When anyone, of whatever religious persuasion, holds thoroughly rigid views within the accepted norms of that religion, does it make for honesty and truth? Or deception and lies?
Opening up one's mind to other points of view, does this help in the understanding of truth? Or does it cloud and confuse the truth?
I think it makes for honesty in possible deception. When some people are expressing their belief, they are as honest about their beliefs. The issue with this is that they honestly believe in what could be a deception of another.
It helps those seeking understanding
Thanks for your input. Looks like it might fizzle out.
JCL has used several 'relative' terms to qualify his own opinions pn the topic of 'religious persuasion': itself something even more relative or particular as it is the practice of one's religious beliefs, meaning one's the real unique element (and not the credo itself) in said beiiefs/faith. The only advise I have to certain sensitivity towards others' sensitivities is to understand that no matter how good opinions somebody has or how good or consistent with the values/faith the person is saying to believe/practice, it still is a very extremely relative 'opinion' far from being 'the' truth..the truth is is that 'the truth' is a plural term, and hence, there is not one truth.. there are as many as people holding them and, my dear Watson, is factual, so whatever remains out of possibility, but remains nevertheless, however impossible, must be the truth (Holmes dixit)
Jonny, I think regardless of the sincerity of a believer, that belief will always be suspect to atheists and agnostics. I understand, because through the material world it is pretty tough to say you "know" anything with certainty, so those who proclaim certainty "must be" delusional. It is not difficult for me to understand the unbeliever's perspective and doubt. So many who aren't certain of what they believe, but know they believe in something, only fuel the perception that all believers are simply projecting a fabricated reality they desire.
Tell me...have you ever been certain about something? What does that look like from the outside looking in?
Let's say you are in a profession that many think they understand, and that making money in that industry is thought to be easy, so the young ones just keep coming. Fresh from school, brimming with confidence, they set about to make their fortunes in this field they are sure they now know all there is to know about.
You, as a weathered and seasoned veteran, know the problems and pitfalls that await them, but they are not interested in your perspective. Your solid knowledge and understanding of the correct way to conduct this business are perceived as fruits of a narrow and closed mind. When you try to explain things that would help them, you realize that although purporting themselves to be open minded, your would be studies close their ears, glaze over their eyes and seek to endure as you share your wisdom. Smiles and nods further the illusion they are open to what you say, but secretly their mind is on Facebook.
Such is the experience of a true believer, who through spiritual discernment is certain of what they know, when confronted by those for whom that spiritual discernment is considered a fantasy because it, (like everything else we hold dear, such as love, mercy, justice, peace, security, etc), cannot be weighed or measured. All in all, it is a contentious relationship, not easily resolved, with both sides wary.
Do you continually spend precious time opening yourself up to the ridicule of those who you perceive are not likely to ever listen, or do you seek other, more promising venues in which to invest your efforts? A quandary.
No man will think beyond his own openly accepted identity....
To do he must first be willing to truly forsake such an identity.
So to therefore impress upon someone to consider their opinion as it relates to their identity,
while you yourself hold fast to your opinions concerning yourself is the beginning and height of hypocrisy.
Any label a man applies to himself, can be judged by this.
If he must justify or defend before another,
If he need to be encouraged and supported by another,
If he thinks it is absolutely necessary to share his label,
Any one of these things would mean that That label/identity is a false representation of himself.
This is why he cannot help himself but be a hypocrite.
There is only one identity that a man can identify himself with and not be /hypocrite/false.
It is because this identity encompasses all others, while being unlike any of them.
This identity begins as an understanding, and ends as the same understanding.
There are a few labels that can be used to represent such an understanding/identity,
and the labels without the understanding will be just as any other... a false identity.
But with understanding the label cannot ever be false because it is the Truth..
That entirely depends on whether or not there is any truth in those views. Often, there isn't, and holding those views in light of facts is most certainly deceptive and dishonest.
Both. Again, it all depends on the validity of the those views.
We all know the views of Christians and Muslims, for example, because we can read their holy books, too.
Simply reading the book will not give you the truth. In other words, Looking at the food will not fill your stomach!
You need to eat it, to be filled.
And you need to read it with faith.
So basically you need to go in wanting to believe it, apply critical thinking, indeed use your brain at all and it falls apart.
I was a skeptic, I just hate religion .....
but I found out that I was missing out so many things by not coming to God.
I believe in God, not because i am forced to! God is amazing man!!
If that is what satisfies your understanding, then you are entitled to it.... but don't declare it's the only truth for every other thinking mind to accept.
Don't you get it, Jonny, Soldout's truth is the only truth of the Bible. Not too different from others who are convinced they are right and anyone who believes different is wrong and a nonbeliever (despite the fact that they read and understand the same Bible)
I don't agree with this, "and anyone who believes different is wrong and a nonbeliever (despite the fact that they read and understand the same Bible)"
One can read the bible thousand times but still know nothing of the truth written there. ...
One can read it once and find the so-called truths there are nothing of the sort, but are little more than myths and superstitions.
There are no so-called truths, only truth!
Exactly, and only science produces truth.
I'm not saying that science doesn't produce truth, what I'm saying is that intuition is taken far too lightly by many people. And many great scientists, like Einstein, had intuition.
Do you actually have a point with the 'crap' comment, then?
If you missed my point, that's probably more a tribute to you solipsistic confirmation bias than my lack of ability to explain myself.
Ooooo! there's a new word.... had to look that one up, Chris.... and came up with another one: epistemological Pardon my ignorance, but I get your jist..
Just pulling your leg....
Yet, your posts always show that lack of ability.
Truth is absolute; so if science produces 'truth' to later 'fix it' and, you and me know that's the history of science...it's like a trial-and-error but with some organised approach Again, Troubled Man, when you mix lemmon juice with milk you get....?
Sorry, but there is no relationship to the term "absolute" in the definition of truth.
That merely shows how little you know about science.
I am more sorrier in your case, because truth is so absolute that it is not that it is sad ...but...remedyless...sorry to break this kind of news to you..It seems that you know nothing about everything: philosophy of science dixit
I disagree with that statement, puella. Truth is not absolute, because the perception of it is subjective.
The perception is subject to pre-learned ideas about life, about the world, about science, about what one "aught" to believe if one is to be accepted by peers. Also, your perceptions of truth may change from time to time and through the years, as your experience and personal needs change.
The only unchangeable "thing" in this world is change itself. So again, truth is never absolute.
sorry, what is not true, Janesix? (in your opinion)
truth is truth, there's nothing else to say about it. it isn't "relative" to a person's perception like you claim.
If you and I see what each of us sees as truth, how are we to determine which "perception of truth" is correct?
Oh! What a cop-out!
Please respect this discussion, don't use an easy bailout from intelligence.
End of discussion with you... Have a good day.
You can keep your head in the sand all you like, like the rest of the population. For a while anyway. Be ready for a rude awakening.
Were I to respond to your comments, it would lead into a pointless argument, not a reasonable ddiscussion. However I respect your right to have those opinions.
Well, that's where you both might be wrong. Truth itself isn't relative. But, the only things that can be considered truth are facts. Everything else IS relative. But it is not "truth." Statements like "true for you" and "true for me" are misleading. So are "truths" that only "enlightened" people can understand.
Water's molecular structure is H20. That is fact. That is truth.
Now, how hot or cold water feels can be relative to the person experiencing it, say someone who spends a lot of time washing dishes in hot water and so to them it's not so hot vs. someone who's never washed a dish and their life and thinks the water is scalding.
The fact that water is H20 is truth. Even the temperature of the water is fact i.e. truth. But how both people experienced the water is different. One says it's scalding, the other says it's not that bad. Who's right and who's wrong?
Truth is only in the realm of solid facts. Everything else is relative. "Truth" shouldn't even be the terminology used for that kind of stuff.
I agree. But what I'm saying is that there ARE religious FACTS if you prefer that terminology. EVERYTHING isn't relative, which is what that guy was saying.
Give me an example of religious fact versus historical fact represented in a religious book? The esoteric and spiritual are by definition impossible to prove or disprove. So what is an example of a religious fact?
I don't recall mentioning facts in religious books.
Which is exactly why I asked you to give me an example of what you mean by a religious fact.
That God exists, and is the creator of everything
This is a fact
How is that a fact? How is that provable or disprovable? That is conjecture at best. Not sure if it's true or untrue, it is not in the realm of the knowable, thus it cannot be labeled "fact." Which is why there's a difference between belief and reality. Only something that can be tested in a reliable manner by any and everyone with the same results every time can be proven true.
How can you quantify "God?" Is he the Western God? (Judeo-Christian, or Allah). Is He Brahman? Does God exist in everyone's mind the same way? (It is impossible to know is the short answer.)
Unless God responded in an audible voice to everyone who prays to Him/it/her, came down to Earth for everyone to experience him in the same way at the same time and either told us straight up that He created it and how, or pointed us in the direction of discovering it for ourselves (reliably), there's no possible way anyone can know that. Doesn't mean you can't believe it, but there's a difference.
Your left brain thinks so. When you're right is opened, then you will know for yourself.
Ok. Sounds to me like you're really in touch with your emotions. Which isn't bad. But it might be better to let your "left brain" lead your right instead of vice versa, but at the end of the day, I say "live and let live!"
I certainly think that survival is much easier for religious people and people who are "right-minded," so maybe your way is "better." But I have to be true to who I am. Letting my "right brain" lead me only lead to heartache, disappointment, and I was kind of becoming a self-absorbed jackass. Letting my left brain lead helped me understand how much of an illusion I lived in, and I'm constantly learning that more and more everyday, but I've also learned how much I should let my right brain have some say every now and then, for my own happiness' sake.
Haha, thanks ATW, I was not ready for that rude awakening!
Water = H20 = Fact only if the molecule is real and factual in the first place. If it is not "real," but just a bundle of energy, without form or solidity, then it cannot even be defined. It is without form so it's infinite. Since we as finite beings cannot actually see, feel, hear, taste or smell the infinite then how can we perceive it as Fact?
Religion is not based upon fact either. Religion is the subjective desire to see "things" and understand "concepts" that satisfy our subjective desires. Therefore such concepts are perceived in as many ways as there are minds to perceive. Those concepts cannot be proven from one person to another even. Two or more persons might agree to "call" them facts, but they are still not proven.
Only one fact remains as far as I can determine (and of course remain to be discredited by more rude awakening!) - i.e., we humans variously have a need to "believe" in the imaginations of our active minds.
We are all simply "bundles of energy." We are matter, atoms, molecules, the whole shebang. But that we exist is still fact. What humans do is label concepts and try to quantify physical and non-physical things. But when we notice consistent patterns, when we find labels that can be applied (which is why we test hypotheses), we can rest assured that it is a reliable phenomenon, that it is quantifiable and able to be labeled fact, i.e. we can define it. Something being fact is fact regardless of how we perceive it. Even if I could not tell you that the wind blows or if I didn't have a word for it, it wouldn't change the nature of the wind.
I completely agree.
Are you sure? The fact that something exists or is fact is so regardless of how we can or cannot perceive it. But we have ways in which we can perceive those things. We can only see that which is fact as fact vs that which is fantasy as fact by using our senses in the least subjective manner that we can to understand that things are as they are regardless of how we might want them to be. It is possible to get over that "need to believe in our imaginations" that you speak of.
Perception is the reason that observation is incomplete therefore that reality is subjective, therefore some see it some not, so what is relative is not that reality but what and how you get it!!! Get it???
McFarland, excuses do not do you well.
ABCDEFG...and Z: from http://www.icr.org/scientific-knowledge/
" The Foundation of Science Is Absolute Truth
Scientific knowledge is not a collection of subjective opinions. Rather, it is a collection of explanations about objective reality that is based on observed or predicted phenomena. In addition, the explanation must be verified repeatedly to confirm that it correctly models reality.
As our technical ability to observe reality improves, we are able to increase the quality and quantity of our observations. Better-observed data challenge our explanations, some of which will no longer fit the observed facts. New theories are then formed and either verified or falsified.
While our scientific knowledge changes rapidly, the absolute reality that is being modeled has never changed. The scientific method assumes an absolute reality against which theories can be verified."
And me, from the Moon, tell you Troubled Man, do you Know what Garbage-in-Garbage-out means? It means that if science bases its asumptions on falseties, then the "truths" found are...garbage too. In others words, the 'absolute' truths of science can still be compliant with the methods and requirements, but arrive to a big LIE. A big lie, is not a truth by definition, but it can be a truth by convention...like the ones you preach.
From the institute for creation research. A fraud organization who publishes their own journals as fact because no reputable scientific journal will publish them because they do not pass the peer review process.
With respect puella, I think you are talking to you are talking to yourself, not ATM.
That is fairly correct.
Yes, ample examples of that are contained in your posts.
Yes, your explanation is pure garbage. Well done.
JCL, with respect too, I disagree with your statement of absolute change, it contains an essence error that contradict the sentence purpose: in your statement, one element (the term change) is logically disqualified/contradicted by the quality of absoluteness. Change is temporal, impermanent, it's like an adjective on the use of the verb to be in the temporal conditions, such as "I am happy", "She is upset", "We are at lunch by the beach", "I dropped my Religion class today"...get it?. Other descriptions of change will refer to changes in context of truth but not in the essence of truth...Truth is permanent, whether weack it or not, If you feel in the mood to read what I have not written by gathered to clarify you my opinion, please do so next; if not, it is still fine to me.
From: http://eport.stu.edu/blogs/ldavies/arch … .htmchange
Larry Davies: Mostly Ed.D. stuff, but with some STU related data
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November 16, 2005: Change IS absolute!
Hazel wrote: Today in this dynamic, turbulent and ever changing environment, it is difficult to plan, organize, direct and control, and leaders must come to the realization that ‘change’ is the only absolute.
From any ON-line dictionary:
[cheynj] Show IPA verb, changed, chang•ing, noun
verb (used with object)
to make the form, nature, content, future course, etc., of (something) different from what it is or from what it would be if left alone: to change one's name; to change one's opinion; to change the course of history.
to transform or convert (usually followed by into ): The witch changed the prince into a toad.
to substitute another or others for; exchange for something else, usually of the same kind: She changed her shoes when she got home from the office.
to give and take reciprocally; interchange: to change places with someone.
to transfer from one (conveyance) to another: You'll have to change planes in Chicago.
From Wikipedia: Change: The process of becoming different
• Impermanence, one of the essential doctrines or three marks of existence in Buddhism
• Social change, refers to an alteration in the social order of a society
• Biological metamorphosis
• Change (mathematics), the mathematical study of change
• Percentage change, in statistics
• Fold change, in statistics
• The Chinese philosophical concept of change, explored in the I Ching (Book of Changes)
• Personal development, especially if seen as personally "life-changing"
• "The change" (also "the change of life", ), an informal alternate term for menopause
Of what ‘change’ are you talking? Death is absolute: that will be a permanent state of the physical bodies. And whatever is born will die, unless the essence of “living” changes to ethernal essence
Just because you perceive it it does not mean that it’s exactly what is happening? It’s your perception of what is happening, and as such, non-absolute.
On the other hand, speaking of humans, I got this also (better articulated so no excuses if it’s not understood :
The other thing to remember is that how we behave is very heavy influenced by electrochemical interactions in the brain. These reactions are very, very complicated to say the least, and a lot of them probably do not have fixed outcomes (for instance, an electrical signal in a neuron, under given circumstances, might go down one pathway, or it might go down another- with very different results). So it's unlikely that every aspect of human behavior can be completely explained.
Most of human behavior can be explained rationally, but some things cannot. These things are derived from the human subconscious and human instincts, things that do not follow the laws of logic and reasoning. I have acted upon instinct and used memory from my subconscious, somehow I got the answers I needed from using thos two sources but I cannot explain how I did so rationally. By definition behavior that is rational must have at least the potential for irrationality””
Thank you, puella, good discussion at last.
The effect(s) are impermanent, I would agree. However, you and I cannot be conscious of any thing unless there is some form of change take place. In that respect "change" is permanently a function of our finite universe.
"Even in Death," the final and absolute change for each of us in our finite form, is still a transition process of change for the microbes which might feed on our bodies, or the molecular transitions which take place in combustion, etc., etc.
Troubled Man states scientifically, as usual, that my statements are pure garbage... TM, I can't do absolutely anything to help you and your neurons to work right. Science acknowledges that irrationality happens in even the best families. Just ike some humans smoke 4 packs of cigarretes a day and do not get cancer, some others do not smoke cigarretes and still get cancer; it comes with the territory of the resulting dna's after man adapted to changes since...you know...creation.
But I must inform you, dear Troubled Man, that if your purpose is to upset me, you are 'raining on wet soil' so to speak. I also have to agree that your sometimes 'seemingly' upsetdness and the things you say seem really unexpectedly irrational for such an absolute man of knowledge/science!! ghee!
As for McfFarland, blaming the interests of groups will not explain itself NOt peer reviews? what about more that 2K years and still going...I could use the very same 'reaon' you just used to say the contrary so what's your point?
That is pure nonsense.
No, my purpose is to attempt to get you to say something that isn't nonsense, although I am failing miserably in that regard.
<--- me being "upsetdness" with your posts
Yes, I can understand how reality based subject matter is irrational for you.
JCL, to 'notice' (be aware) of a change is only about differentiatng what it was from what it is now 'for you'. But it's because the truth changed or your approach to 'see' it has changed because your abilities to observe have also changed?
We change to adapt, otherwise, we stop being. To adapt, means that we are new beings? We are still defined but what we are-were in the new light. Man. A man has a definition. and its species resumes all of the characteristics. "Kenny Rogers used to sing 'sometimes you have to run when you are a man' for a context, and 'sometimes you have to fight to be man' in a different context...But still it remains to be the very same man. contexts...impulsive/survival conditions?... NO, we are talking about what qualifies the being called 'man' (in the animal kingdom). BUt, it happens, that there is this other part of man that s not included in the classification and it's the "nous" or, as it is called too, common sense, wit, intuition, wisdom, etc...how do you apply temporality to this absolute feature of any man. The extent of common sense or nous distinguishes man from another, but it is in every man.
In math, there happens to be, in cases, several paths to prove a theorem. Math admits to follow intuition, in some cases, to reach some proofs. So is science. Do animals but man have intuition or common sense? They show survival skills better than man sometimes, but intuition? They show to be astute but common sense?
To Troubled Man and McFarland, I humbly recommend you to read a couple of books: "The New Tolerance", "That's your interpretation" and "I don't have enough faith to be an atheist". Not to mention .. the Bible, have you read it? ot you criticise a book by the cover?
Ah yes, Christians playing the victim card again. It's funny how the very same Christians who complain about tolerance follow a religion of extreme intolerance.
Yes, many of us have read the Bible, and a great deal more books than most believers who would ask that question.
I've read the Bible over ten times in Greek, Hebrew and Latin. I find "I don't have enough faith to be an atheist" laughable and easily debunked, as well as lee strobel's laughable and fallacious reasoning in his "case for Christ"
If we're sharing book lists, however, have you read "god is not great" "nailed: ten Christian myths that prove Jesus never existed at all" or perhaps "the god delusion" or "the god virus"?
I got dragged into this because I criticized icr? (which, contrary to your assertion has NOT existed for 2000 years) the church was arguably at odds with scientific research and development throughout history, and remains at odds with it today. http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/icr-visit/bartelt1.html
You may be able to bully others, but it won't work on me. Sorry.
McFarland, ATM (which bank? the Seine?): is that true? you have read the Bible i arameic too? and yet you are still in this barbarian state? I must conclude that reading is not enough! You must have some sort of analysis. Even at pre-K level. Now, yo also ead and debunked those authors and theirs theories? WAO! what are you doing here? I am going to porpose you as a prize winner for lonf-devotion to knowledge, regardless of substantive wisdom...it's OK in your case...As for the ATM, I am speechless. I admire his resilience. He can write over and over the exact same thing and nobody bothers to even complain. I propose two prizes for ATM: one because here he learned to use those faces (finally!!!) not as etiquette (that is too high a level) but to communicate how unhappy he is...and the second, is the greatest: the gibberishest prize!! Wao we are generous. Let's see wat JCL has to say about rigidity, lack of manners, lack of civility, and above all, lack of substance. BTW, McFarland, did you also read "this is your opinion"?? and also debunked it? If it is or was in the same consolidated and scientific way as you speak here, I guess that explains the silence of the press about your debunkings...Debun king or not, Xtianiy is alive and running, not barely running. And a lot atheists are nw saying that perhaps 'agnostics' s more pallatabe, at least to be able to write about some more gibberishes... (in honor of ATM) and gheez...Hey, did you gys read the ABC? too?
The fun thing to do with ATM is to copy and paste back his own responses. He loves that, you should try it.
Nice that you actually admit to being a troll, well done.
Yeah, the Bible wasn't written in Aramaic. I'm pretty sure you know that.
For your information, I went to Bible college. I was a missionary for several years. My father was a missionary and a backup pastor, and yes I'm an atheist. Don't talk down to me because I don't believe in your god. I an not uneducated or unaware of your beliefs. Making stupid assumptions about people is arrogant and immature, and I'd expect better from a Christian.
Way to completely avoid my reading list for you, though. Way to go. Do you make it a habit of being this assumptive, presumptuous and demeaning, or am I just lucky?
Did I read you correctly when you called me a barbarian, or was that just another typo?
Actually, Puella didn't actually call you a barbarian.. She simply said the state you're in is a barbarian state.. Strange, I thought the state you were in was Florida
she then went on to define barbarian for me, since I'm clearly so uneducated and uncivilized that it never occurred to me to look in a dictionary - not that I needed to.
I didn't realize that atheism was a barbaric state. I'm sure all of the intelligent, hard-working people who proudly call themselves atheists while remaining productive and helpful members of society will be happy to know that.
I thought I lived in Florida too. Funny, that.
Where is the barbaric state? Is it next to Arkansas or somewhere?
janesix, watch it; the more ATM says that he is not upset, the more upset he is and the more faces he uses to convince (himself) he is convincing us that he is not upset; on the other end, McFarland says that he does not feel bullied by me!!! He calls 'bullying' to express opinions contrary to what he thought it was contundent (do I have to explain what contundent means?). OK OK I know, you need them :
"he" meaning me?
Yet another baseless assumption, considering the fact that I'm a girl - not that you bothered to ask.
I truly don't think your posts or mine upset ATM. He just likes picking fights.
I may not be JM's favorite person, but I think that's unfair. She hasn't shared much with me but I have picked up bits and pieces from her exchanges with other people and I have to say that I don't think a certain amount of hostility on her part could not be understood. I don't want to speak for her, but she doesn't go around picking fights. If that's all she wanted to do, I would be a prime candidate but she doesn't.
And to be fair, we Christians are just as guilty of a bit of belligerence as the non-believers are. Some more so than others. Jesus was not belligerent and He was not arrogant. We should strive to follow His example.
I wan't talking about Jmcfarland.
I was talking about a troubled man
I will stop giving people acronyms out of laziness from now on lol
It might be better that you stick to the subject matter of posts rather than fabricating lies and focusing on the person instead.
Oh, I see. You DON'T like picking fights. You don't come here daily to mock religious people, full well knowing that you are going to start a huge argument every time.
The only thing I can see to explain this is that you must then lack the ability to learn from your actions.
It doesn't seem that ATM cares much, honestly. I've always thought him a troll, no offense ATM. He might just be lonely and you guys are his favorite company.
Forgive him, for he knows not what he does....
But he will eventually, and he'll feel like a real doink for his behavior. karma
and when your karma is burning off, it hurts like hell
I think there's some truth to that. I used to get angry at ATM and think he was purposefully trying to be insulting and pick fights. I still think he has yet to meet an insult he at least doesn't want to lay on someone he disagrees with but I honestly don't think he's intentionally trying to pick fights anymore.
Oh yes, I forgot about all the fabricated lies told about me, as well. But, I'm the troll, here.
I'm fabricating absolutely nothing thank you very much. I gave my impressions based upon our long history of interaction and how I see you interact with others. If I ever thought you were belligerent (despite repeated claims on your part that you are not) then I'm hardly alone. And no, that's not an appeal to popularity. Someone casually reading your posts would more likely than not see a belligerence in them, your language is confrontational and you do most certainly insult people you don't agree with. That is not fabricated and that is not a lie. There are ways to say what you want to say that don't include provocation. And if you don't think you're being prevocational, it doesn't mean you aren't.
Yes, you are fabricating the lie that I insulted you, when I never did, so you can cut the bs anytime, than you very much.
Yes, it is.
No, it's not.
Your failure to accept even the possibility is why I don't believe you are intentionally belligerent. I would challenge you to reverse positions and try to think what it would be like if someone were to constantly bombard you with the kind of negativity you bombard others with, but my prediction is that you will say that Christians already do that to you, which if true will both sidestep the point render your accusations that I play the victim card highly ironic.
But I have not manufactured anything, and merely gainsaying me proves, um, well, nothing.
Of course, your prediction is correct, but it's not just me, its everyone. If Christianity were kept behind closed doors where it belongs and not out in the public eye, you wouldn't hear a peep from anyone.
No, I don't play the victim card, I simply observe reality and the damage Christianity and other religions have done and continue to do in our world. Stop the damage and the criticisms will stop, too.
I've gotta ask this because there appears to be a contradiction. When there is a negative comment made by you to a Christian who feels insulted, you are just simply observing reality and said person is playing the victim card, but when a Christian makes a negative comment and you accuse them of insulting you, they are being dishonest, irrational, and insulting, but you don't play the victim card.
Let me guess, the difference between the instances is that you are referring to a belief, but they are referring to a person. Do I have this right?
No, the difference is my "negative" comments are aimed at the religions while the believers negative comments are directed at me personally.
And, if my comments are geared towards trying to find solutions to mankind's problems, many of them originating as a result of religions, how is that negative?
Untrue. You have called me a liar numerous times on this forum when I have never lied once. You could have disagreed with my posts, but instead you took potshots at me personally. For instance, if I said something you found disagreeable for what ever reason, you would say, "How very Christian of you." When I posted a thread on interesting facts, you took the opportunity to use it to denounce religion. You definitely do make things personal in a pit bull like fashion. I often wonder if you are able to look at yourself as critically as you look at others.
