teaching, suffering is part of life

Why is suffering necessary? Is the 'Creator' a sadist? And why do so many professed Christians conduct their lives in a manner blatantly at variance with the doctrine they supposedly believe in?

52 He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.
53 He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.

In the modern world the mighty are still in their seats (and take pains to make sure they and their successors stay there), the hungry are still waiting for good things to fill them and the rich are certainly avoiding emptiness (and - for some of them - payment of taxes).

Ancient Observer
29th Dec 2014, 13:46
I don't have too much of a problem with this "God" stuff. Back in the 19th century, philosophers, (in Europe) had figured out that the worship of God was simply the worship of the Society in which they lived. Which accounts for many of the differences in religious beliefs, (although I never got to look at the Armenians).
That thought also accounts for G & T's brilliant contribution to this thread.

I do have a problem with the Church, and the other "establishments" of the various religions.

One visit to the Vatican showed that one of the biggest religious set-ups on this modest planet values materialism one hell of a lot more than it values the poor.
if and when they sell off their totally unnecessary rich kids toys, I might think again.

G&T ice n slice
29th Dec 2014, 15:50
Quote: C of E 'ers also know, of course, that Heaven is exactly like a quiet sunny summer Sunday in the English countryside.

With sounds of leather balls on willow bats, and muted calls of "well played, Sir "

There are others for whom such a place would be a living hell.

No, you see, if someone has qualified for entrance to Heaven, then obviously he/she would be joining as an Englishman...

Surely it's obvious:confused:

Lonewolf_50
29th Dec 2014, 15:51
Why is suffering necessary? Is the 'Creator' a sadist? If you want no suffering, that's in Paradise, which is in the afterlife. So if you are alive and in the mortal coil, then you'll find something going wrong to include a bit or, or a heap of, suffering. That seems to be the deal. Invent your own universe and make it different if you like, but I hear that takes a bit of work. ;)

Gertrude the Wombat
29th Dec 2014, 16:41
If you want no suffering, that's in Paradise, which is in the afterlife. So if you are alive and in the mortal coil, then you'll find something going wrong to include a bit or, or a heap of, suffering. That seems to be the deal.
Yes, the "rich man in his castle, poor man at the gate" thing. The priests, as the agents of the ruling class, keeping the peasants in their place, with the promise that it'll all be better when they're dead.

But - and here's the clever part - killing yourself so as to get to heaven quicker counts as cheating, and won't work.

Because, of course, it would deprive the ruling and priestly classes of years of your labour.

OFSO
29th Dec 2014, 16:44
Mistranslation into the English of James 1st.

The original word (Greek ? which escapes me right now) wasn't "Virgin" but meant "Woman who has not had a child". But try convincing a Catholic of that !

Mr Chips
29th Dec 2014, 16:56
Yes, the "rich man in his castle, poor man at the gate" thing. The priests, as the agents of the ruling class, keeping the peasants in their place, with the promise that it'll all be better when they're dead.
Thus spake the Politician....

Mr Optimistic
29th Dec 2014, 17:07
Thanks LoneWolf. As you may have discerned I am a scientist ( of sorts) and an atheist. As such I don't hold with the concept of sin and have sadly been isolated from any comfort of the thought of an afterlife. That leads to a cold philosophy which can only acknowledge the inevitability of loss: of my own life, my children's, everything. So it was all really about sex and when that fades cue the midlife crisis or menopausal panic. However whilst not accepting the notion of 'sin' (humans are just a pretentiously self aware bunch of omnivores), you must never say anything which undermines anyone else's faith. That would be a sin. Unless they are cosmologistists peddling their usual stuff obviously....

Flagon
29th Dec 2014, 17:20
Daz- I guess the 12 year old street wise male - had already worked it out?

Geezer gets some white cloth and knocks off a swan for its wings. Slips into a gullible Mary's bedroom wearing same and gives her the "handmaiden"/"chosen one"/"son of God"/"by the way - he has sent me"/ routine, convincingly enough to slip her one and depart to from whence he came, leaving ('virginal') Mary 'with child'. Job done. (No, not that Job, Keef).

Mary now has a mild dilemma, and decides to stick (conveniently) with the sales pitch - after all, no-one would know whether she 'was' or 'wasn't' once babe is born, would they?

Poor old mate Joseph also has a mild dilemma and decides also (conveniently) to stick with the story - it's a cracker (seasonal joke)! Who is going to challenge it?

Bible explained?

I do feel pretty sorry for Mary, though, being 'had' and then having the 'bumpy donkey ride' to Bethlehem at a 'late stage'.

