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Bible conundrum hampsterwheel

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Bible conundrum hampsterwheel

Old 4th Jan 2015, 21:59
  #481 (permalink)  
 
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Many people, thankfully, not myself, are called to die for their beliefs. (Or, indeed, their failure to embrace somebody else's)

Christianity doesn't require adherence, and, in the last few hundred years, the worst that would happen to a heretic, blasphemer, apostate, katana pilot or any other sort of perceived lowlife, was excommunication.

Whoop de doo! So if you don't believe anyway, you can't have any of our bad port and flat crackers. Of course, you are still welcome to come to church if you so desire, you just can't take communion until you're straight.

Of course, in most Christian sects, that isn't even the case and even the Unbaptised and, in fact, adherents of other faiths can receive.

Last edited by 421dog; 4th Jan 2015 at 22:10. Reason: Spelling
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Old 4th Jan 2015, 22:01
  #482 (permalink)  
 
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Why has the thread title returned to its original misspelling?

Maybe it's part of 'god's' plan?
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Old 4th Jan 2015, 22:20
  #483 (permalink)  
 
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To paraphrase BabyBear, if religionists dismiss all gods except theirs, they are nearly there. They just have to dismiss that final one, and the darkness of superstition will have been eliminated by the light of rationality!

But of course they'll all bicker among themselves saying "the true spaghetti monster is ours!"

No guys - you are all nearly right!
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Old 4th Jan 2015, 22:22
  #484 (permalink)  
 
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Christianity doesn't require adherence, and, in the last few hundred years, the worst that would happen to a heretic, blasphemer, apostate, katana pilot or any other sort of perceived lowlife, was excommunication.
But not the worst that can happen to a child who falls into the clutches of christians, as a lot of recent revelations and events tell us.
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Old 4th Jan 2015, 22:25
  #485 (permalink)  
 
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Okay, 421dog, thanks.

Was that a case of I'll pass on this one?

Correct me if I'm wrong.....I understand what you are saying, is that...well, really you'd rather not think too deeply about other Gods? You would be happy to courteously compare notes with someone of another faith, as long as a conclusion wasn't a prerequisite. And if there were some sticky issues they could always be resolved by referring to the Ancient Scriptures, as long as they were Christian Scriptures?

Or maybe what you are saying is that it doesn't matter what anyone else says, or believes, because:

"I know that my redeemer liveith"
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Old 4th Jan 2015, 22:25
  #486 (permalink)  
 
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It's turtles, all the way down.
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Old 4th Jan 2015, 22:34
  #487 (permalink)  
 
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Dunno, Atlas seemed a better story.

Hey, I've never shied away from a theological discussion.

Not a big fan of moral relativism, and don't feel the need to push my beliefs on anyone.


Truth be told, I've never even thrown the Jehova's Witnesses out, though I once scared off a couple of Mormon missionaries by answering the door hung over in my skivvies.
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Old 4th Jan 2015, 22:35
  #488 (permalink)  
 
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Still looking for a place to stand, a fulcrum and a long enough lever....
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Old 4th Jan 2015, 22:40
  #489 (permalink)  
 
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Perish the thought, Gert, that a child would be brought up to be Christian.

I'm not sure what atrocity you're referring to, but I'm fairly sure it isn't in keeping with anyone's mainstream dogma.
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Old 4th Jan 2015, 22:46
  #490 (permalink)  
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Until quite recently (very recently in ecclesiastical terms) the various Churches in Britain did not 'communicate', but their elders now recognise each other and even hold combined services.

It remains to be seen how far this cooperation will extend - will we see Muslims included? Sikhs? Jains?

Where will they draw the line between devotees of 'God' and those who worship the Spaghetti Monster?

It seems that Scientology doesn't qualify . . .

Is it wrong to deny the people because their belief in a superior being might take the form of a creature other than that imagined as 'Christ' (which might or might not be 'human' in form)?
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Old 4th Jan 2015, 22:48
  #491 (permalink)  

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I'm still confused about the term "other Gods".

Or are we talking about Thor, Odin, Zeus and that assorted lot Gods? If so, leave me out, I canít keep up with all of them.

I thought that there is just one, just a bunch of different religions.
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Old 4th Jan 2015, 22:55
  #492 (permalink)  
 
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I'm not sure what atrocity you're referring to
Um, rape (paedophile priests, scoutmasters etc), torture (eg beatings by "christian brothers"), that sort of thing, or have you been asleep for the last couple of decades?
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Old 4th Jan 2015, 23:01
  #493 (permalink)  
 
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GTW - I think he made the point that none of those atrocities which have undoubtedly taken place is approved of by any of the mainstream organised Christian churches. The fact that some members of those churches have committed such crimes in no way proves that the churches themselves are a force for evil.

Any more than the fact that both Stalin and Pol Pot were personally responsible for the deaths of millions of their own people means that all atheists are psychopaths
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Old 4th Jan 2015, 23:05
  #494 (permalink)  
 
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421 wrote,
Christianity doesn't require adherence, and, in the last few hundred years, the worst that would happen to a heretic, blasphemer, apostate, katana pilot or any other sort of perceived lowlife, was excommunication.
That's just not true. And if extended to allowing illness and death, even more untrue.

Tankertrashnav,
An example here is the refusal of christian US aid agencies to allow condoms in Africa. This was official policy of very mainstream organised christian churches.
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Old 4th Jan 2015, 23:07
  #495 (permalink)  
 
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Is it wrong to deny the people because their belief in a superior being
Yes, absolutely (in a different context to your post).