It's only because you take any contradiction of your belief as personal. You think we are just supposed to believe you. We (for the most part) believe you are being as honest as you think you are, but that does't mean you are being honest with yourself or that you are right.
Do you think I'm being honest when I say I don't believe there is a God?
Do you think I'm being honest with myself when I say I don't believe there is a God?
When you can separate your belief with yourself (as others can do) you will have a better dialogue without being offended.
That is your perspective, it doesn't mean it is true. So in the sense that what you have said isn't factual, you are a liar, however, I would never call you that because someone who purposefully lies has made a choice to do so. Making a judgement call on limited information is what you have done here, and is basically what you accuse me of when saying that I have erred when choosing to place my faith in God. I understand that we have varying views and that when you say "there is no God" that you are making a statement based on the information you have. In my view, that doesn't make you an intentional liar. One is more heinous than the other because of intent.
I agree, but we also (as I stated) have to be honest with ourselves first and understand telling someone there beliefs are irrational is not the same as telling someone they are irrational.
I use my mind, my heart, my experiences and trusted teachings to make decisions. If you tell me my beliefs are irrational, you are telling me I am irrational. However, that was not what I was addressing in my post to ATM. Contrary to your belief, I don't have a problem with someone disagreeing with my choice to have faith. I have close relationships with many unbelievers. What I said was that I believed ATM does indeed make personal digs. You may not agree, that is also your perspective.
But you just admitted you can't separate your beliefs from your person, so any discussion of your beliefs becomes personal. With that said how can anyone debate your beliefs without you taking it personal?
What are you without your beliefs? You are not yourself without them.
You personally... Radman, or whatever your name is, You believe that you should be there to raise your children. You believe you should be faithful to your wife. You believe a million things, good and bad, right and wrong... our beliefs make us who we are.
Our actions make us who we are. our beliefs only guide our choices.
Not always.. People often do things that are opposite of what they believe
Edit- as depending on the situation
To act in opposition of ones beliefs would make one a hypocrite and that would be who you were.
Okay, Let me throw this at you. As a parent, are you willing to do anything to feed your children?
Please tell me that this is a general statement rather than direct toward me
But you and many other believers here do act in opposition to your beliefs. Those acts are pointed out all the time.
Isn't hypocrisy being and acting the person you are, contrary to the image you try to present to others?
In other words, hypocrisy is acting out a lie..... just discussing, not sure if this is correct.
I cant really wrap my mind around what youre saying. Can you dumb it down for me a bit?
Sorry, Beth, it came over a bit dis-jointed. Because it was some way back in the tread I can't find the post I was replying to.
Someone was talking about hypocrisy, and I felt it was a bit misplaced, so I simply stated my understanding of the word. It's often bounced around, sometimes as an accusation towards another commentator.
Maybe someone else will pick it up, otherwise don't worry.
We understand that you operate entirely on a belief system devoid of any rational thought, but that's how you operate, not us.
Normally I would make a joke and walk away. I only pause here to say... this is incredibly rude and insensitive and it would be ridiculous to say it isn't personally insulting.
A rational, thinking, human being, of course.
Not true, we can see that religious beliefs change people negatively.
No, they don't. It's our deeds that define us.
Our deeds do indeed define us, and for the most part, we act according to our beliefs.
For you, maybe, but not for us. Sorry, that you are unable to understand that.
Haven't i told you enough times I hold no beliefs, that I don't operate on belief systems?
When are you going to understand that?
lol. Everyone has a belief system. You don't have to have faith to have a belief system. For instance... maybe you believe that to succeed in life, one must rely on ones own strength. One must work hard and develop oneself to accomplish ones goals.
Maybe you believe that evolution is the way the world came into existence. Maybe you believe welfare is bad or entrepreneurship is vital... everyone has a belief system.
If I'm understanding ATM correctly (and correct me if I'm wrong, ATM), ATM does not operate on beliefs. It appears that for him, belief is more of a religious term. With this in mind, ATM acts upon what he understands about the world around him, not any belief because beliefs generally come without evidence.
I have often wondered if you were the "peacemaker" in your family... Did you envision yourself a kind of interpreter?
Nope.. I was the ignored one in my family. It isn't about being any sort of peacemaker. It's about taking the time out to understand everyone and everything around me and as such yes interpreting them in terms that a person with a different view will accept better. But this has nothing to do with trying to broker peace. Brokering peace between you and ATM is mission impossible and I don't have the time to even try it because that would take a while. I also don't have the inclination to try it because it is entertaining to me. It is possible to have understanding even in disagreement so that at the end of the day there is agreement on what is specifically being discussed. I've learned in my almost 34 years here that more often than not when two people are debating something, they are actually debating two different things. From the outside looking in, your debates with ATM don't have as much to do with religion as it does with what you believe versus what he understands
I will admit to you that understanding others is not a challenge for me. However, my goal is not to have an amicable conversation. I hope you can understand that.
Okay.. I can understand that.. But if your goal is not to have an amicable conversation, then by definition and understanding of the forums, would that make you the T-word?
And if you aren't here looking to be respected or amicable, then what is the point of crying foul when you aren't respected or responded to amicably?
I didn't say I didn't want to be amicable. I said an amicable conversation was not *my goal.*
I want to have open and honest discussion and yes, I would like it to be as respectful as possible, but to tip toe around the truth in order to titter and make idol chat, I would consider a waste of time.
It isn't about tiptoeing around the truth. It is about presenting the truth in a way that allows for more understanding in conversation as well as more acceptance of differences without the disrespect of name calling and personal attacks
Yeah, you and I agree on some things and differ on others for sure.
Correct we do. I am looking for open and honest dialogue as well and I keep my dialogue open and honest regardless of what they say. Which is the same as what Christ did. He gave his message, showed love and tolerance for all regardless of what they said to him, and moved on. Even up to his death he even prayed for them stating "Father forgive them for they know not what they do".
I will correct that. I don't necessarily consider 'belief' as a religious term unless it is used in that context.
I use the term based on it's definition:
- something believed; an opinion or conviction: a belief that the earth is flat.
- confidence in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof.
Exactly. And, beliefs are often wrong.
And what instance is belief most prevalent as you defined above?
By the above definition, a belief cannot be wrong as it is something that is not susceptible to proof. Only when evidence is given (at which point it is no longer a belief, but an understanding) can it be classified as right or wrong. In the case of religion, that has not happened as of yet, so at this point any belief (or non belief) is on equal footing as being right or wrong. one is just as good as the other until that final universal understanding is provided.
You see, you have no concept of those who don't operate from belief systems.
That is an understanding of the situation at hand, not a belief.
I believe no such thing, I UNDERSTAND evolution. Huge difference.
Speak for yourself.
You fancy yourself all knowing? Unless there is no knowledge you lack... you are operating in belief.
No, I don't, but I certainly understand a great deal more than you.
That is false. If I lack knowledge in something, I will not draw conclusions nor render beliefs.
Right, for the most part we act according to our beliefs, but not in every case, so our beliefs cannot define who we are unless our every action is in accordance with our beliefs, but even then when dealing with hypocrisy, there are several instances where we will act opposite of what we believe. So it is more of our actions that define us than our deeds. If it is solely our beliefs, then a LOOOOT of people would be headed for Hell that are Christians.
Yet, we can easily see that is false and that your decisions are based on your religious beliefs.
That is false. They are not YOUR beliefs, they are the beliefs of others who lived centuries ago. And, regardless of whose beliefs they are, they are open to criticism and ridicule.
You mean like when I expose someone who is being dishonest?
I have not called you a liar, but I have certainly exposed lies that you have written here.
That is a lie, I said that when you tossed out personal insults.
That is another lie, I did no such thing. If you had actually looked at what I posted, you would have found that post was in defense of believers.
That was similar to what I was getting at.. so I understand that part.
Sorry.. Wrong choice of word in this case.. I saw the word on your response and was using the terminology. I realize now that you didn't use the word. I retract that specific word.
If Christianity were kept behind closed doors where it belongs?
Now that's arrogant.
Do you think Islam should be kept behind closed doors in a secular society or do you like sharia law?
And I've observed (along with others) reality and the negativity your bluntness, forthrightness, and old-fashioned self-righteousness have caused.
Don't dish it if you can't take it. You can say all you want that it's all fabricated but it's not.
Hypocrisy knows no bounds here.
Funny, YOU are the one creating threads with titles such as, "believers, fight back against your atheist oppressors" and this isn't supposed to start a huge argument. Hilarious.
Funny how everyone else writes stuff here on these forums, but I'm the lonely one looking for company. Hypocrite. No offense.
Aw, ATM? Who said that you were the only one looking for company in the forums? Certainly not I. But, your insistence on constantly challenging Christianity in the most insensitive way possible as well as sometimes the character of those people (in the most insensitive way possible) has a lot of people seeing you as being belligerent. Your intentions are irrelevant because it's more about perception in this case. Plenty of people here believe that Christianity is myth and what not, but we often approach people in more respectful tones than you. I'm certain you feel no need to be respectful in the least, and you thinking in such a way causes you to come across as a belligerent troll more often than not. You can roll your eyes and call me a hypocrite all day. It doesn't change how you are perceived. The only person I've seen you be more positive with is Deepes Mind, because he is more willing it seems to point out and is more aware of the inconsistencies within Christian behavior. There may be other religious people that you're nicer to, but it seems like rare behavior to many. You have to ask yourself why that it is if you care. If you don't, well, don't be mad at me.
I was simply trying to lighten the mood. After I said I always thought you were a troll, I stated that you maybe you were lonely and you found them as good company as an attempt to get her to take your "not insults" less seriously.
Considering the fact that you mentioned my name, I hope you don't mind my weighing in on this conversation. I've stated before and I still maintain that I do not think ATM is a troll. I know you stated that the more relevant thing here is perception, and I agree with you 100%. It is about perception. Perception marks the difference between respectful conversation (even with difference of opinion) and emotional debate (that breaks down to mudslinging and insults). From my perspective, ATM isn't here simply looking for a fight or conflict with his approach. If his approach is that way and that makes him a troll, then there are several trolls here on all three sides (Christian, Atheist, or Agnostic). I see ATM as being strong in his views, but less tactful in his approach at times. I do not treat any of you atheists any differently (well with the exception of one particular person), But I have you guys categorized in a manner which allows me to remember to tailor my approach in the best way possible. for me, There are some atheists who use a lot of tact and are equally as nice in your approach with everyone (Yourself, Jonny, and Wilderness fall in this group). Then there are those whose approach for the most part is generally more tactful but can change as according to how the conversation goes (JMcFarland, Chatpilot, and Radman). Then there are those who simply say exactly what is on their mind with not quite as much tact and are more blunt (Getitrite, Zelkiiro, and ATM). For those in the third category, I just have to remember that it isn't personal and this keeps me focused on the topic at hand (as much as I can.. I slip at times..LOL). Also in ATM's defense, there are a LOT of believers here who are equally (and sometimes more so) belligerent toward him (and others ) with their approach irregardless of their approach. I've seen believers act belligerent toward you and you are one of the coolest people here.
I've had conversations with a few atheists here (Notably Jonny, ATM, Rad Man, and JM) and from what I've gathered from them, I do not act like some of the Christians here on HP. Part of it is as you mentioned that I point out the differences in the behavior of other Christians that are inconsistent with principles in the NT (which applies more to Christians than the OT). Another difference is that there are some here who take a difference of opinion as a personal insult against them and they resort to name calling and other personal attacks and using scriptures in a manner that it should not be applied (Which ironically could also apply to them). Also my approach in these forums is more tactful than others. Because my approach is different, I've been accused (by Christians) of pandering, twisting scripture in an effort to be liked and respected, and actually not being a Christian because I am able to separate my emotions from my beliefs and discuss subjects objectively and with as open of a mind as possible while still maintaining my beliefs. But with everything else, I also continue to maintain that my beliefs are just that, MY beliefs. I accept that I may not have sufficient evidence that could convince anyone else and as such I'm not trying to change anyone else's beliefs. any "evidence" that I have only reinforces my beliefs and more than likely is not objective.
how dare you call me tactful. Personal attack...oh...wait.
Also...irregardless? Not a word. Just sayin'
That's why your religion causes so much conflict
I was gonna' say that "irregardless" is not a word but you beat me to it.
And they say we can't agree on anything!
I think we agree that we don't agree on much.
See, we're adding to the list every day.
I was attempting to make a bit of a joke.
You said "who says we can't agree on anything"
so I said that we agree that we disagree on a lot..
nevermind. If a joke has to be explained, it obviously wasn't a very good joke.
Darn you, Chris. You're just so darn irrational (this was another attempt to be atheist-y and overcome my reputation for being tactful and intelligent and should not be taken seriously.)
I'm sorry, ladies and gentlemen, but word usage and grammar issues should be addressed only by certified professionals. You think you encounter a lot of disagreement over religion? Wait until you start working with professional proofreaders and editors! Whether or not a word is a word, or where is the proper placement of a comma can cause more brutal conflict than any religious stance could ever hope to do!
I can't wait to be certified by a professional... might open up a new door in my life,
Not from me guys. I'm lucky I can put an intelligible sentence together. Proper punctuation is completely beyond my comprehension.
Had to use spell checker for, intelligible, punctuation, completely and comprehension. Also wanted to use some bigger words but my spell checker had no idea what I was talking about.
You found a way around your difficulties and do well for yourself. it's not always about the punctuation because I have an issue with that too at times. It's about the coherence of your thoughts. You do very well with coherent thoughts
You had to explain your attempt again, JM... Let it go...
There.. I've brought a Christian and an atheist together with a word... My work here is done
Well Excuse the heck outta me!!
ir·re·gard·less adverb \ˌir-i-ˈgärd-ləs\
Definition of IRREGARDLESS
Usage Discussion of IRREGARDLESS
Irregardless originated in dialectal American speech in the early 20th century. Its fairly widespread use in speech called it to the attention of usage commentators as early as 1927. The most frequently repeated remark about it is that “there is no such word.” There is such a word, however. It is still used primarily in speech, although it can be found from time to time in edited prose. Its reputation has not risen over the years, and it is still a long way from general acceptance. Use regardless instead.
So put that in your pipe and smoke it...LOL
Here's the thing though....
the use of irregardless is redundant and unnecessary. It's just regardless. Regardless of something...
If you use irregardless, you're actually running the risk of using a double negative, and saying the opposite of what you're meaning to say in the first place.
I felt too much love. I had to say something atheist-y
What's your point (other than bugging me)? LOL
LOL.. Of course!!
So you're saying I shouldn't not never use a double negative?
Are you speaking to "My Fair Lady," Chris? lol. The double negative sounds a bit like Eliza Doolittle..
Of course not. This is an open forum.
Exactly, which is the point I'm trying to get across to ATM. But we had a discussion like this (ATM and I) a longgg time ago, and it was then that I realized that even though he comes across troll-like, that he is not in fact a troll. Which is why I said did always think him a troll. But, again, my statement was meant to be a way for janesix to take him a little less seriously, because too often these discussions get more personal/emotional than they should. And a lack of tactfulness often escalates things for people who can't separate their beliefs/opinions/views from their emotions.
Oh certainly. I've dealt with my fair share of belligerence from Believers. LoL. And thanks. I've learned how to approach these things without emotions. I wasn't always this calm. If you could see how I was when I first joined Hubpages, I was honestly chock full of emotion because I took so many things personally. I'm glad you're adapting well.
Which is why I agree and you're someone anyone should enjoy conversing with in these forums. Very well said. You have my respect.
I agree with this point. But the issue is that some people here are so emotionally wrapped up in their beliefs that they still react negatively no matter how tactful and respectful you are with your comments and responses and it doesn't matter if you are a believer (speaking from personal experience) or not (As you mentioned before). With this in mind, sometimes it is difficult to bother with baing tactful when you know the response is going to be belligerent either way. It appears (and I could be wrong so I apologize up front, ATM, if I am) that this is where ATM is (for the most part). I think more often than not I've continued to try to maintain tact with him and as such he modifies his tone (though there are some times he still goes hard at my beliefs.. not me)
Thank you. the respect is very much mutual
I have found that it's a mixed bag, that folks here will bounce around within those categories depending on the discussion.
For example, I have criticized Janesix many times when it comes to her beliefs, but have taken the time to discuss her problem of insomnia in another thread and attempting to help her find solutions.
Why would I would be looking for company in these forums when they are little more than discussion forums? There are many people in my life, but I don't spend every waking hour with them.
There is nothing wrong with challenging Christianity, or any other religion. If you believe I only focus on Christianity, then you haven't been reading my posts.
I don't challenge people's characters, that is not true. However, if someone is being dishonest, it needs to be exposed as such. Is that a problem?
Yes, I can understand how believers find me belligerent because I don't respect their religions, but I'm not the only one here who disrespects religions. Why should anyone respect a religion that has no respect for them?
I only respect those who are honest here. Some religious folks here are relatively honest about their beliefs, hence deserve respect.
Sure, lighten the mood by insulting others if it makes you feel better.
I note the word "lonely." That hits a button with me too. These forums are a big and important part of my social life. I treasure the company of each one here, even those who seem to be totally opposite to me in thought and concept. The disagreements can be irksome sometimes, of course. But the fact of discourse and sharing and joining in discussion is why I am here.
I know what loneliness is and throughout my life it has played a big part. Thus I feel strongly for anyone here in the forum who's primary need is to have company, regardless of agreement/disagreement.
So, ATM, not wishing to be patronising in any way, you are not alone.
barbarian: "The term "barbarian" refers to a person who is perceived to be uncivilized. The word is often used either in a general reference to member of a nation or ethnos, typically a tribal society as seen by an urban civilization either viewed as inferior, or admired as a noble savage. In idiomatic or figurative usage, a "barbarian" may also be an individual reference to a brutal, cruel, warlike, insensitive person"
This is an ample definition and it's self-explanatory. Do not feel sensitive when you have been bullying believers with equivalent speech . If you have read or not, it's your prerogative. You are the one, as an atheist, who talked down to believers because we do not reason and prey to manipulations and fraud!!!The heart has reasons that reason does not know, remember (Unamuno); you denying the contribution of Xtianity is barbarian; you denying the faith is also barbarian. Why? because everyone has the right to believe in whatever. Our whatever is GOD! and not science flickering thru human brains...Do you feel bullied? IFeeling is controllable by your mind.Dimishing you? or viceversa? You do not believe it? Can't do antthing about it. Do not act, like ATM preaches, "the victim" There afre not victims here. If you want me to stop posting, that can be managed by thru the right way which is not feeling victimized.
Where did I do that exactly? I entered into this conversation attacking and criticizing the ICR - and I'm hardly the first person to do it. I did not attack you. I did not call you names. I did not talk down to you or insult you. Yet that's all you've done since you began speaking to me, making assumptions about me that are patently absurd - not to mention unfounded and untrue. Do you find that honest?
I know what a barbarian is, thank you very much. But with all due respect (if there is any) I'm not the one who's being barbaric in this conversation. I am not uncivilized. I am not slinging insults around. I am not inferior to you because I lack a belief in a god. I am not insensitive, as many of my friends on this site (both christian and atheist alike) can confirm. I am not brutal or cruel or warlike. Who gets the right to perceive that someone else is a barbarian, and what criteria do they use? Is it subjective or objective? If it is your perspective that I'm barbaric, then I think that says more about you than it does about me. Strangely, I'm okay with that.
I offer respect where it is given in return, and you have not spoken to me with respect. It's really as simple as that. I didn't disrespect you when I criticized the ICR. I'm sorry if you took it personally, but that's on you - not on me.
This sounds like a personal problem on your end. Not on mine. I'm not angry at you, and I still haven't insulted you (although the opportunities were limitless). Don't you get that?
what's the importance of being a she or a he?? I could not care less about that matter. It does not change our attitudes or our posts. What is important is what you mean when youa accuse of fraud etc......have you read of archaeologial findings of many stuff in the new testament? or that is also inventions/rfraud?
Now I see the orchestra keeps growing NOw we do not only have a cello player but a bass Where did the tenor go? we need all for the opera or shall I call it the opereta? Nessum dorma.... or la donna e mobile cual pluma al vento...But, the topic remains the same unchanged... hurt feelings or not, truth is absolute, it is not a matter of perspective, it is not individual dependent. truth is knowable (and if truth is knowable, God, source of all truth, is knowable); truth is transcultural; beliefs don't change or affect a true statement (not even the religion of atheism beliefs); truth is unaffected by the attitude professing it. This is what we Xtians believe about thruth and have been saying here; you have been speaking with absolutism about your knowledge because of your ecclesiatic experiences, which makes you the ultra truth sayer/knwer: you said it in several ways that we Xtians are being under the spell of frauds...Jesus is an invention, the bible? I forgot what you said of it (i think that translations are goal oriented) etc ...you want me to go on? Is what you have been talking about is under the category of civilization, I wonder where to classify what we define as such nowadays...
To say there are not absolute truths is in itself an absolute truth statements meaning that to say that truth is not absolute is a self-defeating statement..To say that there is no truth requires us to acknowledge a truth statement...Shall I go on...or shall we keep hanging around he whinning mood?
I am deep-ly thankful to Deepes...for interpreting me this clearly I have hopes that I am improving my writings when I see this deep undertsnading on what I say or...try to say...amazing. Cheers
JCL, in your post about the possible interpretations of Jesus "I am the way...." some of your points do tackle one of the meanings as Xtianity takes it... In a sentence, I consider what Jesus said in this particular context when asked by His disciples ls that He is inded a cosubstantiation of message and messenger. Or, in my opinion, the what He says and what He is is all one thing: to reach God we have to believe in what he taught us in is last three years, and what He taught us is mainly what He is and came here for: I am the alpha and the omega... redemption/salvation (whatever that means for anyone hearing believing or not, etc) is only going to happen if and only if we go thru Him to the Faher, This does not mean at all that salvation is to live without struggles. We struggle physically as we are mortals. We sttruggle mentally (or our souls/heart) either as a consequence of physical issues (health. poverty, loneliness, rejection, you name it) or in our ever doubting or being anxious about future (inlcuding most of the already mentioned) but that we have not been 'able' to stabilise. It's explained to Catholics hat struggles is another route to virtue. I know that it sounds or may sound outregious, but that;s the teaching.
However, with struggles, we will not reach a point of inflexion (meaning we won't be stoic) if we do not analyze ourselves, know ourselves. One does not have to be a Xtian to do that. It's life's worth living if we do not know ourselves? Knowing ourselves and our potential, regardless of opportunities, and there willbe always opportunities, will open us to th world and all of its diverse contents.
And yes, JCL, you can pray backwards as long as what you are doing is true to yourself and even if the rest of the world is not understanding it...
It's good to see this declared as your own interpretation.
And here stated as your opinion. You are already aware that I do not subscribe to those beliefs of your church.
And thanks for affirming my rights, but of course this was merely my sense of humour, not to be taken seriously.
I am so glad you responded to this sarcastic post. I stated this because according to a discussion that you and I had in a different forum, this is the attitude you give off. Remember in the other forum you told me that I was not a Christian and no different than the nonbelievers. Do you recall that post? what of the discussion we had a couple of days ago when you were telling me that I was wrong in the things I was presenting (even though those things were biblical? I have evidence here in the forums that supports the assessment I made of you.
Which leads to the question of how can you dismiss the "truth" someone else finds in the bible that may differ from yours?
well, i want to make clear this to you.
I didn't actually call you an unbeliever.., I said, people will consider you one if you held to those points, .. but we decided to move on, so just forget that.
I wrote this comment simply because I want to know your take on this...
No sir, you stated that I was no different than the unbeliever and I had to correct you and tell you I am a Christian because you had to apologize for the mistake.You didn't mention that this is what anyone else would consider..
but we will move on
But this still doesn't change the fact that you did state that some of the biblical points that I raised were incorrect which means that your points were the absolute truth. Now you are saying that it isn't known. Which is it?
you know what, I am not calling you an unbeliever here. Why do you have to pick that up again?
I don't agree with your point, so I am trying to know more about your opinion on this, not to call you an unbeliever. Don't think that I am always out here to find fault on you... I am trying to learn from you as well, so I may ask you many questions! If you don't really like it. I will not bother you again brother in Christ!
It doesn't bother me when you have questions. It also doesn't bother me when you disagree. But to tell me that I (or anyone else here) am wrong (especially when I can go into the bible as well and have own relationship with God and how he speaks to me through his word) is what the issue is. You are not calling me an unbeliever now, but the point was that you did when I made a comment regarding a specific question. You changed your tune on it, but then started to still question my beliefs in the bible as well as what has been revealed to me. If you state that Christianity is about a personal relationship how can you tell another Christian that their personal relationship with Christ and their communication within that relationship is wrong? That implies that only your relationship and belief in God as well as your interpretation of his word is the correct one. This is what I am trying to get you to understand.
I mean in all fairness, that's why there are so many denominations. Apparently He's telling you guys a lot of different stuff. I think that's one reason why Catholics see Protestants as Apostate. Notice how Catholicism has very few denominations/sects.
I understand the fact that God communicates to us in different ways.
But I believe that, even though God speaks to us in different ways, He is the same God. There is only one God. And if I am suggesting someone that there are other ways to get saved even if they don't follow Christ, then I am not being honest.
Jesus said,"I am the way, the truth and the life". I am sure this is very clear to everyone. He may speak to us in different ways, but He will never suggest you or anybody else that there are other ways, other truths apart from Him.
What do you say?
Soldout777, if I may butt in here: "I am the way, the truth and the life" has its usual interpretation from the christian point of view and it's difficult to open the christian mind to another possible meaning, which I subscribe to, viz.:
The "I Am," in eastern religion, like Buddhism, is seen as the centre, the core of our Being. It's something equivalent to the "Soul" in christian terminology. This is seen as the abode of "God," the internal awareness of everything that we encounter in life. It is also seen as the "place" where each of us can "go to," in order to sort out our problems of life, whatever those problems happen to be. It's the place where "I" need to be totally honest with my Self.