Flag One

Keef
29th Dec 2014, 18:31
Mistranslation into the English of James 1st.

The original word (Greek ? which escapes me right now) wasn't "Virgin" but meant "Woman who has not had a child". But try convincing a Catholic of that !

I posted about that a few pages further up. The Greek word is "parthenos", which appears as "παρθένον" in Luke 1:27
... it's the Koine Greek word for "virgin", and reflects the Hebrew of Isaiah 7:14. עלמה is rendered as παρθένος in the Greek translation: the Hebrew word is usually translated damsel, maid or virgin. It may mean "young woman" or "unmarried woman"

So you can be right with either interpretation - the eternal problem for those who translate from one language to another. There's a fairly consistent view from most Christian scholars that it means "virgin", but there's room for a variety of opinions.

I doubt you'd convince a Catholic scholar, though, as you say.

evansb
29th Dec 2014, 18:45
Ever notice that God seldom acts directly? Frequently God sends an angel to carry the word or deed. I guess God is too busy or otherwise occupied.

Speaking of angels, lets talk about the Morman faith/sect/cult.

Keef
29th Dec 2014, 18:50
I think there are plenty of examples of both.

The word "angel" (Greek ἄγγελος) means "messenger" - it's what they do.

obgraham
29th Dec 2014, 18:50
Speaking of angels, lets talk about the Morman faith/sect/cult.Plenty of Mormons around here, Evansb. Most of them join up because it's a lifestyle very supportive of family structure, doing good, all that stuff. Also they liked to have a load of kids -- good for my business.

Very few get involved with their theology. Good thing. It's way more wacky than my staid old Catholicism. (Though they are envious of lots of our stuff.)

Ascend Charlie
30th Dec 2014, 09:18
The soccer player lines up for his penalty kick.

He kisses his charm on his necklace, crosses himself, looks up in the sky, and sends his kick towards the goal.

The goalkeeper: kisses his lucky charm, crosses himself, looks up in the sky, and defends his goal.

One will win, one will lose. is this the Great Design of the creator? Did he listen to one, and ignore the other? Did he have a couple of quid on the keeper's team?

And then the rationalisation. The winner thinks "Yes! My prayer was answered!"
The loser thinks "Oh well, it must be part of the grand Design, it was never destined to be."

What garbage. They rationalise away anything that doesn't go their way, and praise the sky pixie for anything that does go their way.

Mr Chips
30th Dec 2014, 09:34
Judging purely by this thread, one can theorise that having religion makes you les likely to be spiteful, aggressive, condescending and generally miserable...

JFZ90
30th Dec 2014, 09:46
Judging purely by this thread, one can theorise that having religion makes you les likely to be spiteful, aggressive, condescending and generally miserable...

Are you saying that not having religion makes you spiteful, aggressive, condescending and generally miserable?

Isn't that a spiteful, aggressive, condescending and generally miserable thing to say about a group of fellow humans?

Mr Chips
30th Dec 2014, 10:24
JFZ as I said, I'm going by the posts on this thread.... It seems to be populated by people determined to have a go at anyone with religious beliefs, using expressions such as sky fairy. I wonder how they get on with kids vis a vis Santa....

owen meaney
30th Dec 2014, 10:26
--If God decided that incest and wife beating is good, does that make it good?
No, and it would be totally inconsistent with New Testament teaching. Refer Ephesians Chapter 5 for more.
---Or would God never decide that?
Seems highly unlikely to me, refer above.


So it would follow then. Keef, that good exists outside of God, if he can choose.


The Gospel according to Flagon is interesting

Keef
30th Dec 2014, 10:34
Not sure I follow that.

Discorde
30th Dec 2014, 11:03
Those of us without faith should be respectful towards the believers (and perhaps envious of them). It's the lack of evidence that leads us to our conclusion. If there were clearer manifestations of the presence of the supreme being it would be easier to believe in its existence. The 'beaming down onto the pitch in the middle of the World Cup final' comment was only partly tongue-in-cheek.

Mr Optimistic
30th Dec 2014, 11:40
Budget cuts in the marketing department?

Flying Lawyer
30th Dec 2014, 11:40
JFZ90Isn't that a spiteful, aggressive, condescending and generally miserable thing to say about a group of fellow humans?
Not necessarily.
Not (for example) when it's an accurate description of the type of posters who, apparently lacking the intelligence to engage in courteous discussion, resort to childish comments that are intended to cause offence. eg Great Sky Pixie, moon fairies, people with 'weak minds' needing religion etc.

The tone was set early in the thread (post 10) by henry crun who, referring to those who (like me) believe in the virgin birth, declared "Good reason to Section you all."