By all means welcome anyone who pitches up with evidence, but no entry without, sorry!

I find it difficult not to draw comparisons (orders of magnitudes apart) with the denials faced by pioneers of days gone by with the majority opinion of today. As the realisation of their logic won through, I believe the logic of today will too. Maybe not tomorrow though.
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Old 4th Jan 2015, 23:08
  #496 (permalink)  
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It seems a fundamental of anthropology that humans need to think up a 'God story' to help explain their own existence. Many of the stories are similar - godhead creates universe, places man in it, continues to intervene in human affairs. Some gods may be 'contacted', either by individuals or through a priestly class who can mediate between humans and God.

Seen that way, religion is just a function of the way the human brain works.

I suspect that many people shy away from that conclusion not because they're stupid, but because to do so takes away the mystery and attraction of religion, in the same way that people might reject the idea that love between a man and a woman is merely the manifestation of the biological imperative to breed. Where's the fun in that?
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Old 4th Jan 2015, 23:08
  #497 (permalink)  

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I've been watching this thread, wondering whether I dare poke my pencil in again. The questions come thick and fast, and some are around matters that I know nothing about. Some seem hostile, and some posts are clearly aimed at insulting anyone whose views differ from the poster and/or at mocking all religious people as if they were in some way feeble-minded.

As Gertrude the Wombat has pointed out: not being a Jesuit, I lack the skills required to respond to posts that cause offence to me without giving offence in turn. So to begin: nothing in this post is intended to insult, offend, belittle, or patronise anyone. If it seems to do that, it's unintentional and accidental.

To give answers where I can:

- Validity of "other Gods"? There are many and wide-ranging views on this, summarised into three main categories: Exclusivism, inclusivism and pluralism. For more on the subject, try Miroslav Volf's "Exclusion & Embrace". He's Professor of Theology at Yale, and was living in the Balkans at the time of and after the breakup of the former Yugoslavia, so has seen conflict at first hand. It's not a question with a simple answer, and the direct question will elicit different answers from different people.

- Morality. Christianity is not about morality. It's about a relationship with God through his son, Jesus. The rest follows from that. The simple test, not used as much as it could be, is "what would Jesus do?" Most of the evil done by those who call themselves Christians (examples quoted above) fails that test.

- Evil/Omnipotence. The Epicurus quotation reflects a puppet world. We have freedom of choice - believe or not, do good or do evil, and so on. If God intervened to prevent us doing evil, we would not have free will.

- The Bible is not a scientific treatise. It's the history of the relationship between God and man, as recorded by a variety of people over a long period of time. It's a collection of books from several genres, and each needs to be understood in its context. I would indeed not use the Bible to explain nuclear medicine or aeronautical engineering, just as I wouldn't use "Stick and Rudder" to explain the history of the Jewish people.

- Proof. There is what's recorded in the Bible and in the experience of mankind over the millennia, and some archaeology and non-Biblical texts. Some accept that, some reject it, and some struggle with it over a lifetime. It's clear from the many threads that have sprung up on here (and elsewhere) over the years that those who believe will not convince those who do not wish to believe, and vice-versa. It's the great powerhouse of the hamsterwheel.

- Science and Religion are not mutually exclusive. I wrote about that earlier in this thread, but for those who think they are or should be, I refer again to the usual suspects: Guy Consolmagno, John Polkinghorne, Angela Tilby, and Tom McLeish. There are many more, but those are the ones I have read most.

My primary role is pastoral, not apologetics or arguments, that's where I'm happiest, and that's where I spend most of my time. This hamsterwheel will, I'm sure, spin happily on ad infinitum ad nauseam without my assistance. I'll look in occasionally, but will not undertake to answer every question fired at me.

Pax vobiscum.
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Old 4th Jan 2015, 23:20
  #498 (permalink)  
 
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An example here is the refusal of christian US aid agencies to allow condoms in Africa. This was official policy of very mainstream organised christian churches
Not sayin that I agree with that particular move, but if you have the hubris to tell an organization that, with its own money and time sets out to do what they feel is "good" that, because you don't agree with something they WON'T supply, on their own nickle, and that such perceived omission not only outdoes whatever good they are doing, but justifies denying the needy what aid they do have to supply, just because it doesnt stick in your craw,

have at it boy...

While you're at it, go feed and clothe a few million of the hungry and naked.

Oh, you've got better things to do?

Ok
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Old 4th Jan 2015, 23:20
  #499 (permalink)  
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It's possible to build the most incredible houses of cards about religion. Consider Tolkein's fantasy saga, or the Star Wars and Startrek worlds. Imagine those being developed for millenia by dedicated experts trained in every aspect of the stories.

Apart from people's natural predilection to want answers to the questions of existence, religion can be co-opted to great effect -and to great good - by society's managers.

In short, IMHO religion is not necessarily a bad thing, or a waste of time, but it isn't a real thing. It's real in the sense that any story that exists is real, but it is not actually true. Whether that matters or not is an interesting question.
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Old 4th Jan 2015, 23:21
  #500 (permalink)  
 
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But not the worst that can happen to a child who falls into the clutches of christians, as a lot of recent revelations and events tell us.
Um, rape (paedophile priests, scoutmasters etc), torture (eg beatings by "christian brothers"), that sort of thing, or have you been asleep for the last couple of decades?
You must know a few Christians - probably more than you realise. Do you seriously believe that that is how they treat their children as a matter of course?

Please don't confuse institutional failure with Christian faith.
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