It's also the place where many of us will never visit, because there are nasty secrets hidden there, pushed away out of sight, so that we can get on with our conveniently complacent life.
This is linked in a way to that bit from Jesus, saying that it's easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The more we have in material things, and earthly power/energy over others, the less we are able to let go. A search into that Inner Space can often point us in a more healthy way of living and "Being."
I firmly believe (and you don't often hear me speak of my beliefs here!) that Jesus was talking about this aspect of the I AM. I don't see him as declaring himself as "God." No enlightened person, he or she, would find a need to say such thing, IMHO. I hear him saying: "I Am," is the way, the life and the truth. If you visit the "I Am," you will find the way of light and truth and life itself.
Anyway, after that long explanation, I am just trying to show that there are other ways of interpretation, even if they don't fit with your personal understanding. You are free to choose.
You would be honest if you could explain your claims of how God communicates to us in different ways, and why He would do such an illogical and irrational thing?
Yes, we are free to choose, but anyway
thank you for the explanation:)
His point is that with various possible interpretations of scriptures and what God is saying to each of us individually thorough scripture, you cannot tell someone that they are wrong for what God has said to them because it was different from what He said to you
God appeared to Moses in the bush and told him to go to Pharaoh. Moses asked Him, what should I tell him, when he ask , who send you?
God told him,
"I am" has sent me"...
I Am , here refers to God.
Just clarifying it...
Yes, I understand what He is saying.
I am asking you...Deepes!
You have said that you are a non-denominational Xtian...which still, according to you, qualifies you as a Xtian? What is the only comprehensive definition of Xtian?
Chris·tian [kris-chuhn] Show IPA
of, pertaining to, or derived from Jesus Christ or His teachings: a Christian faith.
of, pertaining to, believing in, or
A christian is a person that follows the teachings of Christ as described in the Bible. Denominations have a set of doctrines and rules that one must be part of in order to belong to a specific organized group (Baptist, Methodist,.. etc) A Non-denominational Christian is someone who is striving to live according to the bible and the teachings and examples that Christ set out in the bible but without the extra rules that would identify him as part of a specific denomination.
Why is that? Because you can only understand it if the "Holy Spirit" is leading you? Sounds more like you're only trying to pick the positives out, and either ignore the negatives or mold your view point to match/accept the negatives.
The reason that people who read the Bible for the book that it is aren't impressed with it is because they're not reading it with rose colored glasses on. They're not "searching for answers." They are absolutely able to read it in context and understand everything written in it, but do not form an emotional bond with it. I can read any book and take it the way my feelings lead me along with preconceived notions of what I should be getting from it. The same way Christians read the Bible is how other religious people read their holy books.
Believe me, I understand, I used to read it the same way. Imagine the shock I had the first time I really saw it from a more objective perspective.
Men being torn to shreds by lions after being deceived by prophets. God forcing people to sacrifice their children to Him in order to instill "the fear of God" into them. Scripture after scripture of absolutely horrid things. Things that I would've brushed off, ignored, or said "serves'em right," or something along those lines. I would have found a way to justify atrocities I would never justify a human for doing. But because it was "God," I didn't look at it objectively.
IMO it isn't totally about having the Holy Spirit leading you. He admitted that even with the Holy Spirit guiding him he does not have all of the truths. one of the main reasons is that given some of the passages in the bible, you can catch a different revelation each time you read it in relation to a specific context as well as what you may be going through at a specific point in your life. Another reason (And one that I'm sure will be attacked by others) is that because the bible has been changed and reinterpreted so many times with different versions as well as peoples agendas with their interpretations we do not necessarily have all of the complete answers. Which is why other than the belief in God and Christ, not every Christian agree on what the bible is really saying (as evidenced by some conversations here)
It's not totally about picking out the positives while ignoring the negatives or adjusting to accept those negatives.
where do you find in the Bible where you see God forcing people to sacrifice their children to Him in order to instill "the fear of God" into them. could you please tell me in which Book, chapter???
Hey there. Certainly
Ezekiel 20:25-26 "Moreover I gave them statutes that were not good and ordinances by which they could not have life; and I defiled them through their very gifts in making them offer by fire all their first-born, that I might horrify them; I did it that they might know that I am the LORD.”
OK check out this link
http://reknew.org/2010/03/ezekiel-2025- … nding-god/
Soldout, that is obviously written by a learned person, but it's only acceptable if, in the first place, you accept the existence of a "God of Judgment," (which as you are aware I do not).
Elsewhere, in other discussions, I have accepted the possibility of a creator, but not the judgmental bit. The latter is reserved for us humans, in our need to control and have power over others.
It is now almost 3.00am here in eastern Australia, so I am going back to bed and reply again tomorrow sometime.
OK we'll discuss next time!
Good night for now...
Now, that was certainly an interesting read. However...
One thing that the writer mentioned was that it is possible in the OT that where God spoke of something He "did," he was sometimes referring to something He "allowed."
If God were a human being, would you allow the same excuse to fly?
Since when does a lack of action completely absolve someone of responsibility for the outcome of an action? Especially if that someone has supernatural powers and should have a mentality above those of an angered human?
"A person may cause evil to others not only by his actions but by his inaction, and in either case he is justly accountable to them for the injury."
John Stuart Mill
Please do the same...
Stop declaring that God is not there simply because you don't accept it!
I trust you keep the Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter series, and Alice in Wonderland on the same bookshelf as your bible. They can tell you much more about life and you will learn more about your own attitude if you can read between the lines. You might even allow yourself some expansive fun in the process.
Well well keep that wisdom to yourself,
I'll not be needing them...
I don't need another confused person helping me!!!.
JCL, your just issued answer to soldout777 is pretty much a 'narrow-minded one" as you claim/pointing-finger as dishonest or whatever. What bothers you from believers? their happiness because they do not feel lonely nor forgotten (even if it's fancying??), their solid/stoic (i.e. hope) way to resist pain/suffering?, their rock-solid decision to follow the Scriptures? their 'opinions' (of which you also, after narrow-mindedly interpreting, dare to judge?, their humility but strength? who said that being humble meant lack of opinion or false-modesty?? I beg you to answer and, please, do not escape by the edges...just answer what is it that makes you be so... bitter some times clouding your very often times excellent posts..I'd interpret with this posting of yours that you are mocking a believer, yet you claim that those very same believer are narrow-minded or dishonest. I do, DO, keep my favorite books in the same shelf...and yes, Lewis Carroll is there Throu the looking glass and no, not harry potter (I does not engage me), and books about THruth and Meaning and YES, the BIble! my favorite one, where I read that even before opening our mouth to say nasty things, even if we did not say them, we have already sinned in out mere thoughts...idoes that tell you something about character? about ethics? about a meaningful life? Or, is that, whoever feels outsided, by some, has a reason-enough to mock the whole bunch...Speaking of narrow minded? Sorry, the Hanmurabi is not an accepted rule for society anymore...It's not eye by eye and tooth by tooth anymore...We have grown up socially (Or so we believe, is it not true?)...Neanderthals are gone, and modern man is here...Do not forget, though, that man is said to belong to the animal kingdom (according to your proclaimed evolution)...so why are you outside the box so conveniently some times? animal is animal, and spirits are spirits...and man carries both, whether you can explain or not, you have to admit that your enchantment by listening Mozart, or the Beatles, has more to do with your souly part than your physicalities...You can have your own opinions, you can disagree fiercly, but do not mock them or simish them just because you do not like them or were hurt by some belonginf to the believers....that contradicts yourself right on the spot...and then, we wasted our time...
Reading between your lines I have to assume you mean that Harry Potter can teach you more about life than the Bible.
And don't get me wrong, Alice in Wonderland is one of my favorite books but can it teach more about life than the Bible? Yeah, I doubt even Lewis Carroll would have said that.
Yes, because each of those books is full of metaphor. The lessons of life are there in abundance. All (or at least much) of the Hollywood film material is put over with some sort of message if you wish to see it.
The bible can only mean something to you, or to anyone, if it is seen as containing valuable lessons of life. I can read them, you can read them.
When you read into the bible something of magical consequence, outside of sensible logic and reasonableness, then the entire message is lost is make-believe. THIS is the problem I have with religiosity. Nonsense, control of minds, judgment. Now you will tell me that I am indulging is the same. So be it. But I hope you can see my point of view.
Yes, the other book are full of metaphor.
Gosh, he said with thinly veiled sarcasm, too bad the Bible has no metaphor, eh?
The Bible has meaning even apart from however any given person wishes to interpret it. It is a historical document that contains many different kinds of literature. This is why I fail to understand how anyone can claim Harry Potter is superior to the Bible. It just ain't so.
....thoroughly rigid views within the accepted norms of that religion,.....
I leave it at that.
Must go, it's Sunday morning, it's very frosty, beautiful sun is shining, and too good for sitting at a computer. Will catch up later.
Yes, thoroughly rigid views as regard to religion espoused by a person who doesn't agree with it.
And I'll leave it at that.
87 minutes after you posted that it's still Saturday night where I am, in the US. You obviously are not still in Canada!
Haha, never was. Am about as close as you can get to the South Pole without actually being in Antarctica. New Zealand and Patagonia beat me in that.
You know, I've been thinking a lot about that line. So many of the things I've been saying lately are NOT either thoroughly rigid NOR are they within the accepted norms of "that religion."
I've also thought about your admission that when faced with what (at least in your perception) is a "narrow-minded" view you tend to tilt that way.
So let's step back for a minute. You said that you bet, in His heart of hearts, Jesus would be appalled that people were still worshipping him two millennia later. What do you base that on? And these are serious question, meant to help understand why you think what you think. Is it your reading of the Bible? Your understanding of history? Your personal belief in whether Jesus was God or saw Himself that way? Any particular authors or speakers who have influenced you (which in and of itself is not a bad thing.)
Thanks for coming back and asking.
It is because I do not see Jesus or any other human being, or animal, or object as being worthy of worship. You are right that I do not accept the christian teachings about that man Jesus.
I do suspect that he was very much enlightened about the nature of humanity. He most likely did an enormous amount of deep meditation and came to understand himself and his relationship with the universe in a way that most of us will never even approach.
That is why I have so much respect for such a man. I have no respect for the superstition(s) which have been built up by various societies down through the years. These used the unknowns about the man Jesus to work their controls. I cannot give you any "proofs" for what I have stated here. They are my views and just as valid as any beliefs you might have.
As you can see, I do have a fairly flexible mind, and am willing to consider other points of view, just as you do.
Who said that "the mummy returns" is a fiction?
Hello jonnycomelately. Not used to forums still regarding the window to post, therefore with memory recall I copy/pasted to remain in focus.
When anyone, of whatever religious persuasion, holds thoroughly rigid views within the accepted norms of that religion, does it make for honesty and truth? Or deception and lies?
Opening up one's mind to other points of view, does this help in the understanding of truth? Or does it cloud and confuse the truth?
Okay, I will work bottom toward the top pretty much. I tend to have the perspective that "opening up one's mind to other points of view "does" help with understanding "truth." Therefore the second portion is negated regarding requiring an answer.
Pondering a moment the first question it is a contention that honesty from a perspective is an attribute or character trait of ethics rather than moral regarding "a" religious persuasion. How honest is not at question, just honesty is considered. However, that does not speak of or for truths.
Further, an honest person may be deceptive through an action of omission rather than commission, thus not know they are telling or sharing a lie. Again, truths are not within the conditions of the proposition, since we really do not know if a lie or a truth, only of the telling.
For example Person A holds a citrus fruit and it is the color green. Person B holds a citrus fruit and it is the color green. Both are spherical, both have two leaves at the stem, and both have the same texture. They both have near to the same life on the branch. They both have not matured yet. They both appear identical. With any visual view, feel of texture, and possible the scent are identical. Possible scent may give it away based on each individual capacity and abilities.
The conclusion is both are holding a lime.
Yet, upon slicing them open one has a thicker rind pointing toward an orange and the other less thick of a rind pointing toward a lime. Lemon is not considered since they tend to be more of an octagon. Like a football some say.
Truths are a whole different matter. Well, time for a meal near dinner some call lunch. Sometimes I ponder later and go oops, that was not correct. I got it wrong, then, ponder if I told a lie.
It really depends on how honest the person can be. Some people are simply not capable of the kind of self-analysis and necessary action to be "fully actualized." And some people are simply not able to accept a different point of view without an overly emotional reaction. And it takes a disciplined person indeed to not react to the reaction with equal ferocity.
In my experience, at any rate.
Understanding truth, evolves. Both the rigid and the open minded assist life as we know it to continue to evolve.
Sometimes you have to walk in the fog to get clarity and have insight. I wish everyone would meditate.
"When anyone, of whatever religious persuasion, holds thoroughly rigid views within the accepted norms of that religion, does it make for honesty and truth? Or deception and lies?"
What is truth? How would you know the truth if you heard it? Is truth something we just agree on, or, is it objective and unchanging?
Just as we know that the laws which govern our physical existence do not change, neither do the spiritual laws which govern our ultimate fate change. Or at least that is what seems to be the case. All the theories can't be right, at the same time, so someone has to be wrong.
But what if we're all wrong? What if we really don't know what is going on?
Personally, I find my answers in the bible. No religion is necessary to know God, because God is knowable through the man Jesus the Christ. Christianity has no more a license on truth than I do, it's God's truth. I don't claim to know it all or even most of it, but I do know God is real, and that Jesus Christ died for our sins. It's real easy to be forgiven, you just first have to admit you need forgiveness. Believe that if God can forgive me... He can forgive anyone. They're God's laws, not "Christian" laws or "Jewish" laws, and God can forgive anyone of breaking his laws. He's God, and he can do that, ya know.
"Opening up one's mind to other points of view, does this help in the understanding of truth? Or does it cloud and confuse the truth?"
What is truth? Again I ask, because your definition of truth may be different. Why "truth" is different for people is an interesting study in and of itself!
But to answer your question, from my perspective anyway, is this: Opening my mind up to other points of view, has only solidified my belief that a great deception is going on. If people honestly believe in Islam, why do they? If people honestly believe Communism can work, why do they? If people honestly believe in nothing, why do they?
What drives a person to "believe" anything? Why are we even capable of thought? What is cognitive function, or rather, why do we exist? Because you can deny anything you want, except for the fact that you exist. So...
Why do you exist?
I don't agree with that statement..... The "Laws of Physics" are the human statement to describe in an orderly fashion, what we see happening and to give reasons, predictability to what happens.
As time goes by, the perception of those laws may or may not change... but an honest scientist will always leave room for further findings and understanding to arise.
So, it's not the actual Physics that changes, but our perception of it.
Spiritual Laws are also the perceptions of humans. Set up by individuals to clarify their understanding. Since perceptions can change, those "laws" are not set and unchangeable.
Surely this is religion!!! Are you open minded sufficiently to explore other possibilities? Or is your belief now set in stone?
Post Script: I see that you have partly answered this question, sorry I missed that. However, my point in asking again is that I feel (as you can see from my OP discussion that you have repeated) that the way forward for christians themselves is to open their minds: open up the the infinite possibilities of the god they worship.
"I don't agree with that statement..... The "Laws of Physics" are the human statement to describe in an orderly fashion, what we see happening and to give reasons, predictability to what happens."
No, things like the laws of physics are very well understood and documented, which is how we know why and how the universe works. If our perception of gravity or electromagnetism changes, that doesn't change the operation of these things, it just means that we're wrong.
"As time goes by, the perception of those laws may or may not change... but an honest scientist will always leave room for further findings and understanding to arise.
So, it's not the actual Physics that changes, but our perception of it."
Finding out something new doesn't mean anything that is well understood will change. Just because quantum mechanics has discovered new insight into the world around us, the discovery of this aspect of reality hasn't changed how gravity operates one bit. It changes our understanding of things like gravity, space, time and matter, and not the listed items themselves.
"Spiritual Laws are also the perceptions of humans. Set up by individuals to clarify their understanding. Since perceptions can change, those "laws" are not set and unchangeable. "
So if there are physical laws which don't change, then, there may be spiritual laws which don't change. I may be wrong, but I may be right, and both options are interesting.
"Surely this is religion!!! Are you open minded sufficiently to explore other possibilities? Or is your belief now set in stone?"
I am 99.99% certain of my beliefs, and when new information presents itself, it only solidifies what I believe to be real and true. I could be wrong, but even if wrong, the man Jesus Christ in the story of the bible has made me a better person regardless. I find that the man forgiving his murderers, because "they don't know what they're doing" is an astounding statement to make, and one worth believing in.
Why do we kill? Because we fear each other, because we know what we are capable of with, or without, any religious doctrine attached. People are evil, all on their own, and if you refuse to admit that evil exists... Well, then you're pretty much a nihilist, which is the belief in nothing.
But clearly, evil exists. It is a thing, and we know what evil is because of the aforementioned human paranoia which can drive a person to kill..
"Post Script: I see that you have partly answered this question, sorry I missed that. However, my point in asking again is that I feel (as you can see from my OP discussion that you have repeated) that the way forward for christians themselves is to open their minds: open up the the infinite possibilities of the god they worship."
See, that's the problem though. The whole reason we're in this mess, according to the bible anyway, is because we imagined the possibilities without God in the picture. The idea is that Satan corrupted the imaginations of God's newest creation, us, because he simply hates us that much. Why that is, I'm not entirely sure yet, but I keep reading the bible and thinking about it. Maybe I'll find an answer, or maybe I won't, but it has been my experience that the bible answers a LOT of questions.
Why does anyone hate? It doesn't make sense.
No, you don't KNOW that. You believe it, because you believe in the veracity of the bible. That is separate from knowledge.
the definition of knowledge is the commonality of facts and features between truth and belief...Belief is separate from knowledge as long as in that knowledge there is nothing generating intuition/perceotion/revelation.
God does reveal to ourselves.
For example, the generosity in humans to help each other is God's inspired virtue. It does not mean that someone needs to practice a particular faith, but that conscience of comppasion does not grow in the trees: it's of divine inspiration. The definition of charity is far from 'giving' to see happy faces, it's derived from love to our brothers and sisters...regardless they even know who is doing the charity...To see happy faces when I give is a reward, and we are not supposed to give for any reward.
Generosity is not unique to humans as a matter of fact it is seen in all animals that rely on numbers (groups) to survive. It's the evolutionary trait that helped our ancestors survive.
yes; it's amazing. But the fact it's seen in animals, does or does not speaks from a God? t
You can ascribe it to a God or you can understand why evolution has brought us to where we are. Once you understand something one no longer needs God as an explanation.
I understand evolution Rad Man; there are explanations in med field that adaptation to new context conditions explains some mutations at the red cell level that cause , well...illnesses, etc; mutations were/are there for adaptation and renewals of many survival skills...It did not mean that ALL could adapt (evolve) so that explains the fittest only...But ANY explanation,
absolutely any, still lacks the proof to a no-God universe Ibecause randomness is really not that random and so, coincidences are not such...There is a blueprint, whetehr we call it God generated or Evolution or Big Bng of Higgs stuff..still, it's only putting the beginning of the beginning a bit far behind, but never deleted or dicarded. I do not say this to preach to you, you have shown your own explanations to your incognitas, still, I have to say that these points of views are for me and not for you to feel invited or forced or in any way rejected in the event you just do not consider them On the contrary, perhaps a few here on the non-believers realm have brought to my attention even more proofs! with some of the matters they have thought of...Thanks for your reply
Puella, all of your understanding rests upon you acceptance of there existing a "God." Without that acceptance, most if not all of your interpretations and comments to my posts fall flat.
At least, in my humble opinion
You, not so long ago, were saying that the truth is only perceived thru changes...hence your opinion on 'the truth' is just that, an opinion based on a perception; I, for instance, do practice meditation; each day, before starting my day routines, I meditate...and it is amazing how that clarifies the things in my life...and I can attest that nothing, so far, has been a 'coincidence'...it was meant to be for the better, even when whatever happened was painful and meant to separate to my 'usual' life...
I can attest that the meditation is not working. Try reading something other than the bible instead as you seem confused.
you may be right; i will go and buy a much proufonder one
; harry potter
I invite you to accompany me in the project: as soon as I clarify my mind I am sure you will get to be the 'confused one' :<
Meditation can certainly be a very healthy mental exercise. It clears the mind, energises the body, is a way of dealing with distractions..... if you choose to bring a god into your thoughts, fine.... he/she/it is still only in your mind.
And JCL, if in your humble opinion, you believe that only atheists can have and understand the truth then my dear JCL you are also prone to fall flat and infact, you have done so many times here...Like telling the obvious to someone "you do not have the monopoly of truth" is sooo obvious, but yoou seem sooo upset...Why? It is true! Nobody has the mon opoly of the truth, as for human affairs...The religoius truths can only be believed or not (and if you remember in the worldly affairas a truth is b believed right on the spot...but we are here talking of religion...nothing is straight forward nor provable...Why get upset? Why mock? why name callings?
you believe that only atheists can have and understand the truth (do I?)
but yoou seem sooo upset...(do I?)
but we are here talking of religion... (yes, we are, and looking for antidotes for the disease)
Why mock? (yes, sometimes, hehe.)
You believe that only christians can have and understand the truth, puella?
But yoou seem sooo upset, puella. Why?
You are talking about religion, discussing your disease, are you?
Do you feel mocked? Why?
I echo the question: what is truth? Deepes? where are you?
Hey, Puella. I just started a new job and as such my replies will be slower. But Glad someone actually looks for my input
To answer your question (from my perspective): Truth is basically a fundamental understanding and acceptance of a specific concept, principle, or ideology. Truth is basically broken down to two types, objective (More commonly referred to as reality) and subjective (more commonly referred to as belief). Objective truth is a universal understanding of something that is mutually accepted by all people within a specific preset guideline that is mutually agreed upon between peoples. The fact that humans need oxygen to survive is an example of an objective truth. On the other hand, you have subjective truth which is dependent upon the perception of the person or persons examining a concept. The belief in a deity is an example of a subjective truth. Subjective truth is broken down into three types in itself (This may or may not make sense but hopefully with my explanation it will be clear).. There is objective group subjectivity where a concept is understood and accepted by a specific group of people (such as Christianity as a whole) but not ALL people. There is also an individual group subjective approach to truth (such as denominations of Christianity) where the truth is viewed by different groups within a collective group. Then there is individual subjective truth which of course is dependent on a single person which may or may not coincide with any group truth. The thing about each truth (objective and subjective) is that subjective truth can become objective as more information is gathered, studied, and accepted by all people within an agreed upon preset guideline. The Christian belief (or lack thereof) in God (one that even I can accept being Christian) currently is simply a group subjective truth, but not objective at this time (NOTE- I HAVE A FIRM BELIEF IN GOD BUT I RECOGNIZE THAT NOT ALL SHARE MY BELIEF, THUS IT BEING SUBJECTIVE) as it is not accepted by everyone within a preset guideline. However, an objective truth CANNOT become subjective as it is universally accepted and understood by all people. It simply is what it is and cannot be altered.
Hope this answers your question as to what truth is.
(ANOTHER NOTE- THIS IS ONLY MY OPINION AND PERSPECTIVE ON THE CONCEPT OF TRUTH. IT IS SUBJECTIVE AND MAY NOT BE AGREED AND ACCEPTED BY ALL)
Deepes! good luck in your new avenue and God always with you!
Your answer is what you and I and others have been saying all along. It's what is it is. Belief cannot become objecive as even if it's based on the Bible or other source, it will always be a particular living for each person and each person is unique: how do you make that universla to be an objective truth? It's not possible; Jesus right before His death was asked "Do you call yourself a king" and what did He answer? "My kingdom is not of this world" We interpret hat as His Kingdom is not about earth or materialities, but for our souls...Kigndom in which we all enter as long as we do in our temporal (an abosulte truth: we all will die), struggling (we all struggle since the moment of birth when a baby cries because he is forced out by nature, out of the environment baby is comfty and secure and sheltered, basically, allof the needs as per Marlow, satisfied), and a long etc; Xtianity 's tennets are quite a different thingto Xtians behaviour. Just, for a swift example, school teaches exactly the same curriculum to each class to all students;..there will be students overachievers, main stream, and those lacking...Is the curriculum defiecient? is it that the teacher is not doing the job appropriately? is it that no person is identical to another, not even twins in what respects to abilities and intelligence? what is it? If to that we add home issues since early age, one can easily find a person not prepared for a life of sacrifice and giving which Xtianity requests...and also, lke in society we explain some misfits by their upbringing, schizos, child abuse, etc, Xtianity also carries within these cases as Xtianity is formed wiithin a society.
If further, atheists want to desecarte the source: faith instilled by God, a book, and a credo...then that's another campaign and that's where I find it the easiest: we are not arguing if our faith is true or if God exists...we do not doubt that...We, here, are arguing about the deceptions and lies seen in Xtianity...and that is totally explainable by psychology, philosophy, definitions, and honesty. Once somebody accuses us, as a whole, of dishonesty, then we have the right to say back, well you ar dishonest! why not? where is the insult? why feel insulted? how about liberating ourselves of prejudices an speak without trying to win? I have done that...but it has not gone thru; you have done that, and I wonder still.
However, the original sin here is not what we have been arguing or how we have been arguing, the truth is that JCL started out with his left leg: judging as dishonest, even in general, is not the right way to invite...it's already doomed.
THIS IS MY OPINION. WHATEVER YOUINTERPRET IS ALSO YOUR OPINION NOTHING ALL BETWEEN HEAVENS AND EARTH IS CLARIFIED BY THE SUN (KING DACID DIXIT)
"No, you don't KNOW that. You believe it, because you believe in the veracity of the bible. That is separate from knowledge."
Uhhh... What? I hope you know what you're talking about, because I do not.
But in a general response kind of way, all information is knowledge, and the information in the bible is just as valid as any other source of information. It also has some of the oldest and widespread texts in history, which almost defies logic how something could stay in circulation that long.
Plus, even if it's all just a good story, guess what? Humankind thinking about God, got us to where we are now because we started using our minds: We became self-aware!