As M Mouse (who does not believe in God) accurately said in post 119:It is quite noticeable in these debates how the believers, in general, engage in polite debate but those who don't believe, in general, cannot resist throwing in the odd insult and often imply that believers are somehow irrational and stupid people.
It is not amusing, it is not clever and it is certainly not intelligent debate.

FL

Mr Optimistic
30th Dec 2014, 11:44
FL, if I have contributed pls accept my apologies.

Mr Chips
30th Dec 2014, 11:52
13 pages later, lets take a look at the original post:
I was asked this question today from a young (12 year old street wise male) family member.............

"If Mary and Josef were married, how come she was a virgin" I nearly choked on my cherry brandy, made my excuse and took their dog for a walk

Mary and Joseph were not married. So without all the choking on cherry brandy and talking about sky pixies, it would have been very easy to answer the "12 year old street wise male"

(Perhaps followed by a talk on general morality, sex before marriage, teenage pregnancy rates etc)

Quite simple really....

Mr Optimistic
30th Dec 2014, 11:56
Wasn't it to do with a census in which case if unmarried wouldn't she have registered with her family ?

JFZ90
30th Dec 2014, 12:10
JFZ90
Quote:
Isn't that a spiteful, aggressive, condescending and generally miserable thing to say about a group of fellow humans?

--

Not necessarily. Not when it's an accurate description of the type of posters who, apparently lacking the intelligence to engage in courteous discussion, resort to childish comments intended to cause offence. eg Great Sky Pixie, moon fairies, people with 'weak minds' needing religion etc.
The tone was set early in the thread (post 10) by henry crun who, referring to those who (like me) believe in the virgin birth, declared "Good reason to Section you all."

As M Mouse (who does not believe in God) accurately said in post 119:
Quote:

It is quite noticeable in these debates how the believers, in general, engage in polite debate but those who don't believe, in general, cannot resist throwing in the odd insult and often imply that believers are somehow irrational and stupid people. It is not amusing, it is not clever and it is certainly not intelligent debate.
FL

FL you are of course correct to insist on a minimum level of courtesy in these delicate matters, but it should be applied on all sides.

I don't want to labour the point but it is ironic in the extreme for a believer to imply non-believers are spiteful and miserable.

"Do unto others" applies to all, and is certainly not the preserve of the religious, or those with faith.

It does sometimes feel like believers think they can slag off "believers in atheism" as if it somehow belittling their views and convictions doesn't matter. It can, and of course in doing so it can put the believers in exactly the poor light they claim they don't deserve to be put under.

Flying Lawyer
30th Dec 2014, 12:10
Mr Optimistic
No need to apologise.
This thread is no different from all others in Jetblast in which Christianity has been discussed. They all follow the same course.



I've found this thread quite interesting in parts and, occasionally, very funny. My favourite so far is the response to the incontrovertible proposition that "you can be highly intelligent and also believe in God and religion …… there are lots of clever people who provide ample evidence that intelligence and belief are not exclusive."
Shaggy Sheep Driver:All I can say is that life has taught me that some very intelligent people don't always display common sense. The caricature of the brilliant scientist who goes out in the morning having forgotten to put his trousers on may be an exaggeration, but I'm sure we have all met folk who trend to that direction.


Very true SSD. :ok:
Intellectual ability is much over-rated.
It's (obviously) possible to journey through life very happily, and arguably more contented, without it.


FL

Mr Chips
30th Dec 2014, 12:32
It does sometimes feel like believers think they can slag off "believers in atheism" as if it somehow belittling their views and convictions doesn't matter. It can, and of course in doing so it can put the believers in exactly the poor light they claim they don't deserve to be put under.
In the context of this thread, I'm pretty sure that all the slagging off and belittling is coming from the non-believers

Happy to be shown some evidence to the contrary

Gertrude the Wombat
30th Dec 2014, 14:21
often imply that believers are somehow irrational
Believing in religious-type things doesn't make sense, so could perfectly reasonably be described as "irrational". Where "makes sense" is your choice from testable by scientific method; conforms to the laws of physics, logic, mathematics; susceptible to rational deduction from proven facts; whatever.

However if you go on one of those psycho-babble courses (Myers Briggs will do, but others are available) you will be taught that there are plenty of people who see the world in a different way, and to whom concepts of "sense" and "rationality" are not important, or maybe are not even a thing.