Information leads to understanding, not necessarily to knowledge. Since you have no PROOF of your religion that can be tested or demonstrated or falsified, all that you have at best is the belief that your beliefs are true. You cannot have absolute certainty of religious beliefs without proof, and I'm sorry but the Bible is not proof that god is real. It is proof that certain people had certain beliefs, and they wrote them all down. What is interesting to me is that nowhere in the bible does god instruct people to write these stories down and claim that they're HIS word and is inherently perfect. He does not create the cannon and dictate which books are truly "god inspired" and which ones should be thrown out. The biblical cannon (at least the new testament) were done by committee, and it was hotly debated at the time - and is still hotly debated now.
If god's word was clear (which it should be, because god himself according to the bible claims that he's not the author of confusion) then there would not be over 40,000 denominations of Christianity that all interpret it differently with different criteria for salvation, what is expected, which rules to follow, etc. If god was OBVIOUS and inherent, then there wouldn't be hundreds of different religions, and the proof would be obvious to everyone. It's not. At all.
The fact that the bible was preserved was because the Catholics in the early days of the church became the official state religion of Rome. After the NT was cannonized, they preserved it. The books that they rejected were all but lost to history with only a handful of copies still in existence - most of which were discovered by accident. Orthodox Christianity had a monopoly of both politics and religion from the 3rd to 4th century through the middle ages up to the enlightenment. With the invention of the printing press, with church authorized books being produced en mass and all "heretical" books being burned alongside their authors, it's not that much of a mystery that the bible remained intact. A basic comprehension of history will teach you that.
I'm sorry, but the bible is not proof of god. I'm not stupid enough to say that nothing in the bible is true - it was written by people who were experiencing history, and they wrote down what they witnessed or what was passed on by oral tradition. There are elements of truth in the Spider Man comics, too - in as much as they take place in New York City and we know that is a real place. Archaeology has uncovered certain places mentioned in the bible, but that doesn't mean that the stories that the bible lays out about those places or people are actually true. It means that they're stories based on real things. We see that in multiple different mythologies. No one thinks that the Odyssey is true because it mentions real cities. Then again, the Odyssey doesn't claim to be the word of god, so we all recognized that it's mythology - but greek and roman mythology was very real to the greeks and romans. Likewise, the fact that the jews attributed events to their god does not mean that their god was responsible. They couldn't prove it. They just said that "god did it" and that was good enough for them. There's no way to either prove the veracity of these stories or to prove their source, and to claim otherwise is nothing more than arrogance, assumption and confirmation bias. Likewise, since none of the New Testament was written by eyewitnesses (and the MAJORITY of biblical scholars both secular and religious concede that none of the four gospels were written by the people whose name is on them aside from strict fundamental literalists) claiming that something happened does not prove that it did. It proves that people believe it did, with no proof whatsoever.
"Information leads to understanding, not necessarily to knowledge. Since you have no PROOF of your religion that can be tested or demonstrated or falsified, all that you have at best is the belief that your beliefs are true."
I could show you proof, but would you believe it? I highly doubt my evidence would count as proof, and so I'm not interested in even providing proof if asked. What's the point when I know I'd just be ridiculed and mocked?
"You cannot have absolute certainty of religious beliefs without proof, and I'm sorry but the Bible is not proof that god is real. It is proof that certain people had certain beliefs, and they wrote them all down. What is interesting to me is that nowhere in the bible does god instruct people to write these stories down and claim that they're HIS word and is inherently perfect."
Obviously you've never read the thing if you're saying that: And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. - (Revelation 21:5).
And elsewhere in the bible, God instructs people to write things down. It just is the way it is, so either these people were crazy, or, God really did tell these people to write things down. There is a chance that because of the harmony of biblical texts provide us that God does exist, or it is the best "living" story in history. Either way it is an amazing set of books and letters that has survived up til' now.
"He does not create the cannon and dictate which books are truly "god inspired" and which ones should be thrown out. The biblical cannon (at least the new testament) were done by committee, and it was hotly debated at the time - and is still hotly debated now. "
Oh I know. I think the books of Jasher, Jubilees and Enoch should be included, since these books are referenced by other books in the bible. Just to start with, at least.
"If god's word was clear (which it should be, because god himself according to the bible claims that he's not the author of confusion) then there would not be over 40,000 denominations of Christianity that all interpret it differently with different criteria for salvation, what is expected, which rules to follow, etc. If god was OBVIOUS and inherent, then there wouldn't be hundreds of different religions, and the proof would be obvious to everyone. It's not. At all."
Well it is actually quite simple, but humans complicate things ad infinitum. That's mostly the reason for the mess we're in now. Anti-Semites like Martin Luther (not King Jr., he was a good and righteous man) and John Calvin, who forgot that both the first "Christians" and all of humankind's Salvation, were all Jews. Why make new "religions" when the old one was doing just fine? Most of what Jesus was telling people, was in the "Old-er" part of *the* testament.
"The fact that the bible was preserved was because the Catholics in the early days of the church became the official state religion of Rome. After the NT was cannonized, they preserved it. The books that they rejected were all but lost to history with only a handful of copies still in existence - most of which were discovered by accident. Orthodox Christianity had a monopoly of both politics and religion from the 3rd to 4th century through the middle ages up to the enlightenment. With the invention of the printing press, with church authorized books being produced en mass and all "heretical" books being burned alongside their authors, it's not that much of a mystery that the bible remained intact. A basic comprehension of history will teach you that."
The bible has survived history, and a basic comprehension of history will teach you that. Empires rise and fall, religions come and go, but the bible is still here. Lest you forget, the Roman Catholic Church tried to outlaw bibles in any language other than Latin, and, only clergy could afford the accommodations to learn Latin! They kept people from learning about what's really in the bible, by even burning copies and killing the authors of bibles printed in languages native to their areas!
A monopoly on information made it possible for the RCC to become more than just a "church". They left behind the basic tenants of the bible, thanks mostly in part to Constantine "the great", the first "Pontifex Maximus" of the RCC who brought sun-worship back into the mix. And by the way, Pontifex Maximus was only a title available to a Roman Emperor, with interesting origins of its own.
"I'm sorry, but the bible is not proof of god. I'm not stupid enough to say that nothing in the bible is true - it was written by people who were experiencing history, and they wrote down what they witnessed or what was passed on by oral tradition."
In a platonic way of looking at it, yes.
"There are elements of truth in the Spider Man comics, too - in as much as they take place in New York City and we know that is a real place."
All lies are based in truth, or else it wouldn't be a lie. What is truth?
"Archaeology has uncovered certain places mentioned in the bible, but that doesn't mean that the stories that the bible lays out about those places or people are actually true. It means that they're stories based on real things. We see that in multiple different mythologies. No one thinks that the Odyssey is true because it mentions real cities. Then again, the Odyssey doesn't claim to be the word of god, so we all recognized that it's mythology - but greek and roman mythology was very real to the greeks and romans. Likewise, the fact that the jews attributed events to their god does not mean that their god was responsible. They couldn't prove it. They just said that "god did it" and that was good enough for them. There's no way to either prove the veracity of these stories or to prove their source, and to claim otherwise is nothing more than arrogance, assumption and confirmation bias."
Ron Wyatt found compelling evidence for biblical stories. Whether or not you consider his findings evidence, I do. I don't care about his religious affiliation, what he found is either the greatest hoax of all time, or, divinely inspired and true. More people should know about it to at least consider the possibility, and ya know, be open minded about the situation.
And why is that? Because if the blood of Jesus Christ is on the Ark of the Covenant... That changes everything. If the guy is a liar, well, he's a liar. If he's not, you will be speechless. Hear it from him first, then go to whatever debunking web site you have in mind, free to see on the wonderful world wide web.
"Likewise, since none of the New Testament was written by eyewitnesses (and the MAJORITY of biblical scholars both secular and religious concede that none of the four gospels were written by the people whose name is on them aside from strict fundamental literalists) claiming that something happened does not prove that it did. It proves that people believe it did, with no proof whatsoever."
Actually, scholars familiar with the material have dated the earliest writings to within 70 AD, which means you have people who were likely alive at the time Jesus walked on earth. That is within distance of the "eye-witness period", meaning more than likely true to at the very least that Jesus was a real person.
So if a real person claiming to be God went around forgiving everyone of their sins, even forgiving his murderers, what does that mean? Kind of an important lesson in there, somewhere.
I am willing and able to look at any evidence that is presented. I've studied this for the majority of my life, and I don't make it a habit of mocking people. If you don't believe that, you can ask some of my closest friends on this site - and in my real life apart from hubpages who are christians. We talk about things openly and honestly and I don't make fun of them just because they believe things that I don't. We would have to agree upon the definition for proof and/or evidence, however - and I doubt that you'd comply with them.
This is not about god telling people to write things down. We're talking about the creation of the bible and the cannonization process of the New Testament. Where in the bible did god say "thou shalt write this book, and it shall be my holy and infallible word? The answer is never. This is abundantly clear when you research and study the cannon creation in the new testament - and the new testament cannon that we have TODAY was consensus by committee. God wasn't involved. Again, the bible is not harmonious internally, nor is it harmonious with history.
And if you want to tell me that I've "clearly" never read the bible, my professors in bible college where I learned Hebrew, Latin and Greek and studied actively IN a predominant bible college wouldn't agree. I got good grades, and I was a bible-believing Christian and returned missionary at the time. You don't have to believe me, but that doesn't make it untrue. Isn't that what your whole argument is?
Do you know why they weren't included? There are sites out there from Christian apologists, listing why they were left out.
I see. It's not the fact that god is a bad writer. It's that people just like to complicate things - and an all-knowing all powerful god that supposedly created us with these brains didn't foresee the fact that we'd...i dont know.. use them. You do realize that Marin Luther (that you're practically demonizing right now) is one of the main reasons that the bible DID appear in a language that common people could read and understand, right?
Once again, the bible is still here because the people that were in power in the religious sphere were the same people that were in control politically. They executed everyone who offered different opinions, burned documents that disagreed with their common doctrine and put forth their version of the story because might made right and no one could contest them on it without risking their lives.
Ironically, now you seem to be demonizing Catholicism in the same way you earlier demonized Martin Luther who was the father of Protestantism. Are you then claiming that the only person that got it "right" in all of these thousands of years was you?
What other way is there?
No, some lies are just blatant falsehoods. If I tell you that I own an invisible purple dragon who lives in my garage, what truth is that based on - or is it just a lie?
I've never heard of the guy in four years of bible college, and over 15 years of research in my adult life AFTER college - most of which i was still a christian. Point me in his direction, and I'll look at it.
Correction - the EARLIEST gospel of Mark is believed to have been written around 70-75AD. The other gospels came in the next 25 or so years, with John being the last. According to the bible itself, most of the apostles were long dead in the first 35 years after Jesus death, therefore none of the gospels could have been written by disciples. If Matthew was written by a disciple, like fundamental believers want to claim - why does it copy Mark, who wasn't a disciple? The names on the gospels weren't added to a couple hundred years later, so for believers to say "the disciples wrote the gospels so clearly they're true" are at best misguided - and at worst they've been lied to and didn't bother to check it out for themselves. How much does a story change in 35-40 years? Don't give me "the jews were a people focused on maintaining the integrity of oral tradition" in first century Judea. First Century Judea is one of the most documented historical periods. We have thousands of records and preserved documents from this era, but we have no complete copies of gospels for at least 100 years after they may have been written. Additionally, there is no contemporary independent confirmation of Jesus apart from the gospels. I don't know if Jesus was a real person or not. Honestly, I think it's impossible to know one way or the other.
A lot of people wandered around claiming to be a Messiah or a god or a demi god or a sort of god. That doesn't make them true.
Have you ever read "Evidence that demands a verdict" by David Wilkerson?
Several times, yes. I don't find it compelling, but it would take a 20 page paper to explain why. I thought it was by Josh McDowell. Not whoever you mentioned.
Have you ever read "God is Not Great" or "The God Delusion"? I'm assuming not, based on previous conversations I've had with you.
What I see here is that you want me to read your material, study it and you'll pray that I'm convinced by something - but you're unwilling to read any of mine. Why? I don't think you want to understand the other side, as evidenced by the fact that you ask us atheists the same questions over and over again and the answers don't seem to sink in - and you're not willing to consider anything that puts things in another perspective.
I was just curious if you'd read it cause it addresses disputes. I didn't realize I'd hit any kind of nerve.
You didn't hit a nerve. I was just curious as to fair play. I'll re-read the book because you recommended it to me, if you in turn read one of mine. Are you interested in seeing both sides in literature, or do you just want the atheists to do all of the reading?
Unwillingness to examine both sides to me doesn't foster good will. It makes me think that you're afraid of your beliefs being challenged, and if your faith is that fragile, then it's not nearly as certain as you've claimed it to be. What do you have to lose then by picking up one of my books and reading it?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=p … qXNuHg7SCs
I'm curious, Beth. Give me YOUR interpretation (not some pastors or preachers or apologists) of Ezekiel 20:24-26
"…24because they had not observed My ordinances, but had rejected My statutes and had profaned My sabbaths, and their eyes were on the idols of their fathers. 25"I also gave them statutes that were not good and ordinances by which they could not live; 26and I pronounced them unclean because of their gifts, in that they caused all their firstborn to pass through the fire so that I might make them desolate, in order that they might know that I am the LORD."'"
You don't have to read it at all, you just seemed to be saying there were disputes and I thought if you wanted "Christian answers" to them, you might find that book interesting.
No, Im not really interested in any book recommendations, thank you though. I like picking out my own. I just finished two. One was Killing Lincoln, and the other was RA Dickeys autobiography. It was awesome, I loved it, but then I really love biographies.
Sometimes I feel like maybe you are having a conversation with someone else. I feel like you have some kind of conversation locked in that we haven't had. You should really get to know me as a person before judging me so harshly... Im not as terrible as maybe you imagine. lol I don't know... anyway, I do appreciate the offer to suggest some books, but I'd rather direct the small amount of reading time I have to things Im really interested in. Maybe you feel the same.
Beth, I've heard the Christian answers, and that's a good reason that I'm no longer a Christian. I was a Christian until I was about 24. I was a missionary. I grew up in the church, and I went to a very large, very fundamental Christian college. I've spent a lot of my life studying this stuff, and I'm STILL looking for evidence now that I'm an atheist, because if I want to follow the evidence wherever it leads, I have to be open to possibilities - even if they contradict what I currently think about life and the world at large.
If you're not interested in book recommendations, that's fine. If you were handing out suggestions, though, then I think it's only fair to take the recommendations that I have for you. Are you not interested in learning more about your faith - or finding the answer to the question that you've asked me, rad, troubled and multiple other atheists multiple times namely: why we care if we don't believe in your god. These books answer those questions, and if you were so curious about it that you'd ask me and others repeatedly, you may be curious to find out.
I'm not judging you. I'm making observations based on the nearly year-long conversations that we have had. I have never said that you're stupid or a bad person or terrible. I've never called you names. I've tried to get to know you, but every time we interact, we get to a certain point and then you back off and end the conversation. That makes getting to know you difficult, to say the least.
Why aren't you interested in examining what you believe in from all sides? Shouldn't it be the most important thing to you - especially if you care whether or not your beliefs are true?
I think you're confused. I don't ask you repeatedly why you don't believe in God. That would be totally inane. I think you're referring to the fact that Radman once said I was repeatedly asking why he visits these forums if he isn't interested in having a real conversation. It seemed to me that he would ask a question, I would do my best to answer it and he would give me a smarta$$ comment in return as if he hadn't just opened the door to a real conversation. I wont pretend I have ever gotten a satisfactory answer for why this phenomenon continues.
I have heard your story many times and read your bio and some of your hubs. I recognize where you are coming from. If you ask, I will do my best to answer. This is my effort. Im not knocking at anyones door.
Have you removed your question about EZ 20? I was going to respond and I don't see it now. What is your issue with it?
I do tend to back off when ppl forget what the subject is and begin attacking the person. You don't seem to remember doing that, but I can bring it up again, though I'd prefer to let it go. I hope that if you look back over our conversations, though there have not been that many I spose, you will see that I was kind to you, as a person, though I was quite fixed in my beliefs.
Beth, I have never attacked you. I have criticized your beliefs. There is a huge difference that you seem incapable of grasping. I never said that you were mean or cruel to me - and I've never been mean or cruel to you either. That's not the point of these discussions, and you've said in the past that you're not here to be nice and make friends. You're here to spread your interpretation of truth to everyone, whether they want to hear it or not.
I have no idea what EZ20 is. I doubt I would have mentioned something if I don't know what it is.
I have always been nice to you. My goal is not to make chit chat, although there's nothing particularly wrong with that... but if the title of the thread is "narrow opinions in religion" and ppl are asking questions about religion... I will tend to answer them.
I didn't think you'd been particularly cruel, that would be a bit over the top. Cruel is how you were treated by friends and family. You have made personal remarks that were a bit insulting, but like I said, I don't have a need to focus on that... I'm perfectly happy to move on.
I didn't remove it, so I don't know what happened to it actually. That's curious. I find keeping up with the forums in depth is nearly impossible. Sometimes I miss posts, it's to be expected. I'd still like to get your take on Ezekiel 20:24-26. I would find it interesting.
I've made observations about you, it's true. Then you say that you don't, in fact, have a low self esteem while simultaneously turning around and calling yourself worthless without god. *shrugs* You make observations of me too. You're entitled to your opinion. Sometimes they're true, and sometimes they're not. Why bother to be offended by a practical stranger's observation?
If you didn't mean cruel, why say it? Words have meaning attached to them, and I'm sure there are multiple words that you could use to describe me. Cruel isn't one of them. So I'm interested why you chose that word initially.
I didn't realize I had... sorry, seems a bit excessive.
Im not sure what observations Ive made? I hope they weren't negative.
I don't think I could enable you to understand what I mean when I say that the only good in me is b/c of God. I can understand how that could be offensive to you, or how you could view it as low self esteem. It is not actually the value to which I give myself, but to say the value of God is so high, it can barely be comprehended. We hold God in different esteem obviously, considering you don't believe Him to be actual and I believe Him to be... well... God.
Yet you do not know the book you mentioned. Evidence That Demands a Verdict, was written by Josh McDowell whose major argument is argumentum ad populam combined with ignorance.
Beth has already admitted to not reading posts, but instead skims them and usually only reads the first line in any given post, usually the last post of a thread. Unadulterated laziness.
No one can learn anything with that method, of course, yet she believes it's a good trick.
So do you just repeat literally every word ATM says?
I thought I replied to you, not ATM. I didn't hear him asking you from where you studied that? Can't you even understand what is written?
Yes, indeed I can read reasonably well. You might have missed two of his posts prior to yours making the exact same statements. No harm, no foul. Night.
The first post was the same but I didn't see his post when I posted. The second though the idea is same(because the reply was to a single comment of yours) we both meant different things. (And I have no idea about the author you mentioned but only the book you mentioned).
And it is not whether you can read well but whether you can understand what you read.
It makes sense, though. JM was right and I too have had the pleasure of having to repeat things over and over to you. It's pretty obvious you don't read posts.
You sir, are a big bully. Aren't there any homeless ppl you can harass? Maybe a widow or an orphan you could mock? You're as easy to get along with as a rattlesnake.
Wow, the insults fly, but you will probably say in this thread just how nice of a person you are and that you never say anything negative or toss out insults.
Will you now claim that you didn't create a thread saying you don't read posts?
Nope, I wouldn't claim that. If I say black will you say white? Let's give it a go.
Exactly, because you did make a thread stating that you don't read posts. Thank you.
That was written by Josh McDowell. David Wilkerson wrote "The Cross and the Switchblade"
"I am willing and able to look at any evidence that is presented. ..."
Great! Part of my evidence includes the finds by Ron Wyatt. I'd start with that.
"This is not about god telling people to write things down. ..."
There are a lot of people that disagree with you, sorry. Dr Michael Heiser has hours upon hours of video you can watch. Very interesting stuff.
"And if you want to tell me that I've "clearly" never read the bible, my professors in bible college where I learned Hebrew, Latin and Greek and studied actively IN a predominant bible college wouldn't agree. I got good grades, and I was a bible-believing Christian and returned missionary at the time. You don't have to believe me, but that doesn't make it untrue. Isn't that what your whole argument is?"
Maybe you read it and tried to apply worldly knowledge to it, hence why you don't understand it. God warns us not to try to interpret the bible, even by our own standards that we've agreed upon. If you really did read it, you wouldn't have missed that part. The whole idea of canonization is that scripture interprets scripture, like a set of laws or rules, much like the idea behind things that we know and see on a daily basis such as gravity or light; It becomes self-evident by the evidence presented. Human bias, however, puts restraints on such things. But when I say "self evident" I mean in terms of discoverable nature of things, like gravity.
"Do you know why they weren't included? There are sites out there from Christian apologists, listing why they were left out."
Yeah, because people don't understand them. Only just now am I seeing the importance of these books, having found copies of them on the internet. It really answers a ton of questions, and so I don't entirely rule it out simply because a bunch of fussy old men say that it isn't inspired.
"I see. It's not the fact that god is a bad writer. It's that people just like to complicate things - and an all-knowing all powerful god that supposedly created us with these brains didn't foresee the fact that we'd...i dont know.. use them. You do realize that Marin Luther (that you're practically demonizing right now) is one of the main reasons that the bible DID appear in a language that common people could read and understand, right?"
Part of the implications of the bible being true is that we are under constant attack by very evil forces beyond our understanding. If a great deception really is going on, Martin Luther was part of the plot. He hated Jews.
If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? - 1 John 4:20 (hah).
Martin Luther's hatred of Jews means that, by biblical standards, he is a liar. So forget whatever junk you learned in bible college or whatever about this guy, he's evil plain and simple. He incited people to violence, a murderer AND a liar.
"Once again, the bible is still here because the people that were in power in the religious sphere were the same people that were in control politically. They executed everyone who offered different opinions, burned documents that disagreed with their common doctrine and put forth their version of the story because might made right and no one could contest them on it without risking their lives."
So why didn't the RCC just completely abandon the bible and destroy all copies, writing their own version? They were almost successful in doing this very thing, and yet they still failed. The vast power of the RCC couldn't destroy the bible, nor could the mighty Roman Empire, the Greeks, the Assyrians and even the Babylonians and Egyptians. It almost defies logic that the bible is still around. Miraculous, if you will.
"Ironically, now you seem to be demonizing Catholicism in the same way you earlier demonized Martin Luther who was the father of Protestantism. Are you then claiming that the only person that got it "right" in all of these thousands of years was you?"
I'm not saying I'm right, I'm just saying God is the only one of us that is right. I'm a sinner just like everyone else. You can read the bible and come to the same conclusions I do or not, but I'm no more an authority on the matter than you are, really.
"What other way is there?"
Left? Right? Up? Down? (Select, Start). I don't know, what?
"No, some lies are just blatant falsehoods. If I tell you that I own an invisible purple dragon who lives in my garage, what truth is that based on - or is it just a lie?"
Do you have a garage? If so, then your lie is based on truth.
"I've never heard of the guy in four years of bible college, and over 15 years of research in my adult life AFTER college - most of which i was still a christian. Point me in his direction, and I'll look at it."
"Correction - the EARLIEST gospel of Mark is believed to have been written around 70-75AD. The other gospels came in the next 25 or so years, with John being the last. According to the bible itself, most of the apostles were long dead in the first 35 years after Jesus death, therefore none of the gospels could have been written by disciples. If Matthew was written by a disciple, like fundamental believers want to claim - why does it copy Mark, who wasn't a disciple? The names on the gospels weren't added to a couple hundred years later, so for believers to say "the disciples wrote the gospels so clearly they're true" are at best misguided - and at worst they've been lied to and didn't bother to check it out for themselves. How much does a story change in 35-40 years? Don't give me "the jews were a people focused on maintaining the integrity of oral tradition" in first century Judea. First Century Judea is one of the most documented historical periods. We have thousands of records and preserved documents from this era, but we have no complete copies of gospels for at least 100 years after they may have been written. Additionally, there is no contemporary independent confirmation of Jesus apart from the gospels. I don't know if Jesus was a real person or not. Honestly, I think it's impossible to know one way or the other."
Search "historical evidence of Jesus". Plenty of evidence there from people like Tacitus, Pliny the Younger, Josephus, Lucian, and the Babylonian Talmud. The last one being especially interesting - Why would the Talmud talk about Jesus in a negative manner, if he didn't exist? Seems odd that entire writings exist solely to slander a man that didn't exist.
"A lot of people wandered around claiming to be a Messiah or a god or a demi god or a sort of god. That doesn't make them true."
I don't know of any of them whose blood is on the Mercy Seat of the Ark of the Covenant.
So you don't like catholics, and you don't like the founder of protestantism that made it possible for the bible to be written in the common language. What kind of christian are you? Martin luther was hardly alone in his hatred of the jews among christians. Luther was hardly unique, so I'm unsure why you singled him out for anti jewish sentiments.
I've researched the historical evidence for Jesus. None of it is contemporary to his life.
I tried to copy and paste the rebuttal to the specific things that you mentioned, but it was entirely too long. I'll leave the one about the Talmud since you seem fixated on it, and leave the link for you to read on your own (since you're urging me to look at your evidence, I'm just assuming that you're willing to read mine.
2. The Talmud contains inconclusive evidence of Jesus. The Talmud  is a massive compilation divided into two parts, the Mishna  and the Gemara . The Mishna was codified by Rabbi Jehudah ha-Nasi circa 200 CE but was not actually committed to writing until the fifth century; it discusses numerous subjects, including festivals, sacred things, etc. The Gemara was completed in the fifth century and is really a commentary on the Mishna.
McDowell cites six lines of evidence for the historical Jesus from the Talmudic writings:
(a) The Tol'doth Yeshu. At the outset, note that the Tol'doth Yeshu is not in any sense a part of the Talmud; in ETDAV McDowell erroneously lists the Tol'doth Yeshu as if it were a part of the Talmud. (In fairness to McDowell, I should note that he does not repeat this error in his later book, He Walked Among Us; in that volume, the Tol'doth Yeshu is listed under the heading of "References from the Rabbis.") Anyway, McDowell states that the Tol'doth Yeshu is a reference to Jesus; in that document "Jesus is referred to as `Ben Pandera'". Yet Joseph Klausner--who McDowell relies on heavily in his section on the Talmud--believed the Tol'doth Yeshu "contains no history worth the name." Furthermore, Klausner stated, "The present Hebrew Tol'Doth Yeshu, even in its simplest form, is not earlier than the present Yosippon, i.e. it was not composed before the tenth century. Therefore it cannot possibly possess any historical value nor in any way be used as material for the life of Jesus." Even on McDowell's view, this is more than enough time for legendary development. And in He Walked Among Us, McDowell and Wilson list the Tol'doth Yeshu among the "unreliable [rabbinic] references to Jesus."
(b) The Babylonian Talmud. McDowell next lists the opinion of the Amoraim that Jesus was hanged on the eve of Passover. However, Klausner thinks that the Amoraim traditions "can have no objective historical value (since by the time of the Amoraim there was certainly no clear recollection of Jesus' life and works)." Morris Goldstein states that the passage "cannot be fixed at a definite date within the Tannaitic time-area." The value of this passage as independent confirmation of the historicity of Jesus is therefore uncertain.
(c) The tradition about Jesus as the son of Pantera. Commenting on the Talmud's references to Jesus as "Ben Pandera (or 'Ben Pantere')" and "Jeshu ben Pandera," McDowell writes, "Many scholars say `pandera' is a play on words, a travesty on the Greek word for virgin `parthenos,' calling him `son of a virgin.'" However, "Jesus is never referred to as `the son of the virgin' in the Christian material preserved from the first century of the Church (30-130), nor in the second century apologists." As Herford argues, this passage "cannot be earlier than the beginning of the fourth century, and is moreover a report of what was said in Babylonia, not Palestine."
(d) The Baraitha describing hanging Yeshu on the eve of Passover. McDowell considers "of great historical value" the following Jewish tradition about the hanging of Jesus:
On the eve of Passover they hanged Yeshu (of Nazareth) and the herald went before him for forty days saying (Yeshu of Nazareth) is going forth to be stoned in that he hath practiced sorcery and beguiled and led astray Israel. Let everyone knowing aught in his defence come and plead for him. But they found naught in his defence and hanged him on the eve of Passover.
It is unclear whether this passage refers to Jesus. As Goldstein admits, "the possibility of the Jesus named in the Talmud being someone other than Jesus of Nazareth, and identified as such only because of confusion, cannot be entirely dismissed." But even if the passage does refer to the Jesus of the New Testament, according to Goldstein, "it is of no help one way or the other in the question of the historicity of Jesus."
Following this Baraitha are some remarks of the Amora 'Ulla, a disciple of R. Yochanan and who lived in Palestine at the end of the third century. McDowell quotes these remarks as follows:
'Ulla said: And do you suppose that for [Yeshu of Nazareth] there was any right of appeal? He was a beguiler, and the Merciful One hath said: Thou shalt not spare neither shalt thou conceal him. It is otherwise with Yeshu, for he was near to the civil authority.
Both McDowell and Klausner conclude, "The Talmud authorities do not deny that Jesus worked signs and wonders, but they look upon them as acts of sorcery." However, given our ignorance of both the date of these passages as well as the author's sources, we simply can't assume these passages represent independent traditions about Jesus.
(e) Talmudic references to the disciples of Jesus. McDowell writes, "Sanhedrin 43a also makes references to the disciples of Jesus." Turning to Joseph Klausner, we read:
Immediately after this Baraita comes a second (Sanh. 43a): Jesus had five disciples, Mattai, Naqai, Netser, Buni and Todah.
Yet as Klausner notes, "In any case the Baraita itself is lacking in accuracy, for although the names are those of real disciples, they include some who were not disciples of Jesus himself, but disciples of the second generation." In other words, the list of names is simply a list of Christians, not a list of contemporaries of Jesus.
Laible has suggested that "the story refers to the prosecution of Christians under Bar Cocheba" because (1) the story occurs in the same passage which describes the death of Jesus and (2) "the key to the understanding of the statements there made about Jesus in the anti-Christian hatred of Bar Cocheba, and more especially of Aqiba, his chief supporter." If that is the case, then the passage can be dated to the second century, which would prevent it from providing independent confirmation of the historicity of Jesus.
(f) The reference to such-an-one as a bastard of an adulteress. McDowell, following the lead of Klausner, cites the following passage from the Babylonian Talmud, Yebamoth 4.49a:
R. Shimeon ben Azzai said: 'I found a geneaological roll in Jerusalem wherein was recorded, Such-an-one is a bastard of an adulteress.'"
McDowell takes this to be a reliable reference to Jesus.
However, there are good reasons to doubt that this passage represents an independent tradition about Jesus. First, the passage comes from the Babylonian Talmud, which dates to around the sixth century. Second, the gospel of Matthew begins with the words, "The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ." This "genealogical roll" or "Book of Pedigrees" may have been influenced by the gospels. Third, this passage fits the pattern of Rabbinical polemic. Thus this reference may not be based upon an independent source. Of course, it's also possible that this passage was based on independent sources. The available evidence does not favor one view over the other; thus, we can't use this passage as independent confirmation of the historicity of Jesus.
(g) The reference to the 'hire of a harlot.' Finally, McDowell quotes the following passage from the Talmud:
He answered, Akiba, you have reminded me! Once I was walking along the upper market (Tosefta reads 'street') of Sepphoris and found one [of the disciples of Jesus of Nazareth] and Jacob of Kefar Sekanya (Tosefta reads 'Sakkanin') was his name. He said to me, It is written in your Law, 'Thou shalt not bring the hire of a harlot, etc.' What was to be done with it--a latrine for the High Priest? But I answered nothing. He said to me, so [Jesus of Nazareth] taught me (Tosefta reads, 'Yeshu ben Pantere'): 'For of the hire of a harlot hath she gathered them, and unto the hire of a harlot shall they return'; from the place of filth they come, and unto the place of filth they shall go. And the saying pleased me, and because of this I was arrested for Minuth. And I transgressed against what is written in the Law; 'Keep thy way far from here'--that is Minuth; 'and come not nigh the door of her house'--that is the civil government.
What is crucial to the evidential force of this passage is the words in parentheses; yet McDowell never defends them. He simply quotes Klausner, who in turn quoted an obscure, 19th century manuscript. Nonetheless, most scholars would reject the passage as McDowell has it:
To establish the reliability of this passage, Klausner must engage in a contorted argument that includes an appeal to Hegesippus' account of the martyrdom of James--something that would not inspire confidence in many scholars today. Joachim Jeremias weighs the pros and cons of the argument about authenticity and decides in the negative--rightly in my view. The saying is a polemical invention meant to make Jesus look ridiculous.
In conclusion, the value of the Talmud as a witness to the historicity of Jesus is at best uncertain. John Meier argues that the Talmud contains "no clear or probable reference to Jesus." And Twelftree states that the Talmud is "of almost no value to the historian in his search for the historical Jesus." Of course, as McDowell and Wilson point out, the Talmud never questions the historicity of Jesus. But that fact cannot itself be used as evidence for the historicity of Jesus, for two reasons. First, as Goldstein points out,
we must be careful not to make too much of [the] argument [that had Jews doubted the historicity of Jesus, they would have said so]. It is not conclusive. Can we attribute to ancient peoples our modern concept of myth, or historicity? Furthermore, this manner of logic lends itself to fallacious extension whereby one could attempt to prove that whatever the early Jewish tradition does not specifically mention in contradiction to the Christian tradition must have taken place.
Second, the Talmud can only provide independent confirmation of Jesus's existence if it relied on independent sources. Given our ignorance of the sources for the Talmud as well as its late date, it simply can't be used as independent confirmation of the historicity of Jesus.
all of these sources and more can be found here: http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/ … l#josephus
The summaries here are not my own research, but everything I've learned on the subject pretty much agrees with few disputes or differences from what is listed on this site. Are you interested in learning more from the side against yours? You also may want to read "Bart Ehrman and the :Quest for the Historical Jesus" which was written in rebuttal to Ehrman's book "Did Jesus Exist" Also watch the presentations from Richard Carrier or read "Nailed" by David Fitzgerald.
If it were not for the Catholic church, you would not HAVE a bible. You would know nothing about Jesus except small fragments from the dead sea scrolls and the nag hamani library. There would be no modern day christianity that even faintly resembles the christianity that exists today, and you would probably be just as vehement about a different set of religious beliefs.
I'll look for that guy you mentioned when I get a chance. Unfortunately I cannot devote entire days to searching out christian claims because I work two jobs, participate in Hubpages and have a devoted wife and friends. I'll put it on the list - but trying to minimize my background in biblical studies because I came to different conclusions about it than you did seems at best dishonest, and at worst ridiculous for perpetuating a rational and civil discussion with you. If it doesn't stop, I see no need to continue talking to you if you can't come to the discussion on a level playing field respecting my conclusions. I've not disrespected you, and I've never said that any of the things you've presented about yourself (if any) are stupid or clearly untrue. I expect (and deserve) the same respect.
And no. I live in an apartment, not a house and I don't have a garage. Claiming that if I had a garage it would be based in truth is like saying "if you've eaten an orange, then you've eaten fruit. Therefore saying you've never eaten a kiwi is not a lie, because you've eaten an orange, so it's a lie based on some truth." It doesn't work that way. The existence of garages does not extend to the possible existence of an invisible purple dragon.
"So you don't like catholics, and you don't like the founder of protestantism that made it possible for the bible to be written in the common language. What kind of christian are you? Martin luther was hardly alone in his hatred of the jews among christians. Luther was hardly unique, so I'm unsure why you singled him out for anti jewish sentiments."
I didn't single him out, I just want you to know that I know that both Catholics and Protestants hated Jews. Anyone who hates, at least by biblical standards, is a liar and even possibly a murderer. I don't hate either Catholics or Protestants, I just wonder what drives people who claim Christ as their savior to hate another person?
So why would people be willing to suffer as a martyr, not even fighting back, against Rome and the Sanhedrin courts? Who is crazy enough to just let people kill them, for a man who never existed?
To keep Rome off their backs, the powers that be in Israel at the time had to put down the uprising, which could be why we don't have a whole lot of information from the eyewitness period. It was really, really dangerous to be a Christian at that time. Why?
"I tried to copy and paste the rebuttal to the specific things that you mentioned, but it was entirely too long. I'll leave the one about the Talmud since you seem fixated on it, and leave the link for you to read on your own (since you're urging me to look at your evidence, I'm just assuming that you're willing to read mine."
And even though the Talmud mentions Jesus, it isn't "proof" one way or the other? I've read all this before, and it still makes no sense. Funny how Josephus and the like are relevant for historical references, but not when it applies to Jesus. Go figure.
"The summaries here are not my own research, but everything I've learned on the subject pretty much agrees with few disputes or differences from what is listed on this site. Are you interested in learning more from the side against yours? You also may want to read "Bart Ehrman and the :Quest for the Historical Jesus" which was written in rebuttal to Ehrman's book "Did Jesus Exist" Also watch the presentations from Richard Carrier or read "Nailed" by David Fitzgerald."
I'm about as interested in watching that as you are about Ron Wyatt. I'll put it on my "to do" list. I'm pretty busy, too, ya know. I don't want to waste my precious time on fruitless ventures.
"If it were not for the Catholic church, you would not HAVE a bible. You would know nothing about Jesus except small fragments from the dead sea scrolls and the nag hamani library. There would be no modern day christianity that even faintly resembles the christianity that exists today, and you would probably be just as vehement about a different set of religious beliefs."
No, God ensured the bible survived. The RCC before Constantine and right after the apostles were all gone was a very unstable period of time, but it all survived up until now because dedicated men and women thought it would be well worth it to pass the information on to future generations. The bible survived the RCC, even though they did their best to control the flow of information, and subvert biblical law with traditions. Just so happens, most of those traditions are of pagan origins, sun worship and false gods all thanks to Constantine.
The only reason Constantine "converted" was to keep his empire together. You can't keep persecuting your subjects and expect to have a unified Rome, now can you?
"I'll look for that guy you mentioned when I get a chance. Unfortunately I cannot devote entire days to searching out christian claims because I work two jobs, participate in Hubpages and have a devoted wife and friends. I'll put it on the list"
Yes yes, you're very busy and important. I get it.
" - but trying to minimize my background in biblical studies because I came to different conclusions about it than you did seems at best dishonest, and at worst ridiculous for perpetuating a rational and civil discussion with you. If it doesn't stop, I see no need to continue talking to you if you can't come to the discussion on a level playing field respecting my conclusions. I've not disrespected you, and I've never said that any of the things you've presented about yourself (if any) are stupid or clearly untrue. I expect (and deserve) the same respect."
Well if you're wrong, you're wrong. If I'm wrong, so be it. What's the big deal? Grow some thicker skin, I don't hate you or anything. Just because I say you don't get it, shouldn't be a problem for you, but you're not seeing it from my perspective. You're really not. I don't know you, and I don't claim to really know everything you're talking about (or not talking about) either. Likewise, you don't really know me either or what my angle/perspective really is. But, we can debate without getting angry, I hope? But if you don't like it, then don't do it yourself, really. I only ever resort to those tactics when I see it being used on me. You come off as very condescending and angry without cause.
"And no. I live in an apartment, not a house and I don't have a garage. Claiming that if I had a garage it would be based in truth is like saying "if you've eaten an orange, then you've eaten fruit. Therefore saying you've never eaten a kiwi is not a lie, because you've eaten an orange, so it's a lie based on some truth." It doesn't work that way. The existence of garages does not extend to the possible existence of an invisible purple dragon."
Garages exist, is my point. Any person, location, event or object you use in this universe has a specificity to it, and therefore is based on truth. The fact that you said it makes your words real, and even if you don't believe what you say it still has meaning or value. It isn't about the dragon in your garage, it's the fact that you said something totally false based on using a known set of parameters in language.
You even said "I" have a dragon in my garage. You exist, therefore the lie is still based on truth.
It's a lot like people claiming that aliens are telling them that they live on Mars, and we get to Mars only to find out it isn't true. (And that's about exactly what happened, so yeah).
"You cannot have absolute certainty of religious beliefs without proof, and I'm sorry but the Bible is not proof that god is real. It is proof that certain people had certain beliefs, and they wrote them all down. What is interesting to me is that nowhere in the bible does god instruct people to write these stories down and claim that they're HIS word and is inherently perfect."
You could ask, in turn, what proofs does ANY body have that God does not exist? and if indeed "the Bible is a fabricated for manipulating " book, and so many other questions.
The fact is ANY proof is identically impossible so far. And each of us has been born under a unique context, with similarities but also with great differences, particular differences...So far, psychology says that abyone can have a twin in the plane but it seems to be refering to fenotypes and not mind-type...So far it is said in the scientific communty that the brain is a powerful engine and that we use only some 10% (genious) and the rest totally misuse the brains. Atheists mantain that Xtians misuse the brains Well, if misusing the brains make us happier, shinier, accomplished, then I welcome misusing the brains...If the behaviour of God and Xtians, in general, bothers atheists, then they have two, only two, options: if you do not like your neighbour change of neighborhood or...adapt...And thtis truth abosulutely for all mankind; last time I cecked evolution happened by hose two optons: either moving out and/or adapting...Misused brains then and now, maybe...it's also to be proved... Don't you think that the istubborn ntechange is not opening any minds? You are certain of what yo believe, as I am too; atheists are certain only on what hey do not believe bt nEVER that what we believe is a falsehood, because, by the same token they pretend to dismantle our grounds, they afre also beaten...It's written since many many years of philosophy of thought, of language, og cooking, of gardening, etc etc etc. JUST be happy you believe and, yes, I qould also pity, soeone who does not, but not because I am superior like all jumped to say, but becaus eof the loneliness and perhaps fear of abandonment they must feel deep down their hearts...Do we need to define heart?
You are free to live with your illusions, puella. I am not in that state of loneliness. I have no fear of abandonment, so you have no need to feel pity for me. You make presumptions here which are just that.... presumably (on my part) because of some wayward background in your own life. Thus your religion is a sort of counter to that background.
Am I mistaken?
Totally JCL!! I was the favourite child of my dad just because, he used to say, I was flexible even when protesting his rules for us at home... and because I used lo laugh at his, then to me, outregious control of our friendships and never letting us go sleep over anybody's home...On the other hand, he did provide generously to our education and well being...He graduated 7 kids all the way till graduate school (not any does that)...and happily and celebrating with us our accomplishments...We could not but retribute his efforts and generosity thru all of our life...That's why when he passed away younger than 65 due to an abdominal aneursim, I for a long time questioned the fairness of it all...to God...Just when we were all ready and on our jobs doinf great and we all wanted him to quit job and travel with mom, he dies in asudden irremediable episode of an aneurism.
I only have happy memories of my childhood and youth and college and married and mother...My children are all on their track and as good Xtians as many.doing the contribution to the life of many...I do not see why, if you are that happy now, you can be so 'biting' wirh some of your comments, specially when someone insists in their belief as true...If it bothers you so much why do you write in a FORUM? what did you expect? total surrender to the most important aspect of our entire life, you like yourself: s not your current (you have wandered you said) belief r credo or absence of that what has left you in a state, like you say, of enjoyment of your life? it's contradictory to the way you respond sometimes...It's not that it bother me what you may believe in the end...it's up to yo and your circumnstances...but what bothers me is the contradictory state of animus hen someone says the same but with a God in their life...You dare, with a snot-so subliminal superirity, to say that we are stuck!!! are not you too? prove it. I am happy JCL, very grateful to life and to God who made it possible and yes, to my hard work too.
Puella, I respect everything you have said in that post, even your criticisms directed at myself.
The primary reason I seem so antagonistic towards so many christian people here, is that even when I do give respect and agree to christian's right to believe what he/she believes, I rarely get the same respect back for my "disbelief." It's usually the christian saying to me, "you need Jesus, I have Jesus, and I will not rest until I have convinced you that you need Jesus."
There are a few folks here who do lovingly allow me my freedom of choice. Yet there are others, a bit like Ceegen (who's latest post I have not read before replying to you), who have the objective of converting me back to christianity, when I have NEVER asked a christian to "come over to my side of the fence."
So, when do you think we will have a loving, caring, but LEVEL discussion? Without the presumption of superiority on either side?
Thanks for your reply.
What is that you want to discuss? If I have understood you, you do not want nor have asked to debate God's existence; if I understand well what you seek is a consensus about one particular point: when Xtians behave "hatred-like" is it becasue they are just being true to the letter or are they betraying the letter...
Why Xtians? why your question does not encompass man in general? I
If one does something 'wrong', according to the law of man, intentionally wrongdoing or wrongdoing by accident (by iignorance of some rule or else), man's justice still will judge the wrongdoing at full charge and penalities are applied accordingly. Jesus did instruct His followers to obey the society rules (To Ceasar what is Ceasar's and to God that is God's), so why you would imply that Xtians do wrong because they are following the Xtian rules? Then, there is a mix of a God irate and punisher and etc as in the portrait of the Old Testament, and there is the New Testament where Jesus speaks only of love and respect and moral authority and demonstrates that even the 'most angelical' follower will fail (as in Peter denying Him, etc), all this is to demonstrate that the weakness and propensity to fail is permanent and that we MUST be aware at all times if we want to keep a good frecord; then there is the mix of what the churchs do that we do not know about, and etc; again, we do not believe in Jesus because of a priest or the pope; priesthood has a function in the body of Jesus (AKA all Xtians) and that is ONLY to be of guidance and clarificaion of the Bible and life accordingly; other than that, they are as a good prey to failing and betraying the Xtian faith as anybody else...We must understand that priesthood, bishops, pope, cardinals, etc have a responsability but are also humans..They may be sinners as any man in the neighborhood and at the same time feel repentance and move on...Other historical horrific events have many explanations more related to economy control than to the faith, again, man flaws and with some position, will fail more even; this happens within a church, within every church, any religion, any political party, any philospphy, any credo, any profesion, any sort...because man is prone to betray values when he is put under strain (needs, ambitions, plain viciousness, etc)
While I cannot justify any church, any priest, any pope, any bishop, for the accumulated wrondoing thru the centuries, I will not detach myself from the faith...because I am not a priest-bishop-cardinal-pope follower, I am a Xtian because of Jesus and His teachings. I cannot stuck myself in history because of the history; life moves on and as we believe in eternity and in afterlife and in the second coming of Jesus where each will surrender a report of how well we did with our talents given, then, each will have to accept whatever decision of the Final Judgement.
In a way, every man himself will self-judge when approaching death; the review of what each has done in life, the good, the bad and he ugly, will come to mind if someone is told that he will die in a matter of days or of hours...The stage of denial, anxiety, fear, etc that every human experiences when in a death bed is evidence of something very special and different..and that is, to me, the consideration, the final consideration of the possibility of a God and a judgement...History is also full of sad cases of rebelious sous but is also full of atrition.
So, the answers you are seeking can't be straightforward...each man has the potential of doing right and of doing wrong; intention magnifies the potential; good intention diminishes the sin...but there will be always the kind of sins tht you mention and certainly, it's not a 'feature' exhibited by Xtians only, but by humans...
Do you really believe that all atheists are 'perfect' human beings...? do you believe that well-behaved people are only outside Xtianity?
When you say you respect, do you consider the harsh words you say are deserved by whomever is trying to convert you? Why bother to answer to someone who openly said yes, I am trying to convert you...If that is not what you are looking for, or is it? You must answer that to yourself not to us...We are just pens here...
What's the difference in Cengan trying to convert you and JmcFarland trying to disconvert you, or you, or ATM? From the distance, it seems to me the same project with different goals. But the methods are identically degraded by how the conversation ends every time...I feel that I have failed again in entertaining myself in a loser project
This forum will not converge because the very same attitudes you decry are present in both groups...and then the 'listening' part of the interchange is lost due to the less than imprtant goal of 'winning' the debate: a false goal and a pyrrihc winning. It's shameful and a waste of time...
I do agree with several points of atheists in the sense of life 's purposedness. and values, and yes, the unexplainable reason for misery and pain present in every man's life...but is it really that God allows it or man produces it? Still there are incognitas for which I have not even formulated the appropriate questions...honestly, there are obscure reasons sometimes...we do not see nor understand them nor justify them...Again, don't atheists have the very same questions? if itsnot to God, still there has to be answers to a lot of X's...how do you guys do tha? by blaming others? yourselves? or...?
Where ever did you get that notion from? Have I ever suggested such extreme points of view?
What? Have they ever?! They don't need to even try. And if they did, they would find themselves speaking to a blank wall!
Puella, you have again gone into a lengthy discourse, a bit like a Sunday Morning sermon. Not once have you said you respect my etheist under standings, whether or not you agree with them.
I didn't realize I ever tried to deconvert anyone. Maybe I should add it to the resume.
I do have to say, however, that although deconversion was never my goal or intent, I have been regularly successful in my normal offline life.
I'm pretty sure I get extra meatballs for that.
So, the answers you are seeking can't be straightforward...each man has the potential of doing right and of doing wrong; intention magnifies the potential; good intention diminishes the sin...but there will be always the kind of sins tht you mention and certainly, it's not a 'feature' exhibited by Xtians only, but by humans...
" JCL, as a refresher... I said in some paragraph this: "Do you really believe that all atheists are 'perfect' human beings...? do you believe that well-behaved people are only outside Xtianity?
When you say you respect, do you consider the harsh words you say are deserved by whomever is trying to convert you? Why bother to answer to someone who openly said yes, I am trying to convert you...If that is not what you are looking for, or is it?"
To this, you answered nothing. So, again do you think the misdeeds are only on the side of Xtians?
No matter what your answers is, I respect you, as a human being, as acapable being, and someone with no reason to be dishonest here. But do not misread me (do you really read me?) when I say that your outcry fades because of the same reasons you mentions about Xtians...period. That does not have anything to do with you as a man...that has to do with the way you say certain things, not even the things you say.
I will repeat myself: to believe in God is a personal matter; you, JCL, are not Xtian any more; you ae not alone, and you are now wrong, BUT that only can be judged by yourself! Get this JCL. Nobody has the right to say that you are wrong, because nobody can prove you wrong, not even allmighty JMcFarland
And exactly as JMcDarland insists in every post, the she does not disrespect Beth (I wonder what McFarland would say when she really disrespects!!) but her beliefs, I do the same not only to you but to all.
I repeat myself again, history has examples of what mankind can do in the name of God! Is it any case of horror really been in the name of God? To me, anybody in history engaging in masacres, has NOTHING to do with the name of God or with God.
I do not feel stuck, so you can not state that I am stuck. If you do not feel stuck how can I say that? for your opinions?
McFarland says that Beth does not like to loose, however, it seems to me that someone 'knowing' inside out Xtianity persistently asking for 'evidence' is someone knowing before hand that that is not possible and so, is playing superiority games with Beth...with Deepes (what she has answered, seriously, to Deeps, who is super-archi-respectful to all here?) NOTHING! she won't are for Deepes, because he is not playing her game...yes, JMcFarland, you are deconverting and not subliminally and I advance a result: yo are wasting your time...Just as atheist are not interested, and for very good reasons, Xtians are not interested, for the very same good reasons...There two religions here colliding: atheism is a religion and so is Xtianity.
JCL, ATM, I do respect you guys. It takes guts to say the things you say. And in the end, it is about your life and our life. What are your intentions when denying Xianity logic? betterment of Xtians? What the intentions of Xtians insistence? your condemnation? I'd look at it from the point of view of a business project...and both groups win and both groups lose...sorry
While it's understandable you don't believe that, those folks did in fact massacre people in the name of their gods, Christianity included. It is a fact.
Christianity has no logic, that is the point, it only serves to cause conflict in the world and we would much rather have a lot less conflict in the world.
dude, what exactly is the problem that you have with me? Why do you single me out and mock me? Are you threatened by people with a good grasp of the english language who demonstrate intelligence?
She doesn't. Neither JM, ATM, JCL, or any of the other atheists are here to disrespect anyone here. They are also here to discuss religion just like Christians.