And you are taught that if you wish to influence everybody, or at least enough people to win an election, appealing just to the rational mindset ain't gonna hack it, as there aren't enough such people - you're going to have to target some of the other mindsets as well.

funfly
30th Dec 2014, 14:31
As, I hope, a non slagged offer, can I wish everyone on this thread a good new year.
Although to some extent this thread has become a bit of a hamster wheel, it has actually been pretty constructive and polite. Not even one mention of breasts which must be a first in JB.
To loose rivets I must add that I am not sure what sort of brain you have to write your book, I'm half way through and can't put it down.
To Keef appreciate your fair answers ieven if I don't agree with your beliefs.
Perhaps this thread can now die with the death if 2014, and will all of us wiser not only about the beliefs of others but the characters of the participants.
Whatever you believe in go forward with peace in your mind and with a love of your fellow man (well most of them anyway)

Martyn (funfly)

Shaggy Sheep Driver
30th Dec 2014, 14:55
I wonder how they get on with kids vis a vis Santa....

Chips, the concept is an exact parallel. Re kids and Santa though, one should just go along with it. After all, one knows they are very little, and that they will ditch such an irrational belief before they are much older.....

Mr Optimistic
30th Dec 2014, 15:28
Well that's Einstein put in his place then.

engpensionist
30th Dec 2014, 15:38
My hint (as ex-railwaysengineer who forgot his key into this forum completely . . .) :

If you´ve got any questions about religion, ask (and look at the programmes on tv and livestreams in the internet)

- Jimmy Sweggart (better: his son Donni with his wonderful "other tongues")
- Benny Hinn, the healing magician
- Carol Arnott, the soaking demonstrator of how the holy ghost comes in . . .
- Joyce Meyer with her outstanding lips . . . (btw: love her talking . . .)
- Creflo Dollar (nomen est omen)

and many others, who are doing their best to make dollars . . . .

Shaggy Sheep Driver
30th Dec 2014, 15:43
Ten years on, I still find myself cringing at everything Dawkins and Harris have to say.

I'm not familiar with Harris, but why do you cringe at Dawkins? He simply applies logic and evidence to religious belief and finds such beliefs illogical and devoid of evidence. What's not to like, unless you don't think it's reasonable to analyse such things using logic and evidence?

But if we are not allowed to apply logic and evidence when deciding if such beliefs are rational, what are we to use? Anything we like? If so, the results will be whatever we engineer them to be and therefore worthless.

I believe that science has already found the concept of God to be viable, even if that is to say we are living in a simulated universe simulated by a spotty teenager. Unfortunately, scientific pride and the so-called intelligentsia of the world (aka White Atheist Man) stifle proper and open debate by associating all god-speak with religious idiocy (their own idea of it).

I don't understand what you are saying there.

Mr Optimistic
30th Dec 2014, 18:01
Perhaps there is a reason it is called 'faith'?

fitliker
30th Dec 2014, 18:16
Umberto Eco “When men stop believing in God, it isn't that they then believe in nothing: they believe in everything.”







I am beginning to think Umberto Eco is a closet Jusuit, his work does make one wonder,ponder,and even reflect on some of the big questions :)

JFZ90
30th Dec 2014, 18:45
In the context of this thread, I'm pretty sure that all the slagging off and belittling is coming from the non-believers

Happy to be shown some evidence to the contrary


It hardly matters really, but a few pages back a chap called 421 (an American I think), called my views "jaundiced", and on trying to understand why he seemed to be saying atheists were inferior or unable to be "better people" without religion, he said "I would hope you're not as thick as you're letting on to be.", as I think he genuinely couldn't see how he had implied that.

I resisted any reciprocal insults, but there you are.

It seems sometimes there is a tendancy for believers to think non-believers have something "missing" or are "missing out" and it is OK to imply/point this out as some sort of failing. I don't agree of course and find the notion very mildly offensive, almost not worth mentioning, but hey ho, it is there all the same.

G-CPTN
30th Dec 2014, 18:55
he seemed to be saying atheists were inferior or unable to be "better people" without religion

My experience on the topic (http://www.pprune.org/8797505-post50.html).

obgraham
30th Dec 2014, 18:58
JFZ90, think about it:

Believers obviously think non believers are wrong. Otherwise they too would be nonbelievers.

Nonbelievers obviously think believers are wrong. Otherwise they too would be believers.

There's no reconciling these two views. One can only hope for civility.

con-pilot
30th Dec 2014, 19:08
Believers obviously think non believers are wrong.

Well I really don't think they are wrong, they just have a different viewpoint than I. It's not like one can prove God's existence or non-existence.

It is just that things have happened in my life that proves to me that there is a God (for lack of a better term).

But sorry, but there is no link to provide to prove my belief. :p

So people can believe what they want to believe.