You don't wanna know... Trust me
They don't even really disrespect beliefs themselves or the right of anyone who holds those beliefs. What they do lose respect for is people (like Beth) who present those beliefs as absolute fact but either back off when asked to provide evidence that is sufficient to satisfy them and thus prove what they are saying, Get angry when said evidence is questioned or challenged, and cry foul that they are being disrespected when someone corrects them biblically (like JM did earlier)
There are differences between myself and Beth. Beth has stated several times that she is not here for friendly conversation, but to discuss religion. In this regard, she does not care how the things she comments on come across to others. On the other hand, I am also here to discuss religion, but with respect to other beliefs and perspectives. With this in mind, I make comments of my beliefs without losing integrity of my beliefs, but I also practice diplomacy and am as careful as possible to not offend others when presenting my views. I'm not saying my way is better than hers because she has to stick to what her principles are and what she believes in. We both are getting the expected results that match our intentions, but she is not happy with her results because she was wanting the OPPOSITE result (respect to her belief) of the results that her intentions (not to be friendly or respectful). You cannot demand or expect respect if you are not willing to give it. Another difference is that I hold my beliefs as what they are.. BELIEFS. My beliefs are what I feel is truth, but at the same time, I am not trying to convert anyone to a belief in God in the same way Beth does and I am not trying to convert anyone over to MY belief in God. I give the information and let them make their own decision. Beth Is trying to get people to accept and convert to HER beliefs by pushing Hell onto them for not accepting her beliefs. There are more differences, but ultimately, It appears that Beth wants her beliefs to be respected but refuses to respect the beliefs of those who may be Christian but believe differently than her as well as refuses to respect the lack of belief of atheists.
Please believe me when I say that JM questions my beliefs just like she does Beth. The difference is that When it comes to Beliefs, JM and I can give our views then agree to disagree at the end because we are discussing opinions and beliefs. Beth continues to assert that a belief or opinion is wrong. There is no right or wrong when it comes to personal perspective of something that is more philosophical or that has no mutually accepted and agreed upon evidence. JM also will correct me if I quote something incorrectly along with providing evidence and clarification and I am okay with being corrected. As evidenced earlier in the discussion of scripture, Beth will fight tooth and nail to hold on to what she thinks she knows is true even in the face of evidence to the contrary. As a result, there are some that will view her approach as dishonesty. I don't really have any personal feelings one way or the other regarding her beliefs other to say that those are what works best for her life and philosophy. I have a different way. I cannot judge her methods nor can she judge mine (although she seems entitled to do just that)
It isn't about playing any type of game with JM. It's about being open minded to other points of view and understanding that other people aren't being malicious in their disagreements. The more we gain understanding of what's around us the closer we will be able to come to the truth. Until then, we still must respect one another even in our differences of opinion
ATM< provided there is honesty here, (a condition of JCL If masacres were/are in the name of God, do you really think that is a natural behaviour of man? Do you not think of bipolaraties, schizos, etc fanatism...(just because they are new concepts, does not mean that those illneses of the spirits were not present then), I think that any of that will cloud logic and good will...and just like Satan and God played a game with Job, where God was sure that Job will not turn againgt God in spite of all sufferings, and Satan said that he was sure he will make Job was going straight to hell, the case as that Job almost did fail but in the end did not
But ATM< mankind spent thousands of years without Xtianity; there was budhism in all far east, there were natives in the americas before Xtianity, what did they do? did not they engage in wars? did not they had a sociey organized by casts? reas the incas, aztecs, etc; the original budhism, only India has a pleyade of examples...Still misery was the norm for tha vast majority/
Ceegen, you are totally stuck in that business of "the world being full of evil," as far as I can see. That colours your everyday attitude to the world. That is your choice. I DO NOT make that choice.
Yes, of course there is evil in this world. No one denies that. But you paint the world so, so, black and evil, when do you get the opportunity to see the beauty and the goodness?
You keep your bible, your christianity, your religion and your darkness. I will not be sucked into that world you have created for your own mind. Thank you, all the same...not for me.
"Ceegen, you are totally stuck in that business of "the world being full of evil," as far as I can see. That colours your everyday attitude to the world. That is your choice. I DO NOT make that choice."
I think the world is and can be beautiful at times, but there is obviously evil in the world. You can't just ignore it. Ignoring cancer doesn't make it go away, does it?
"Yes, of course there is evil in this world. No one denies that. But you paint the world so, so, black and evil, when do you get the opportunity to see the beauty and the goodness?"
Every day I look at my wife and son, and admire the natural beauty of God's creation all around me. No joke, I still stop to stoop down and admire the beauty of a flower. Call it fruity or whatever you want, but this world fascinates me. I think most people overlook what is all around them, because we take it for granted that it's there.
"You keep your bible, your christianity, your religion and your darkness. I will not be sucked into that world you have created for your own mind. Thank you, all the same...not for me."
Believing in the God of what is known as "the bible" is not a religion. Though people have made religions based on the bible to fill their bellies (something God even warns us of), that doesn't change the contents of the bible. Religion is merely the opinions of man about God, but if God is real and does interact with humans... What is He saying?
He's saying we, humanity, have a problem; primarily based on our refusal to admit that He even exists. I'm not saying to look only at the evil in the world, but rather, wonder why evil is evil. Think about what evil really is. How do we know what is good or evil?
In the earlier post you make statements about the laws of physics. These are matters of this finite, physical world which you and I are part of .
Now in this later post you talk about religion. You say "Religion is merely the opinions of man about God, but if God is real and does interact with humans... What is He saying?" So, you agree that it's about the opinions of man about God. You Ceegen are using religion! You are steeped in it! Your opinions, as I have said before, are your choices. Yet you speak of them as fact! They are NOT. They are all your opinion. Respected if you recognise and admit to that.... not respected when you try to call them facts.
Start being honest with yourself, and then we/I might start believing you are honest with us. One of the most honest people in this forum is JMcFarland. She is knowledgeable, writes clearly, answers questions honestly and with first-hand information. Yet you and other people with christian convictions here, repeatedly refuse to actually listen to her and, maybe, increase your own knowledge. This does not surprise me. I have been a christian, like JMcFarland was. I am not now, but still have a desire to listen to the opinions of others. Again..... provided there is honesty there, and not people talking fancy nonsense with the aim of "converting" me, because I am not trying to "convert" you to atheism.
"In the earlier post you make statements about the laws of physics. These are matters of this finite, physical world which you and I are part of ."
Yes exactly. But both you and I can look at the same picture, and write an entire book on just one picture, with both books being entirely different. The only thing that would be common in the stories, are the things described or referenced to in the picture. We'd both see and understand the picture and its contents, but still derive two differing set of opinions based on what we know about the world around us in relation to that picture.
But what if you had a perfectly clear view of the situation? You'd have to be God to have the most perfect and clear view of the situation that we're in, because all else are just opinions, if the bible is true. Trusting that it's true means accepting what God says about it, and the warnings associated with both past and future events. Once you take the position of believing what God says, it is no small matter then to see conspiracies for what they are -- Simply, fulfillment of prophecy.
"Now in this later post you talk about religion. You say "Religion is merely the opinions of man about God, but if God is real and does interact with humans... What is He saying?" So, you agree that it's about the opinions of man about God. You Ceegen are using religion! You are steeped in it! Your opinions, as I have said before, are your choices. Yet you speak of them as fact! They are NOT. They are all your opinion. Respected if you recognise and admit to that.... not respected when you try to call them facts."
If God said to write things down, and people who honestly thought that God was talking to them said to write things down and for a reason, what would that reason be?
"What is truth?" - Pontius Pilate, speaking to Jesus. Funny... Jesus never answered him. Maybe Jesus was just tired of repeating himself?
10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
The bible is constantly trying to remind us how bad we can really be without any guidelines at all. If anything, being a radical Christian believer means using no violence at all. If we're supposed to emulate Jesus, then "real Christians" when facing persecution, willingly submit to it without fighting back. I believe one day it will get like that, and people will want to kill me simply because I wanted to believe in something greater, something worth holding onto and hoping for. If that's crazy to you, I'm sorry, but what is your vision of a "peaceful world"? Am I included in your utopia, or would you put me to death for disagreeing with you?
Yes, I'm paranoid, and for good reason. I grew up in gangland USA, Southern-California area. I used to hate people, especially since I was picked on a lot as a kid, but I don't hate any of those people. I forgave and forgot, I moved on. I know that if the bible is true, then they are being deceived into being violent for all the wrong reasons. Plus, a lot of comments on various news sites and streaming video comments section from everyday people, says a lot about how people (in general) perceive reality. What I see mostly are a bunch of people blaming religion for the evils and ills of the world, and if only we could end this religion nonsense we could just move on to bigger and better things!
But what if that isn't true? What if that is part of the deception? And what if religion itself is part of the deception, and Lucifer really is in control of most of the churches, if only by proxy through the evil men who run them. Lots of "Christians" incite people to anger, and do violence without cause, but what if it's on purpose, just to get you angry at me? I mean, what did I ever do to you?
Religion isn't evil, it just is trying to point out to us what evil really is, and I just happen to believe that the bible answers a lot of these types of questions.
By chance, do you play chess?
"Start being honest with yourself, and then we/I might start believing you are honest with us. One of the most honest people in this forum is JMcFarland. She is knowledgeable, writes clearly, answers questions honestly and with first-hand information. Yet you and other people with christian convictions here, repeatedly refuse to actually listen to her and, maybe, increase your own knowledge. This does not surprise me. I have been a christian, like JMcFarland was. I am not now, but still have a desire to listen to the opinions of others. Again..... provided there is honesty there, and not people talking fancy nonsense with the aim of "converting" me, because I am not trying to "convert" you to atheism."
I don't care if you're not trying to convert me to atheism, it just will not work. I started out as not believing. Yeah I went to church as a kid, but most of the time I took the offering money my dad and mom gave me, skipped church and went to Dunkin' Donuts. Just because someone writes clearly and says a lot of things, doesn't mean they're right or wrong, it just means they like to quote things they think are true. How much "life-experience" do you have? What is your story, anyway? What turned you away from God?
Because I can tell you my story, but all the "facts" that you know to be true would call me a liar. You respect each other because you believe the same thing, but me? Who am I, but a worm among men? A hated servant of the Lord!
I am being honest with you, and yes I am trying to convert you. Who cares about all the evil people are doing in the world? Is it really God's fault that no one wants to abide by His rules? Are the rules really all that hard to follow, anyway? Why is the first commandment the hardest one to follow? "Love God with all your heart, mind and soul" - Paraphrased from Deuteronomy 6:5 and Luke 10:27.
Is it really that hard to love God, even if other people don't, or do evil things against God's wishes, even doing evil things while invoking the name of God? Things aren't so clear though human eyes, because our eyes lie to us all the time. We're biased. Very, very biased. No one saw the man in the ape suit running in the background!
Answer: Then I would have a strong suspicion that those people were living in the land of the fairies.
"What is your story, anyway? What turned you away from God?"
Answers: 1. Christians. 2. I turned away from the fear-mongering and pretense of humans, not from a god.
"I am being honest with you, and yes I am trying to convert you."
Answer: Well at least that bit is clear. And your trying to convert me can only come from the presumption that you are in a stronger, more authentic position that I am..... enough said.
Post script: Reading between the lines, there is that "story" which most christians have to tell. It conveys the reason, usually, of difficulties, a "hard life," trauma, tragedy, etc. Then christianity comes along in the form of someone with a message..... "follow this man who was god incarnate and he will make your life better for you." The story and your history of your life are respected and I would never wish to play it down. But understand that the solution you found on your own journey is not necessarily the solution for others. Each of us has a unique path to tread.
"Answers: 1. Christians. 2. I turned away from the fear-mongering and pretense of humans, not from a god."
Why do their sins make you turn from God? Didn't you know? We're all hypocrites and sinners. If Jesus were alive today, he would rebuke many Christians just as he did the religious Jews of his day. Nothing has changed, we're still evil no matter how much we try to be like Christ. That's the whole point.
"Answer: Well at least that bit is clear. And your trying to convert me can only come from the presumption that you are in a stronger, more authentic position that I am..... enough said. "
That is your perception of what I mean, not necessarily the truth. Because If I am being honest with you then I have nothing to hide, let alone that I feel superior to you in some way. I'm just as much condemned to death as anyone else here: No one lives forever, do they?
If I can accept my ultimate fate, why can't you? It's not about converting you to a religion, but converting you to God. What does God want us to do in any given situation? What kind of example does Jesus set for us, and why do we not see this example being emulated in today's world?
Because no one is righteous, not a single one of us. Pointing out your sins, doesn't hide my own, but your sins are still your own. We can't somehow pretend we're good people with good intentions that occasionally do wrong or bad things. You can't separate the person from the sin, just like we don't blame guns for death, pencils for misspelling words, or simply because you got a little too drunk last night.
No, it wasn't the gun that killed someone, though it may have been a means to an end. No, pencils are not sentient things, and so can't be at fault for misspelling the words you wrote down. Finally, no it wasn't the alcohol talking last night, it was you. Why? Because you chose to drink, just as you chose to write, just as some people choose to pick up a gun with the *intent* to kill.
It's our own fault, that's the whole point! We build our own prisons, both figuratively and literally! Why didn't we just follow the rules that were already there?
"Post script: Reading between the lines, there is that "story" which most christians have to tell. It conveys the reason, usually, of difficulties, a "hard life," trauma, tragedy, etc. Then christianity comes along in the form of someone with a message..... "follow this man who was god incarnate and he will make your life better for you." The story and your history of your life are respected and I would never wish to play it down. But understand that the solution you found on your own journey is not necessarily the solution for others. Each of us has a unique path to tread."
Who cares about my life story anyway? It's not necessarily about me to begin with, I give the glory to God for changing me. So my life has changed for the better with belief in Jesus Christ as a means to forgiveness of sins, and?
My point is, if I can do it, what keeps anyone else from doing it? Is it really so hard to accept forgiveness, even if it means admitting that we're wrong about certain things? It's not like God was asking much of us to begin with. Ya know, don't eat that, it'll kill you! Haha, funny story, right?
The lengths humans go to in order to hide what they do in secrete is amazing, even when we know it is wrong or bad for us. We even delude ourselves into thinking we could have a different set of morality and laws, by which we could judge ourselves from. It really is an amazingly simple deception, and I for the longest time believed the lie.
I'm no more righteous than you, so, what's stopping you from accepting Jesus Christ? Hypocritical Christians? We all live in glass houses. It's clear to anyone that no one, except maybe God if you believe that sort of thing, is perfect.
God bless you.
If we are evil no matter how we try to be like Christ, then that would be a losing proposition no matter what we do. The idea of being Christian is to be like Christ. We may not be perfect, but we (or at least I) are far from "evil". The idea of being like Christ is for us to try to do as much of the right things as possible and if we slip, keep trying as long as our minds and hearts are in the right place. To say that we are evil no matter what is to say that there is no way we can do any Good works and thus will never gain access to heaven. I am a Christian, but if I wasn't, this statement here would not be a good argument to make when trying to convert anyone because you're saying "You're evil no matter what you do, but you should still believe in God". If belief in God makes no difference in that we're still evil creatures, then what would be the point? I'm glad that my belief in God doesn't tell me that I am evil no matter what I do.
Then why bother pointing out anyone's sins and condemning them? This goes against Matthew 7:1-5 as well as Christ's words to "let he who is without sin cast the first stone". We cannot clearly enough to point out another's sins when our own are staring us in the face. That is hypocritical of us because we are more worried about another person's sins while conveniently overlooking our own
"If we are evil no matter how we try to be like Christ, then that would be a losing proposition no matter what we do."
Exactly! That's the whole point! You will not find anything truly good in this world, thought it may have remnants of goodness in it. Clearly evil exists, but where do we draw the line? We are all capable, or rather, have the capacity to be just as evil as the worst of humanity.
It's kinda like that old Chinese proverb about the man with a mountain of rice. Each person takes a grain of rice, because you know, the rich man with the mountain of rice isn't going to miss a few grains. Suddenly, everyone starts taking a little more here and there. Soon enough the mountain becomes a small pile.
It always starts with "just a little" sin, and that is how Satan gets his foot in the door. We just look in the other direction to make sure no one is looking when we sin.
"The idea of being Christian is to be like Christ. We may not be perfect, but we (or at least I) are far from "evil"."
Yeah but who's making that judgement? You? How do you know your thoughts and actions are truly doing any good? Off of what standard are we basing this on? By biblical standards, the things we do (works) can't get us into heaven anyway.
"The idea of being like Christ is for us to try to do as much of the right things as possible and if we slip, keep trying as long as our minds and hearts are in the right place. To say that we are evil no matter what is to say that there is no way we can do any Good works and thus will never gain access to heaven."
Exactly. Only faith gets us there. It's a "leap of faith" for a reason. You got to trust that God will catch you when it is your turn to make the great leap into the abyss of death. No one comes back from death, do they?
When you go to someone's house, you abide by their rules, because it just isn't your house. Being respectful towards God and accepting his "house rules" isn't a hard thing to do, really. The hard part is trying to emulate it in this life while we wait. But never point to other people's sins as an excuse to do your own, that's just silly. If you want to set an example, just don't sin. How hard is that?
"I am a Christian, but if I wasn't, this statement here would not be a good argument to make when trying to convert anyone because you're saying "You're evil no matter what you do, but you should still believe in God". If belief in God makes no difference in that we're still evil creatures, then what would be the point? I'm glad that my belief in God doesn't tell me that I am evil no matter what I do."
If the God of the Old Testament is the same God in the New Testament, what was the point of "The Law" (or Torah, Moses' first 5 books; Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy)?
"Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law." - 1st John chapter 3, verse 4.
What is a transgression of the law, and why is it a sin? Quite simply, because God gave Moses the law. But we have to trust that that happened, or it's all just made up and Moses was talking to himself in the desert. I however believe in the spiritual, because, and I know I'm not the only one who has seen things, but sometimes there are experiences that people have which can not be explained by any temporal means.
I could be crazy, but if crazy means that God just wants me to do a few simple things so I don't piss him off, what's the big deal? Why do I want to smoke cigarettes, even when I know they're bad for me? Do I really "need" that new video game? Shouldn't I really be helping around the house more often? Why do I argue with my wife about the bills, when I should be telling her that I love her, and planning out a way to pay the bills with her help and input?
The law isn't a burden, it's a blessing. God gave us the law as a means of keeping us safe, from ourselves! We're our own worst enemy!
That's why admitting we're bad people, is so important as a first step in the recovery process. Kinda like an AA meeting? I don't know, never been to one, honestly. But that's what their first step is: Admitting you have a problem.
No, you're not perfect, but God loves you anyway. So what you sinned a few times? He forgives you. That shouldn't keep you from getting to heaven, but it is a daily battle. Only you keep you from getting to heaven. It really is that simple. Who cares what other Christians say? Don't swallow their doctrines, read it for yourself and pray for guidance in answers. Trust that God is there and will answer your prays, first and foremost in getting to know God through the example of Jesus. He just wants us to know that he really is there, with outstretched arms patiently waiting.
You're right, we do have that capacity. But just because one has the capacity to DO evil it doesn't mean that we ARE evil. It is our morals and ethics that guide our behaviors and decisions. I'm sorry you have such a bad perception of the world around you, but I cannot share that vision because even though Evil exists in the world, Good exists as well. There is a balance
No. Not simply me. But I can say I am doing the best that I can by following the examples of Christ set by helping others and doing good works because they are good.
I can see evidence of how my words and actions are doing good by the smiles and tears of the people I have helped in my life who were grateful for my helping them. I also see it in how people respond as respectfully to me as I am to them.
Please go back through the bible.. Biblical standards state that WORKS ALONE do not guarantee us in heaven. But our works are part of what get us in. But the bible does give us the guidelines to live a life that is consider pleasing and good to God..
Again you're misquoting the word.. Faith alone does not get us into heaven either. It's a mixture of faith AND works.. The bible states that faith without works is dead. So it is not only faith, not only works, but by BOTH as well as the intentions and spirit in which these things are done that get us into heaven.
Still waiting on where the bible states that we are evil no matter that we do
If you've never been to an AA meeting, then why use it as a comparison? It hurts me that you and so many other Christians have such a low esteem for yourselves because this is not biblical. The bible states that you are beautifully and wonderfully made. It also says that we are made in God's image so If you believe that God is good and you're made in his image, then......
But hey, If you and others want to drag yourselves through hell with your attitudes while still on earth, be my guest, but please do not attempt to drag others down to that level.
My point exactly. We're not perfect, but we're far from evil by nature.
Christians who are afraid of different perspectives and threatened that anyone could possibly actually have a better answer than they do (of which I'm not one of those)
I have already read it for myself and found answers that are far different than some others. And I'm thankful that I've read the whole thing for myself and not just the parts that others want me to read in order to instill fear and control over me
"Admitting you have a problem" is NOT admitting that one is a bad person! I have only been to one AA meeting, simply supporting a friend, but I was an observer. I am under the impression the first step is to honour one's self, and face the facts, NOT to declare one's self "bad" or evil.
So, Ceegen, it seems that the difference between your's and my perspective is the path we tread and our experiences on the journey.
You seem to have come through many difficulties in you life. Only you know what they are, but you have found answers that satisfy you in a belief system. So far so good. Fully respected.
I, on the other hand, also went through a similar period of belief but have progressed beyond that and find there is much more in life, for me, that resonates with joy and goodness.
Best wishes to you as you continue that journey. Who knows where it will lead.
Ceegen is right, so is that of deepes!
But there is one thing,
The bible states clearly that both faith and good works are necessary.
There is also another portion in the scripture which says, The just shall live by faith.
All the good works done apart from faith in God is MEANINGLESS!. But when we have faith in God, good works automatically flows from that person.
That's one of the many reasons why good people who don't wish to follow a selfish god reject God because He is not interested in the means unless the ends include worshiping Him. Good people know that they can do endless good deeds every day of their lives while another follower can do very little, and that follower will be in favor with God because he worships Him.
Dictators and despots behave the same way.
Discrimination in subtle matters is never that subtle! Hypocritical Christians blablabla" ahh, how about hypocritical atheists? they inspire anything???
On the other hand, I have NOT read in any history book, of all, that there ever existed a dictator that restricted the citizens of his/her 'reign' to force them to "love thy brothers as you love yourself"!!! so what's your point again, ATM?
hypocritical christians aren't stopping me from believing in god. The complete lack of evidence that a god exists when there are thousands to choose from keeps me from going back to religion or a belief in any god. Christians and other religions have been trying to "prove god" for thousands of years. It hasn't work. If the evidence for god was "obvious" then no one would deny that it exists.
Even if you were able to definitively prove god, that doesn't mean that I would have to worship him/her. There are no good reasons, as far as I can tell, to accept Jesus Christ. There is no proof of eternal hell (which was a pagan tradition, later adopted by Christians). Are you trying to use Pascal's Wager? It doesn't work.
In order to convert me, you would need to provide discernible, verifiable proof that not only a god exists, but it's the specific god that you claim. The bible doesn't cut it. It's a book written by human beings, claiming to be god-inspired. There are many such religious books, and you have no problem rejecting all of those.
The interesting thing is that you're an atheist too - you're an atheist (lacking a belief in) every other god claim in existence. I'm just like you, but I go one god further for the same reason that you reject every other god but yours. Lack of evidence.
"hypocritical christians aren't stopping me from believing in god. The complete lack of evidence that a god exists when there are thousands to choose from keeps me from going back to religion or a belief in any god. Christians and other religions have been trying to "prove god" for thousands of years. It hasn't work. If the evidence for god was "obvious" then no one would deny that it exists."
What proof is sufficient enough to prove the existence of God, something that is above and beyond all that is? What is it about this universe that is greater than the sum of its parts?
Unless of course, you still believe this all came from nothing. The universe is expanding, so, it wasn't always here. It's not a cyclic universe, because we now know that the expansion rate of the universe is actually speeding up. If it were just going to recycle, it would be slowing down and going back to the point of origin... But, it's not.
This all just proves that we're going nowhere, fast.
"Even if you were able to definitively prove god, that doesn't mean that I would have to worship him/her. There are no good reasons, as far as I can tell, to accept Jesus Christ. There is no proof of eternal hell (which was a pagan tradition, later adopted by Christians). Are you trying to use Pascal's Wager? It doesn't work."
Hah, Pascal's Wager. No. I have a much more invested interest in all this now, since taking things a little more literally.
Now, if I believe that all humans came from just Adam and Eve, yes that means there was inbreeding, and could account for the many differences we see all across the globe in the human race. Even if you believe in evolution, we still came from a common ancestor, whatever it was. Correct?
So no matter if you believe the bible, or, believe in cold hard evolution... We're still all just family. Albeit a very dysfunctional family, but family none-the-less.
I do this because, quite frankly, I want peace. The only peace I have found in this life is through knowing who Jesus is and what that means for all of us. Because the first and greatest commandment, according to Jesus, is to love God with all your heart, mind and soul. The second greatest is to love your neighbor as yourself. That's not too hard to do, is it? After all, if the bible is true and God does exist, he created all this for us to use, and we've been abusing it. We've become too privileged in our lives to accept that there are real problems out there, and it very well could be because they don't know Jesus, either.
"In order to convert me, you would need to provide discernible, verifiable proof that not only a god exists, but it's the specific god that you claim. The bible doesn't cut it. It's a book written by human beings, claiming to be god-inspired. There are many such religious books, and you have no problem rejecting all of those."
The bible is the only book I have studied so intensely, because the claims are monumental. Huge. It's the only book that makes the distinction between it, and, all "worldly" religion. That means religions based on it, as well. "Heed what you build on another man's foundation". Ya know? It isn't ours to mess with, so why are there so many religions out there claiming to be the "true" religion?
They can't all be right all the time, but they CAN all be wrong even just a part of the time. Why they're wrong is because they search the bible to validate their lifestyle or version of the truth, and cherry-pick verses using cryptic references and vague language. It's no better than the other religions out there, I agree, but that isn't stopping me from reading it on my own and trying to understand it.
To me, it is much more intellectually filling to know there is a God out there that loves me and cares for me. It's like, I'm done searching for answers. There aren't any more unknowns or variables. The "secret" to life is God, plain and simple, and it's a wonderful thing really. No other religion I've tried to study, does what the bible does for me. I don't need a religion to show people how much I love God, do I?
"The interesting thing is that you're an atheist too - you're an atheist (lacking a belief in) every other god claim in existence. I'm just like you, but I go one god further for the same reason that you reject every other god but yours. Lack of evidence."
No, it's not really lack of evidence. The evidence for their "gods" are in the bible.
The bible says that all other religions are based on worship of heavenly bodies (sun, moon, stars, other planets, etc.), Satan with his fallen angels posing as "gods" (all other religions' "gods" are deceiving spirits). and most importantly worship of self/knowledge (much like gnosticism and the occult).
Just about every religion out there is in some way opposed to the bible, it's just a matter of how much, but that's just our reaction to being told that we're sinners no matter what we do. Instead of just "giving up and giving in" to God, they instead make tradition-laws based on their interpretation of it.
And I'm not good at this either, but if it feels wrong, if it isn't something God would approve of me doing or saying, then I just don't. I'll tell you I don't know it all, because I'm still learning too.
Don't dip your toe into the pool to see how cold it is, or you'll never get in. Just jump in.
That is the epitome of being closed minded.
That is the opposite of being intellectually fulfilled and only leads to confirmation bias.
You know I can understand why people thought that a God created the universe for us when it was thought that the earth was the centre of the universe and the known universe was what we can see with the naked eye, but here we sit spinning around a star at the outer edge of our own galaxy which included billions of other stars and planets and out side of that we have billion of more galaxies with billions of more planets in each of the galaxies. Lets not forget the potential for billions of universes.
A little overkill don't you think? That being said it should be easy to test and find evidence for God using statistics gathered in hospitals. Is prayer affective? What does the statistics say? Are Christians/Muslims of any kind under represented in hospitals? The statistics show that cancers doesn't care what religion one is or how many people pray for a recovery or health for that matter.
A third reason I turned away from christianity. It is totally immersed in that evil concept. Wallow or swim in that cesspool of negativity if you wish, I am not going to jump in just because you choose to.
The remainder of your reply is all based upon there being a god that you worship and "believe" to be a factual entity. I do not. So it is pointless arguing it. Not trying to change your position of belief. Just stating my position, which is neither better nor worse than yours.... just, simply, the opposite.
"A third reason I turned away from christianity. It is totally immersed in that evil concept. Wallow or swim in that cesspool of negativity if you wish, I am not going to jump in just because you choose to."
But that's the whole point, without God in our lives, we are pretty evil. People do plenty of evil things, whether they're Christian or not. The proof that we're all evil is all over the place. You see it on the news every day, unless of course, you're one of those people that don't watch the news anymore because it's too depressing? Irony at its best. I know that's why I don't watch the news anymore, at least.
"The remainder of your reply is all based upon there being a god that you worship and "believe" to be a factual entity. I do not. So it is pointless arguing it. Not trying to change your position of belief. Just stating my position, which is neither better nor worse than yours.... just, simply, the opposite."
Well if you're not trying to change my position of belief, then what's the point of typing all that stuff? I am trying to change your position on belief, but I know I can't do it, only God can. Though Satan tries to place seeds of doubt in your mind, I want to plant seeds of faith.
The only way I can do that is tell you how and why I became a Christian, and believe my story or not, that's all I can do. I can't make you see what I see, that's impossible.
I don't get money from doing hubs, but if I don't have to retype it all you can visit my hubs and see my testimony for yourself. I believe in spiritual things, because I've experienced it. You don't have to accept it as fact, but, I can't explain it. What happened, happened. I can't deny it or try to play it down.
God bless you.
That isn't even remotely true, and in fact, we can find plenty of evidence to show quite the opposite.
Then, you just contradicted yourself.
Baloney, there are 7 billion people in the world and there is only a very tiny fraction of people committing those acts. It is not "all over the place"
Ah, so using the brains that you believe your God provided for us is little more than Satan's doing.
Based on your posts here, you have been seriously duped.
what is pointless JCL?, to prove the truth of it all, therefore no disproof is possible about God or no-God, or prove that this topic is relentlessly inarguable for...ehhh ...closed minds versus open mindes "notions" ?? For example, to ascribe to Xtians all evil in the world?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and more !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I understand your situation!
You cannot understand the things of God....
The answer one must seek is why would one have a need for such "matter-of-fact-ness;" security. Always interpret opinions with the perspective time provides, id est what were the needs, social structures and mode of governing then and there. The winners write history.
"....thoroughly rigid views".... I suppose you are referring to the basic tenets of a particular belief system ( not only in religion, but also in other areas of human thinking, endeavor and interaction). When one mentions basic tenets, what immediately comes to mind are the words "un-bending" and "un-shakable". The implication of truth being applied to"basic tenets" is of course what you are referring to in your questions, but as everybody knows, what could be the basic truth of one's belief system may not necessarily be of another belief system.
Adhering to those basis tenets is what makes one a "true" believer. Without true believers, in a religion tenet, or a philosophical thinking, or a scientific model, or a political organization, the reason for the existence of that religion, or philosophy, or science, or politics evaporates quite rapidly. The world without belief systems would indeed be an empty shell.... TRUTH be damned.
Very interesting and refreshing point of view.
And would you consider someone 'narrow minded' just because of his/her ideas, or just because he/she tries to say the most of it (does not mean the best of it I know) in a forum where there are fraternities of though bouncing back everything said by the opposite side? I have not seen here any serious reply (except for McFarland and for Deepes) who have tried to offer their knowledge without too much emphasis in words that may result insulting..When, logically one responds in the same tone, the focus is lost and the latter to respond is juded ad "attacking the character of the opposite side...!
I am sure that if I had said what you just wrote, almos in a seconf, without difestion it, and just because I said from the beginnig that I am a Catholic, everything from me is trashed but with added cheap vinegar...And then they all play the 'dove' or 'the sacrificed lamb' because of insults!!!
Truth, as in beauty or as in reality is in the eye of the beholder. It is all about perspective. One's perspective may change over time and space, but once undergirded by basic tenets, remains steady, stand-fast, and secure. Therein lies the truth.... in philosophical terms.
Truth, solely in material terms ( i.e. in the material world) could be real (or unreal), depending upon whether one is observing it as "particles" or as "force fields".
Force field (a spinal are that exerts influence on how we, in turn, maintain 'balance'? or just the exaggeration of defenses to keep ourselves as 'complete' as we are?
Yes, I think it's a natural reaction that happens before even understanding reality; the instinctive reaction...which gets badly enhanced by some facts of reality, namely, hostility in the context, and accusations of ill intentions when it is not our truths...The truth is that paranoia takes place even before the subject knows of it; and paranoia, just like love or anything mindful, is a reaction to chemistry...
But this should not encourage anyone to consider others weakness in the art of debating to make them aware of such weaknesses; too much concentration in a few trees when the entire forest can say otherwise...And if the ones concentrating in a few trees are the ones claiming on being openminded, what's for the rest? I guess is no mind at all...and that's a lie! everybody has a mind, and a heart...althogh some show here to be really heartless
my advise, not solicited? do not say for a while if you believe in God or do not...You will be read carefully and replied if possible
I feel like your characterization could apply to almost any belief system! (I keep imagining Tea Partiers and their refusal to acknowledge any evidence not in line with what they already believe).
Anyway, I think that people who hold very rigid views in line with their religion are going to be honest with you when describing what they believe. Ultra conservative Christians will often tell you that God doesn't want to send you to hell, but that your rejection of him forces that to happen.
I happen to disagree with that. But I don't think the person is being dishonest with me. There might be a tendency to dishonesty (or intellectual unfairness)in evaluating evidence against your position.
I think the most pernicious aspect of conservative religious believers is they don't approach the subject with an open mind. They don't ask: Is the Bible the word of God, is the concept of God coherent, is it possible God doesn't exist, is it possible God exists but isn't good? They box themselves in because they are taught "doubting and questioning" are sinful. Like this- http://www.gotquestions.org/question-God.html
Thanks for your feedback...... I would ask a further question then.....does the bible contain all you need to know? Could you get some deeper insights about what is written in the bible, if you were to study, say, the Bhagavad Gita?
I'm an atheist, so I think studying all religions is a good thing.
But for my conservative relatives, they say no. Anything that teaches beliefs contrary to the Bible is automatically wrong by default. So if the Bible teaches the earth is 6,000 years old, and another book says the opposite, the Bible is necessarily right. Here is what some intellectual dishonesty comes in.
Instead of evaluating both to the best of one's ability, the conservative relatives I have will not even try to engage in opposition evidence.
Craig is actually a respectable philosopher, but his discussion here shows his approach isn't actually as open-minded as it appears.
Sooner28, thank you. It is that lack of freedom of thought and being unwilling to explore other possibilities that I feel brings with it so much negativity.
Also, behind much of that public rhetoric, is often a commercial and power-game motive for their zeal. They know that there is a vulnerable audience out there that is longing for someone to get up on stage and "tell" them the easy answers and solutions in life.
For the individual, though, when there is courage to step out into the unknown and explore new vistas, this can be very refreshing.
At the risk of being called a non- Christian.. NO!! The bible does not contain all that you need to know. In some churches, people use the word Bible as an acronym meaning B.asic I.nstructions B.efore L.eaving E.arth. The bible features Christ who lived a life as an example of how to live a good life helping others and the bible does give some basic principles on living and how to handle most situations, BUT it does not account totally for every different scenario. There is a saying that people perish for lack of knowledge, but the bible does not state (to my immediate recollection) that it contains all of the answers (other than seek first the kingdom of heaven). The bible does not teach you about other cultures, customs, etc. Holding on solely to the bible often times disallows people to see the big picture because they are using a very small frame (their minds)
At the risk of being called a non- Christian.. ??
If you think the Bible doesn't have all the answers, you are doubting the word of God, and you are no better than unbelievers.
The Bible says, read the word, pray to God and then He shall direct thy paths.
The bible is right because the bible says so and the bible says we have to accept everything in it because the bible says
Infinite regression of a fallacy.
Because the Bible is the word of God. God don't lie. you don't want to accept it fine...
Not a new thing.
Critics will always be there....
But I know what is right for me..
Deepes Mind is using the brain he was born with!!
Don't stress coming to my defense.. Like it has been pointed out several times before, People get what they need out of the bible.. Apparently, SoldOut can get all of the answers to life's problems out of the bible (even those things that the bible points out to keep searching for) and that's fine for him.. His position is still safe (well unless God still looks down on the whole Passing judgment of others thing and takes exception to his/her judgment over another Christian ).
Deepes Mind is using the brain he was born with!..great
And he is a Christian!
If you don't want to listen to what I am saying, listen to Deepes
He is not an atheist. And I am sure he is using his brain when he decided to follow Christ.
Thank you. And it is in following Christ that allowed me to see the true strength that I have been given to live and do what I can to make the best and biggest difference here on earth for myself and others.
Okay, Genius.. Where in the bible does it speak about technology? The inner workings of the brain, heart, etc...?? Please tell me what scripture contains the cure for cancer, AIDS, etc...
When you can point me in the direction of those scriptures (other than prayer) then you will have a point.. Prayer does change things and I totally believe that and I believe the word of God, But the word also says that faith without works is dead.. You can believe all you want, but there is also work that has to be done here on earth to fulfill God's word..
It is this thinking of The bible and prayer doing everything that caused that couple in Pa to now be in jail for child neglect because they refused to take TWO children to the hospital for medical attention. So now that they lost two kids the same way, what do you tell them?? Their faith wasn't strong enough? or that they didn't apply the basic principle of taking their kids to the hospital would have saved their lives?
I know where I stand in my faith in the word of God and what it says.. The word even says that even in trusting in the Lord, we still have to walk in faith. Part of walking in faith is still doing works to complete what needs to be done..
Please read Matthew 7:1-5 and while you're at it spare me your self righteous judgment over another Christian's faith and belief in what the bible says. I know where I stand in my faith and things that I have gotten from the bible have allowed me to walk in the victory in Him..
If you choose to ignore the parts of the bible that speak to your own power and ability given through Him (namely Philipians 4:13)
By passing judgment over me (or anyone else for that matter who is Christian) you are no better than an unbeliever in what God has revealed to your fellow Christians.
Move that beam, my friend
well well, I am sorry,
but I am sure you believe that nothing is impossible with God, as you are a Christian . The Bible is the book of faith. First seek His kingdom and all the things that you need will be given.
At the same God has also given us brains to think and to do what is best. God gave man wisdom ,so he is better than animals. But when he questions his maker, he is a no better than a fool..
I agree. It may start there, but it does not always stay there.
This is the point.. It may start with scripture, but it does not stay there. Scripture encourages us to use our brains as well as scripture, so in looking to other sources, you are not questioning the maker. you are simply using your brain to think and make full use of all things around you. We are to have faith, but we are NOT to be so totally dependent on Him that we cripple ourselves of the power that He gave us. One issue that I see is that some Christians will pray to God then sit and wait on the miracle to happen. Some are so sold out (no pun intended and this is not a knock on you) that they make the most mundane things seem miraculous as they thank God for everything. I'm not knocking you and I understand your stance (from what I've read from you), but the time has come for Christians to widen their perspective as to what God truly has done in giving us the power for ourselves. Free will does not come without the power to act on that will. Free will without power is not free.
Yes, we should do what we can ,not only waiting for God to do everything.
I am doing exactly that...
But one thing I hold on to, is that God is real. I am sure you do the same.
I do. that is why it bothers me when another Christian accuses me of being an unbeliever because we may not have gotten the same things out of the Bible. I read and believe in the same bible and have gained my own understanding of it as well as what the churches teach and some church doctrine is soo off base.
I was too harsh on you. I misunderstood you so things went wrong. I understand your point now.
We're ok. I appreciate the apology. It happens. One thing I try to do is make sure I have a clear understanding of the intent of a response before I respond, Especially given the different teachings that my fellow Christians may have than mine.
a book that teaches you how to 'solve' the mistery of life and thus make you feeling you have 'mastered' life?? ghee...which one? When you live, you are supposed to 'leave' some bad habits in order to be engaged socially. You behave as an outsider of ewhatever 'rules' and you are outed. That is the normalcy of life. BUT, the Bible does add even more requirements that, if, a big if, you master them, the other ones will seem piece of cake or, if you mind, peace of cake ...So your mockery of the meaning of the bible does not mock it at all; you are the final receptor of your own doings, remember? what comes around goes around...? the pure street wisdom... Be content that you do not have to be 'biblical' often times...but wheter you have noticed it or not you have come to enjoy a lot of benefits due to the realization of the Bible teachings...Plese abstain of history of horrors...Just balance the results as a whole...Even if you don't, still those results are here forever since forever...cheers..you will be fine
Puella, your rant towards Deepes Mind stinks of a desire to control.
Rant? and to control what? be specific if you don't mind; have you re-read some of your own? what, if anything, am I looking to control? just what? this thread? but if you yourself declared it 'finished' when someone told you, us, that from whatever angle you can approach this topic, it will not be 'solved' by anybody, believers or not, believe it or not ..then you said, "really...finished then" as if you were worried that certainly no definite answer would be ascertained...Plese JCL...I am not ranting...But if anybody deminish the level of the conversation by defining what B.I.B.L.E. means in a way that extripates the seriousness of it all, what do you call that? speaking of tolerance and respect and etcS
Yes, Puella, a "rant." Why? Because I fail to see how you get all of what you say "from the bible."
If this is what you glean from its pages; if these proclamations which you make; if the "message" which you say the bible sends us ----- is truly valid and factual, how can you construct your understanding of the bible in this way? Especially when the scriptures are such a mix of writings from the distant past.
There is myth, and history, and superstition, and parable. Little can be translated into what we can all fully understand today, in our own cultural climate. Most of us, myself included, can understand little of the culture of 2000 years ago, especially where it relates to the people of Israel and Arabia.
I have said that what one can glean from the Harry Potter books can give us lots of metaphorical pointers to leading a better life. If you can see them, it is probably because you don't want to see them.
You have apparently chosen a particular religious path for your life. That is respected and of course you have that free choice. But, hey! What are your qualifications, your authority, to tell others what precisely are the "true" messages of the bible? Have you done studies that can be openly assessed and vetted by your peer group? Are you a spiritual, ascetic, mystic, enlightened person whom we can listen to and expect an authentic translation of the bible?
We know nothing of you except what you write here in the hub. If I knew what was your background of expertise, then I would be more willing to listen to your points of view. So far, all we have managed is rhetoric and reaction.
What you just said applies entirely to what the opposition says too. And will bounce that ball back to you: if you do not see it is because you do not want to see it. Reaction is a natural response to action...it's life itself!! evolution means that a change impossed by context required a reaction (adaptation and all the genetical mutations involved thu time) to be able to survive and 'progress'...The blueprint of everything we do is spelled in our reactions. If you do not want people to react to what you say or write then why do you write for? you are supposed to be enjoying reactions...and contradict them if needed and adopt them if valuable etc etc etc. You do not need to know about us...our writings are telling you what we think (and my dear Watson...we are saying, pouring)... What you ask me about "the who know" how the Bible was written and all the mistakes, etc etc ...you are not adding anything important...you are wasting your times. It does not matter that you do not know the languages...an author speaks himself in his/her books (surprised?) so what we need to do is to try to be in the author's shoes...and that is what we have been doing. Now, you seem to be stucked in your analysis. Whatever happened to you, had its moment in time, and you MUST have seen changes after that from that church..If you deny the positive changes you are denying evolutionary thoughts and philosophy. I do not need to write here about Jesus teachings...It's enough 'all' what riddle... knows for example of the Bible...He has even better readings than the Bible... What are your 'better' readings? You just get trapped in the past...Evolution takes time..and so survival...and so progress....You cannot say that today's situation, regarding your context now and then, has not changed!!! it is simple not possible. The critics of the Bible as a God's book do mean nothing to me...It only speaks of ignorance of the book. And it's a loooong book. Do you aspire to discuss it here? no way!! And for those who have included stuff from the Bible, what answers have they got? just think about that. Do not be mad a t me...
Some people might indeed derive insight from it but if you believe that God wrote the Bible (using human agents) then you must understand that Hindu writings don't provide deeper insight in to the actual character of God. There are insights to be gleaned about what differences and similarities there are between different religions and peoples, which can be applied in a number of ways.
the very point of 'absolute'!!! The Bible repeatedly along hte pages maintains that He is an absolute God and His is an absolute truth; but He is not talking about thw 'winners' in a mundane concept; soul salvation (from death, from sin, thru love, is salvation
A Xtian is not comfrtly speaking about what he will have for breakfast (muesli and all that jazz) when there are all of the millions in hunger; I would say that this kind of superficilaity, shallowness, pnly speaks of the real needs of the heart: there is saying in Spain: "tell what you have got in abundance and I will tell what is the nature of you scarcities"...is not that telling>???
and JCL, read carefully, I am not convincing anybody to be a Catholic! please do not pit words in my writings... Do not fantasize about my writings: you are not reading harry potter okay?
I think that many of us hold to religious belief as the only means of ensuring that we live a good and moral life. Simply by virtue of exposure to the rest of the world, I can't see how one can hold to that conclusion with any measure of maturity. As we get older, and meet people outside of our tiny, little worlds, we begin to understand that perhaps there is a lot more to living than we've ever been taught...and I say that in terms of not just religion, but everything. Let me use a silly, silly, but poignant example. I was raised by a first generation born Italian-American father. In my house, we only ever had Italian salad dressing. Until I was around 11, I thought that WAS salad dressing. It never occurred to me that there were other flavors of salad dressing, because in my home, it was as simple as do you wan't dressing on your salad or no? Such are those who are born into households or communities that are centered around one ''true'' religion. They are never given the option to learn that God may have shared His truth with anyone outside of the household (community). The question is then, do you want God or don't you? Well, then, here He is. Take Him or leave Him, as it were.
I was blessed to have been raised to seek truth - constantly - and to understand that every truth that brought joy, love, peace, and unity among peoples came from God. Later, I chose to understand for myself that Christ is the ultimate truth, and that whether people label Him as such isn't as important as whether people choose to live according to the ultimate truth that unifies us as a people. Does that make sense?
I think there is a difference between being quite sure about your own personal beliefs and being intolerant of the beliefs of others.
I mean, sure, I might change my mind about my core beliefs but it is fairly unlikely. But one of those beliefs is that other people get to be free in what they think and do--so long as they aren't hurting anyone.
You reach a point where the likelihood of being exposed to an argument, idea, or concept you have not already explored or considered is low. New information is becoming available all the time, but it pretty much just falls into line with perspectives you have previously considered. Sure, you look to see if that new data shifts the weight of the premise, but that rarely happens.
Not being anxious to constantly retrace old ground is frequently perceived as being close-minded, at least to those who hold that particular argument in high regard, or for whom it is new. I don't begrudge others their right to embrace that opposing view.
I suspect it's my consideration, questioning, and research of different views, ideas, and observations that helps me to identify patterns and inconsistensies. I am often surprised to find out what I thought was within the accepted norm was in fact inconsistent with my religion. That is a personal challenge that is essential to the growth of my spiritual strength, in my opinion. :-) I suspect growth would be quite limited by a habit of not appreciating something or someone else.
Ahh! The human Tasmanian Devil does it again! If anyone can conjure up a question that cannot be "answered", only CHEWED on, it's Jonny. I'm going to be untypically and mercifully brief, because you have a lot of thoughtful, intelligent, and well-written responses already. You don't need more blather from me.
I would add only a few observations (which frees me from the work of developing an Argument)--
1) "what is Truth, said jesting Pilate, and would not wait for an answer"
2) the simple fact that rarely, if ever, does Jesus of the Gospels answer the disciples' tough questions with direct answers, almost ALWAYS he uses images, metaphors, parables. Example (you can almost SEE him shrugging)--"Consider the lilies of the field. They toil not, neither do they spin." --What the hell does THAT mean...? Exit, scratching your head, go find a gourd of wine and figure this out.
3) "Nothing is real, except I perceive it so" Can't remember the source of that one....
4) Plato's famous "Allegory of the /Cave" in the REPUBLIC (VI. I think)--in which people have been staring at reflected shadows on a wall their entire lives, and when the hoax is revealed to them and they are shown the "real" world, they reject it passionately and want to return to their cave.
Our perceptions are our lives. And that is all we have, all we can turn to to define "truth". Who would presume to tell a Muslim that Allah is simply a projection on \his wall and has no verifiable existence in a "real" world? Who would presume to tell a devout Christian that Jesus was just a neat guy in the right place at the right time for a passionate Messianic culture to deify him? Who would presume to tell an Atheist that his misguided demands for proof would doom him to hell for all eternity?
Unfortunately--and this is what gives Jonny the right to ask the tough question--all sorts of people from the beginning of recorded history have so presumed, and countless millions of people have been killed in the name of the wars of Truth. Rationally, there is no TRUTH shimmering like an eternal beacon in an ethereal landscape, waiting for men to embrace it. Jesus knew that. Muhammed knew that. The Buddha knew that. They all threw puzzles at men--puzzles tat were unimportant per se. What was important was that each man had to come thru the puzzle in his own heart, where whatever truth was available to him, resided. Now, if we could all accept THAT and in so doing, accept that many, many different paths can lead one to that Truth.......well, there we are. o more wars, no mor slaughter, no more stress.
Most religions fear that apparent relativism with an abding passion. To acknowledge it is to relinquish power and control...and that would never do.
So, in my opinion, it is not the exercise of process, of seeking, of thinking that is the3 problem and the obstruction. It is the false and often self-serving DEFINITION of "Truth" itself that obscures and clouds our minds and makes it impossible to "answer" Jonny's excellent question.
Maybe it's not important for us to arrive at "the" truth. Maybe for each of us our perception is all we need to dwell on and understand.
End of debate, if this is the case.
Thanks Moonfroth and everyone for daring to answer the questions.
A couple of further thoughts:
If I were really narrow minded in religion, it would prevent me even drawing upon the beauty that can be found in each.
It does not matter that I don't subscribe to the religion in general or particular aspects. The artistry and emotional communication can sometimes lift me up out of the mundane nature of every day life.
For example, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was steeped in the Roman Catholic religion of his day. I could not enter into those beliefs now. Yet the music he wrote and passed on down to later generations is sublime. I have been listening to his Requiem while writing this comment. That "wedding cake" of sound can send shivers down my spine. His composition and all of the life he led up to the writing of it, the musicians, the technicians, every part of the process of getting it to my ears, are what inspire me.
If I rejected the religion totally, how much beauty would I be missing? Yet there is no need for me to take the beliefs on board for myself. The same goes for the Hindu and Buddhist religions, with all their art and culture; the Mormons and their Tabernacle Choir; the classical paintings of Italy; art of all kinds.... these came to us from people who had passionate beliefs.
So --- we reject and we miss out.
I haven't read through the whole thread. But I doubt by rejecting a religion we would reject the people who follow the religion. Mozart's work, and that of anyone, can be appreciated separate from religion. You would need to reject classical music in order to miss out on that.
But, we must accept that we all have narrow views. My view may leave room for other views, my view may encompass many philosophies; but I still reject things. I still miss out by this rejecting. What is beautiful and pertinent to me addresses my needs. By thinking my view is better than another view I am, by that act, narrow minded.
Interesting points, Emile R.
There is a teaching within Buddhism, that of the "equanimous" mind. Accepting each and every aspect of life for what it is, without judging "good" or "bad." That each point of view arises from an awareness, the consciousness at the centre of our "being." That each and every experience we have has its place in the grand, indivisible "scheme" of things.
Not far different from a christian view point, probably with different terminology.
Since I'm a pragmatist, I pragmatically agree with Emil's pragmatism and yours, Jonny (note that I'm never redundant)--but both of you seem to miss the point about the CIRCUMSTANCES surrounding Mozart's beautiful music. Was not the point that an Atheist can enjoy the beauty of Mozart's Art, but it must be acknowledged that the Christian milieu in which he was steeped from infancy had a profound and abiding influence on his work. One could probably argue successfully that all that beauty would not have occurred WITHOUT that Christian milieu. As modernists, we can detach his music from Christianity. He could not.
And Jonny--tho I do so with trepidation, anticipating a bolt from Zeus as I write this--I must take you to task for your closing caveat just above.Evil ]s a virtual obsession in Christianity. The existence of dichotomy and division is the cornerstone of Christianity. Only God holds the key to harmony==bring your flawed and sinful soulto him andblah, blah maybe he'll let you in on some of the secrets. Maybe not. Depends. And on and on it goes. The Buddh found Good in all things
Not unlike "beauty is in the eye of the beholder", so is the acceptance of truth.
As a believer, my statement of "God exists", or "God is", it totally true.
Every believer out there would agree. It would also be truth to them.
Atheists, fundamentally reject any notion fo God, therefore, they would consider that statement an outright lie.
"What is Truth?" said jesting Pilate, and would not wait for an answer.
"Nothing is true, except I perceive it so."
And in Plato's Allegory of the Cave, the people chained lifelong watching a world of shadows on a wall, want to RETURN to that world of illusion after they;ve been led out of the cave and shown that their "reality" is a hoax. Not to them it isn'.t.
So, Emil--and I am not being facetious--if all this is true, why do we bother talking about this stuff, at all?
Precisely, it doesn't take a great mind like Plato's to determine that there is no finite, ultimate or absolute truth, any text or ideology that claims to have it is either one of mindless zealotry and obedience or simply a scam.
Why do we bother talking about it? Because we find it interesting. Why else?
A "lie" implies a deliberate attempt to deceive. I don't think most religious people are trying to do that, so I don't like to say they are "lying."
More like a sincerely-held mistaken belief. IMHO.
I think you're absolutely right. It can be very difficult for a non-believer to understand how someone can believe such things as Adam being created in seconds from a handful of dirt, but believers can and do believe a great many things contrary to common knowledge. It doesn't make it a lie, although presenting an opinion or belief, without basis or supporting evidence, as truth might be considered lying.
Works both ways.
Most atheists sincerely believe the evolution lie.
You have got that all wrong....
I don't "believe in" evolution. From what I have read, it is a theoretically possible way in which living organisms have come about in this world. Darwin was a very religious, believing man, like yourself. He held a theory, passionately, on how things might have happened. He courageously went out into the world to explore his theory. Then he came back, again courageously, and explained his theory and his findings to his peers, many of whom were extremely antagonistic towards him. I suspect that, being a good scientist, he would have left lots of unknowns, "stones un-turned," for later generations to discover.
Now, aka, if this is too much for you to grasp or contemplate, so be it. Carry on in your religious mode. Your choice. I prefer to keep my sense of wonder and awe wide, wide open.
If I were to "believe in" any god at all, it would not have limitations.... it would be boundless and beyond my comprehension. Not confined to a deity that confused everyone by inspiring the writing of a book; to be interpreted and mis-interpreted ad infinitum and threatened me with eternal damnation if I did not tow the line.
You pushed a button with me. I wonder what it is within you that makes you absolutely reject even a possibility of the evolutionary process.
My fundamental objection is that scientific observation, including ALL we know, we emphatically cannot observe life arising from non-life.
In EVERY instance, life gives rise to life! Period.
For me to "accept" evolutionary theory, is a greater leap of faith, than to believe (a) God, (a LIVING God) is more than capable of creating life.
Life from life. NOT life from some contrived primordial goo.
Feel free to hold onto these beliefs yourself. I doubt you'd listen to me!
I have listened to you, and you can see that my mind is boundless in anything that is sensible. But your fundamental position on christianity is, as you say, something I will not be part of, ever.
That answer does not surprise me, since we have been here before.
I note that you have no answer for the abiogenesis conundrum.
I know it's a tough one, but a stand has to be made.
It underpins all the rest.
I was under the impression that your god was a living one, but now you say that life can only arise from life. So from which life did your god arise?
Or is your god a dead one?
The one thing that underpins all of your beliefs is that you, and I, and all of the human species, have an individual consciousness after the death of our body. I do not accept that, therefore I cannot accept your fundamental, born again christianity. I am not rejecting the possibility that there is/was a creator of some kind, the nature of which none of us can know, because such a creator would be on a totally different plane of existence. However, the imposition of a judgmental character in the form of a god is a man-made construction, designed to control other people. The church you belong to will be part of that control group and it has obviously sucked you in, hook, line and sinker.
If you reject the idea of an evolutionary process, how do you suggest life came about?
Abiogenesis is another theory, so far backed up by a strong probability yet not proven. This is just one aspect of man's inherent curiosity. Why do you need to reject it? It is something which we can continue to explore.
I have just been watching this evening, a program by Prof. Brian Cox, which show some wonderful things about biology and species which I had no knowledge of. He also has an exploring mind. He is able to look out on (and into) the beautiful creation and enlighten us. I love this. It gives me so much respect for the world I live in.
The answers are unlikely to be available to me, in my life time, but that does not matter. I am privileged to experience life as it is now. I have no worries whatsoever about anything after my death. Whereas you, Aka-dj I suspect will be shivering in your shoes, wondering if you have pleased your master.
Here's a more accurate description of abiogenesis.
Thank you ATW. I have read through some of that. Much of it is way outside what my brain can handle, some of it is understandable even to my level of education. Mostly I am in awe of the minds that can get right into this science and technology. It's really using one's faculties in a way that can benefit humanity.
I will continue to look back at it and read further.
I bookmarked that one to go back and read. Thank you.
I have no reason to fear Him.
I'm already pleasing and acceptable to Him.
In fact, I'm 100% righteous before Him.
If a father had two sons, and they were always going at each other in a most unhelpful, destructive way, what do you think the father would do? (That's assuming the two sons were still of an age where they could be discipline.)
If you believe that there is only one "God," that must be the same "God" in the religion of Islam as the "God" in the religion of Christianity.
Do you suppose that your God will sometime come down on you both for being such obstinate individuals?
The two are NOT one and the same.
That kinda negates your argument.
However, history will end, and the (True) God will arise, to do exactly what you suggest.
Judge the nations, separate the sheep from the goats, the plants from the weeds, and the righteous from the wicked.
Each will be sent to the place prepared for them.
Some to everlasting peace, and some to everlasting fire.
There is only one message that I ever got from the stories of that man you call Jesus...... he was about self-righteousness, not UN-righteousness. Yes, I know I can be guilty of that as well. We all can at one time or another.
How about yourself, aka-dj? Will you stand scrutiny? Oh! Sorry, I forgot.... you are known to him.... you are safe.
Indeed I am safe.
You need to learn that same lesson from Jesus.
That would make it, 2.
It would be a step in the right direction.
No thanks all the same. I prefer to take a little more risk in this life, give to and take from it as much as I am able, try to treat others as I would wish to be treated myself, then at the end of it feel at least I have given it my best shot. There is certainly nothing after it so that is not worth worrying about in my estimation. I suspect your Jesus would be horrified to know that you were still worshiping him, 2000 years after he left this life. He was, after all, only human like you and me. But if that is your choice I cannot take it away from you.
I am trying hard not to get into the trap which I have made the title of this Discussion.... too narrow an opinion.... but on hearing one narrow opinion I tend to slide that way myself.
Actually Jesus fully expected us to worship Him. He said so.
Jesus accepted praise and worship while here as well. The Jews saw this as clear blasphemy, by equating Himself with God.
You appear to agree with Chris. Where did Jesus suggest people worship him?
Emile, there are many examples where Jesus freely accepted worship, which we know was only to be for God. Here is but one, (if you want more, let me know): Matthew 28:9 And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.
And I bet that in his heart of hearts he hated that, because it was not what he was trying to teach them...He was pointing to the inner search for truth, not an outward one that appealed to their human senses. It's like voting for a President whom you think is sexy, you like the look of him. You prefer to ignore what he/she is proposing by way of policy.
Jesus knew accepting worship was blasphemy. Matthew 4:10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
Jesus wasn't shy. If he had a problem with repeatedly being worshipped, he would have rebuked folks for it, just as he corrected Satan in the verse cited.
Actually, on the surface; bberean appears to be correct. I've always referred to the passage where he chastised them for calling him rabbi. But, the section he refers to does show Jesus being worshipped after the resurrection. He doesn't appear to ask for it, but he does appear to accept it as a natural reaction.
Of course, you have to believe in the resurrection to get to that point in the story.
I didn't think about that being a possible issue in giving that quote. How about a couple more, prior to the resurrection, for clarity:
Matthew 9:18 While he spake these things unto them, behold, there came a certain ruler, and worshipped him, saying, My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live.
Matthew 14:33 Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.
More upon request.
I think the word worship throws many off. Myself included. Worship comes across as blind groveling. But, I actually looked up the word after reading bberean's post. Hoping to find a way to view it in a better light. The word is fairly innocuous. To love, admire, or respect somebody is not a far fetched reaction to the acts of Jesus when he walked the earth. Nor is it a far fetched reaction if one believes in the resurrection.
I don't know that there is anyone who can view the life of Jesus and not find it within themselves to admire and respect the individual. Nor can I imagine meeting someone such as that today and not loving them on some level.
Emile, the word translated and used in the examples I cited, and others I could cite, including the one where Jesus declares worship is for God only, are the same word: proskunew proskuneo pros-koo-neh'-o
from 4314 and a probable derivative of 2965 (meaning to kiss, like a dog licking his master's hand); to fawn or crouch to, i.e. (literally or figuratively) prostrate oneself in homage (do reverence to, adore):--worship.
Well, now. That's unfortunate. I would venture to guess that you may be wrong. When you guys say something I usually look it up. I use a modern translation. One of the passages you noted did not have the word worship in it. A mental image of the scene showed behavior in line with the definition I found. Reading the entirety of the other two passages led me to believe that the word was being used more in line with the definition I referenced. Although, it is not far fetched to assume that Jesus was being worshiped as if he was a deity.
I honestly don't think any deity would want a person to crouch and lick its hand like a dog. I could, of course, be wrong.
You should really sit down and read threw the OT. There's some juicy stuff in there about just what that God will do and require to be "glorified" (basically for attention)...
I have read the old testament. As abhorrent as much of it is, it is indicative of how humanity conducted their affairs at the time. IMO.
Yes, but if you only focus on that aspect you miss so much, even in the OT.
Emile, have you ever had a dog? Have you accepted this behavior from them? Do you deem it inappropriate that they "worship" their owners and masters? I realize the pride of man recoils at the very thought depicted in that definition, yet that dog is much closer to being the peer of his master than we are to being a peer of ours.
Very true. Historically, however, many earthly kings have expected exactly the sort of blind groveling that many associate wholesale with the word "worship." It's difficult under the best circumstances to explain that you can really and truly have a relationship with God that is not simply 'yes Master, no Master.'
No, He was saying that those who didn't accept Him as king were in big trouble.
Jesus was all about truth, I completely agree with that. But the idea that truth was relative (as Pilate opined) was antithetical to His teachings. He came in a Jewish tradition and did not introduce any zen or other foreign ideas into it.
In the parables. The Jews of His day would not have missed the references to the King in many of them.
"Actually Jesus fully expected us to worship Him. He said so."
And on this in Chris's reply, and yours, bBerean, hangs all the claim to authority of the christian church. I say this is one of, if not THE, greatest lies ever perpetrated on the human race. It has been used extensively to judge and subdue nations and individuals.
It's only purpose is to control.... there is no love in it, because love is encompassing, inclusive, warming, tolerant, honest and humble at the same time. Christianism is not out for love, only control of my life and many like me.
Okay. Where in the Bible did Jesus say, "hey, don't worship me. I'm just a man?"
Jonny, I have absolutely no interest in controlling your life. Sharing beliefs is not control. You reject the deity and perhaps existence of Christ, how does my view otherwise, control you? If I feel your belief puts you in spiritual peril, how does that idea of mine control you? How does the warning of someone holding that view do any more than momentarily inconvenience or annoy you? Why does it illicit such a defensive response in so many? How, for example, if hell is nothing but nonsense, does the assertion by anyone that you are in danger of going there, constitute a credible threat for you to react to? If you tell me my views will land me in whatever unfortunate eternity you wish to purport, I will not feel threatened by it, so why are others so threatened at a hell they deny exists?
Simply because, inevitably, if and when the dogmatic religious assertion becomes commonly applied to a society, or a community, then those who do not agree with the dogma get punished.
This becomes then the opposite of what the religion says it stands for. If the religion in question is christianity, i.e., trying to follow a life of Love by by following Jesus, then the dogma and the inflexible christian attitude becomes totally intolerant of dissenters. Try living as a homosexual person in a Southern Baptist enclave. Or try living as a person with light brown skin and dark hair where the presumption is that any such person is an Islamist out to terrorize everyone.
So, I am saying it's important to confront the beliefs of persons like yourself, otherwise injustice will prevail in the disguise of goodness.
Jonny, I hope you understand it is not my intent to be offensive to you, but the picture you paint in your posts, in this thread and others, lead me to a conclusion you likely will take offense to. Nevertheless, I will share what I see, which is irony and hypocrisy as you presume to understand what I believe to such a degree you can conclude my views would lead to injustice (as defined by you, of course), prevailing, at your expense. In an effort therefore to avoid the control you feel I would impose on you, (in spite of my clear declaration I have no such desire or inclination), you seek to control and limit me. If you don't see what leads me to this impression, I can provide quotes from you. I didn't provide them yet as I am curious if without being directly confronted by them, you could see why someone would come away from your postings with that understanding of your view and goals. Basically, you seem to cry out for tolerance of all things you deem tolerable, but desire control and elimination of those things you don't. Isn't this also what you accuse others of?
Ok, I can appreciate and respect your views as you state them here. But can you say that the object of christians is not to convert the world?
Anyone seeking to control the world by force is not getting their marching orders from the bible, or Jesus. Are we to share the gospel with everyone we can? Yes. Do we believe this is a decision of eternal significance? Yes. Would we like to see the world make the right choice? Absolutely. Do we believe people can be forced to accept or believe any of this? Absolutely not. Do we believe we are responsible for those who reject this message? No. Do we have any illusion that we will "convert the world"? Far from it as the bible is clear that people will be increasingly intolerant of sound doctrine, replacing it with what they want to hear, so eventually believers will nearly be silenced. That doesn't mean we won't persist even when faced by the efforts of those made uncomfortable by what we believe is true, and who therefore seek to censor us. Jesus has not instructed us to silence anyone or force them to do anything. Our focus is not the material world. We are simply to inform and persuade. Increasing numbers would like to force believers to be quiet so they can monopolize with their message of tolerance. I had the feeling perhaps you were in that camp, and apologize if that is not correct.
bBerean, This statement makes Jonny's case on some levels.. Conversion doesn't have to come by force. Conversion comes by doing all of what you said Christians are supposed to do along with this statement you made above. Wanting the world to make the "right choice" (Which I am assuming is choosing to follow God) versus making what they feel is the "right choice for them" is wanting to convert others because it is attempting to change a mindset. The rest of your comment is true (we are not responsible for those who don't change, knowing some won't change.. etc), but hoping someone makes the right decision is wanting them to change.
If you know that someone is destined to suffer apart from God for eternity....
If you know that someone has rejected a God who loves them and wants the very best for them...
If you know they would have a friend that walks closer than a brother, a provider, a lover of their very soul...
What would you be unwilling to do to give them the knowledge you have?
If someone rejects God and ends the conversation, then you must shake the sand from your shoes and move on, but here, the conversation is daily. All they would have to do is simply not post here and they would not have to hear the good news at all, but they do post here. Many of them, strictly in the religion section. Man cannot change a heart. Only God can change a heart, but man can open his mouth and speak the things he knows to be true with the motive of illumination, driven by love for fellow man.
We are supposed to give them the information, then let them make the choice that THEY feel is best for themselves, not the choice YOU feel is best for them
True, we are supposed to shake the sand and move on. Like the saying goes, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink. There are two problems I've noticed here. One problem is that Some Christians lead the atheists to the water, then they try to dunk their head in the trough and scream "drink or drown" (so to speak. Meaning they give the information and when it is rejected they then try to beat and force God down the atheists throats after it is rejected). The other problem is that after God is rejected, Some don't shake the sand from their sandals. They take that sand, mix it with the water and then sling it as mud at anyone (atheist or believer) that disagrees with their interpretation.
There is a saying I like to live by: You cannot control the actions of others, but you can control your response to those actions. Just like they do not have to come here to post and see the word, you also do not have to respond to what they post here. You have shared the good news over and over and over again here and it has been rejected several times, yet you have not shaken the proverbial sand from the sandals you mentioned earlier.
I agree, but it still goes back to my earlier and your earlier posts, If they reject it, keep it moving.
I like you, Beth. I don't agree with your belief system, but I find that your intentions seem very genuine, and that I respect. I think a number of people in these forums may like you for that.
Thanks to all 3 of you. (Chris didn't say he liked me and we scrabble. How rude.)
I was of the mind that pretty much no one liked me here so those words are so very appreciated. Thank you so much for them. It means a lot.
"Convert the world" as a goal sounds ominous, a bit nefarious, and implies force. What if I don't want to be converted? I answered Jonny as I did to clarify that the intention of believers regarding "converting" is not at all the same as those whose intentions are to convert by force.
By your definition it seems anyone simply wishing others saw, understood and agreed with their perspective are actively attempting to convert them. I guess then, any attempt at persuading in any form could be labeled an attempt to convert. Seems a loose and broad interpretation, neutering the word a bit IMO, but I suppose you could make that case. Is it your contention then that it is wrong to attempt to persuade? If you can persuade everyone else that this is the case, you will empty the forums.
Not entirely, There is a difference between two people agreeing on a specific idea and changing a way of life. The conversion idea is about getting someone doing what YOU think is best for them versus what THEY think is best for themselves. Telling someone that their way of life is wrong and they should change to your way is what is in contention here.
That actually is not correct. The conversion idea is about getting people to have a relationship with God, completely independent of what either THEY think is best for them or what YOU think is best for them or what I think is best for them (since the personal pronoun is capitalized in any case, just assume I'm putting equal emphasis on that word.) Converting to Christianity means that they believe it is best for themselves, not that they're giving in to pressure to conform. That's not real conversion and that's not actual faith.
Chris, that "...a relationship with God..." comes from your perception. It's what you see as correct, surely. So when you want another person to have that Relationship with God, it is in terms of what you already understand. If that other person has a totally different history, and totally different upbringing in a different culture, then you will not be in a position to know what for that Relationship with God will take.
It then takes just humility to step back and let life unfold for that other person, in a way that you cannot influence.
Other than that fabulous bit of circular logic you start with (You saying you want what is best for the person independent of what your idea of what is best is simply your idea of what is best for them) I don't get where you're saying different than I have.
If someone chooses, of their own volition, to change their life because they have come to agree with a specific idea regarding their way of life, how is that anything but positive?
Conversion is about someone being persuaded that something else is best for them, and making that change for themselves. For the perspective you are conveying to be valid, Christians would have to possess some power to make people do things against their will, as you seem to be describing an irresponsible application of an unfair influence.
So all of the dialogue between us in this thread so far isn't you telling me that your way of life, or philosophy, is to be careful not to persuade anyone to your view and that I am wrong unless I change my life by adopting your philosophy? Cause it kind of feels that way, and guess what? I'm fine with it. Feel free to tell me how you think it should be, or your opinion of my life and how I do things. Of course, you can expect my opinion of your opinion in response, but isn't that what we are doing here? If you tell me anything I find of value, I may embrace it and make a change, but please don't tell me I am wrong for doing what you are doing. Jonny has made clear how he feels I and those "like me" should conduct ourselves...which is his right to do, providing he does not wield some strange power to make me act against my will, or force me to comply. Am I not seeing this correctly Deepes? Is there a genuine distinction between what you are doing and what you are telling me should not be done?
Nope. I don't expect you to adopt my philosophy. Your philosophy is what you feel works best for you. I share my philosophy, just like others here because I actually like discussing philosophy and religion with others. You changing your philosophy to match mine has absolutely zero impact or effect on my life whatsoever. I like you and actually enjoy your contributions on this site and I see how your ideas work for you. But even if you were to decide to change, it has nothing to do with me telling you what you SHOULD do. I express what I do and think and leave it at that. Yes, there is a difference. Even in discussing religion, I tell others what I believe, but I don;t tell them that they should or have to believe what I believe. If I try to persuade anyone of anything it is to do what they feel is best without telling them specifically what I think they should do
That is the way I like it, Deepes. Much respected and any disagreement is of value for comparison and further thought.
Deepes, Allow me to illustrate why I am having such difficulty seeing the difference between what you do and what I do and why there seems to be an issue with it. After that I will speculate on what it might be, and request your thoughts on that.
Please consider this:
I don't expect you or anyone else to adopt mine either.
Same for me. I've never said otherwise.
So far so good, it seems we are in complete agreement. Perhaps from here is were the perception of a difference exists...let's see...
So is this it? Do you think I have told people they must believe as I do? Even if I believe someone is on a path to hell, based on what I believe, how is that telling them they must change their path? They are free to stay on that path without a care of what I believe about it. I don't have or desire any power over them. I simply have a belief they can, and often do mock, reject, dismiss, etc.
Is it my conviction that I am right that is the issue? Must I lie and say that I believe that completely opposite beliefs are both true? Must I pretend that I think truth is subjective and everyone is right? If so, I truly am lost to your cause for if I am convinced 1 + 1 = 2, I will not tell the 1+1=3 or 8 crowds that it doesn't matter to be wrong.
What do you mean all views are equally valid? If you mean everyone is entitled to their view, I absolutely agree and my conviction in no way precludes anyone else from believing whatever they want. I don't expect them to accept, endorse, approve or in any way "validate" my view. Am I expected to do that for them? Is this about political correctness and making folks feel good regardless of how wrong you believe they are?
Unless you really believe all views are "equally valid," isn't it disingenuous to say they are? If you truly do believe all views are equally valid, doesn't that mean you in effect believe everything which is pretty much the same as believing nothing? Still trying to understand your point, because it still feels like your telling me I must placate folks by saying views I believe to be wrong, are really right, and to me that is just lying, presumably to be liked and/or avoid conflict.
Nicely stated. I do see only one difference in your stand, as opposed to deeps. It lies in the certainty of one view being right. Since there is no proof that one belief is more likely than another, stating that any form of retribution awaits those who don't hold your particular belief is seen as threatening. I don't have to think there is a possibility that you are right in order to feel an attempt to threaten has been made. The fact that you consider it the only option creates the threat. Your belief in the threat creates contention when you state it.
Deeps beliefs leave room for other beliefs (but not yours). Your beliefs leave room for some beliefs (but only those which include hell). You may not see this, but even though you complain that your belief is mocked, your belief in the certainty of hell makes a mockery of other beliefs. You are experiencing the same thing others are.
Emile, yes, you and I have been around about this before, and I do understand your view. Folks tolerate anything but certainty and conviction, it seems. How that is a "threat" to anyone, however, makes no sense. Does it offend folks? That I can understand and respect, but I won't tell what I believe to be a lie to avoid it. So "offend", I get. "Threat" though? We have a different understanding of what that means. I guess if you told me you would have the giant duck god of Zanszadore torture me mercilessly for eternity I could call it a threat, but I wouldn't because I don't believe it. I still can't comprehend how folks want it both ways...hell isn't real but if you say you are afraid I might go there, and you don't want me to, you have threatened me by making me aware of your view.
By the way, if you were to review all of my posting on the forums to date, I expect you will rarely find any comments regarding hell except in response to those who know I believe in it and want to argue about it, or when it is directly pertinent to the OP.
Fair enough. But, answer me this. Since there is no proof (outside of belief in religious writings) that God has made anything clear to anyone (as far as belief in cosmic retribution) how can belief equate to certainty? I do still think it is hypocritical to complain about being mocked when a belief mocks other beliefs, as yours does. You have no reason to wonder what my opinion of belief in hell is. But, this is not mocking your belief, in my mind. It is more of a sadness that any would possess a hope for such a reality.
You can say you don't mention it often, however we read each other's posts. We build on our understanding of the philosophy of each individual. Once the word hell surfaces it becomes a cornerstone of the entire philosophy. It screams intolerance for other views.
If I may offer a thought on this. There are different definitions of the word certain and as such it can change as according to the context. There is a difference between certainty of belief and certainty of knowledge. Certainty of belief speaks to a confidence in whatever decision you are making (Decision being an example) is what's best because you have weighed it against any alternatives. Certainty of knowledge speaks to a universal establishment of truth and fact. With the root word of certainty being an adjective, it is a description of a specific noun (knowledge or belief)
I would think belief in hell, when used as a warning, would imply belief in a certainty of knowledge. I'm not sure what other way to view it. I would be interested in an explanation as to a different way to view it.
With A Majority of Christians, based on beliefs and teaching, Hell is totally real based on what the bible says, even if they have no specific proof of Hell as described in the bible (of which there are a couple different ideas of hell biblically)
Yes, I know that. But, this would mean that it still falls into the category of certainty of belief. If you don't have a certainty of knowledge the problem remains.
Ok, everyone who is contributing.... so..... do you feel that we all need to move away from a "narrow belief" system and broaden our minds to see other points of view, even if there continues to be disagreement in any particular area?
Does it harm a christian to allow, with a loving, non-judgmental heart, the other person to have an opposite point of view?
Does it allow a person with islamic beliefs to continue in those beliefs without contradiction by a christian?
Can we apply these principles to any and every religion in the world, provided it does no harm to others who do not wish to participate?
I am not talking here about some of the barbaric practices of extreme elements, nor am I expecting extremely fixed, divisive views of christianity to be changed. I am talking about individual persons, who have a deep faith/conviction that supports them in their chosen journey in life, learning to live with others in a mutually supportive atmosphere.
Interesting question. The issue isn't whether or not to move away from a "narrow belief" system. The issue is in understanding and accepting that it is simply a belief system and that until actual universally accepted proof (in either way) is available, one belief (or lack there of) is as valid as the other.. In other words, "Your guess is as good as mine" (so to speak). Even with this in mind, two people can agree to disagree and ultimately still make the decisions that work best for their own individual life and not waste the time and energy in judging another belief system
I can't speak for other Christians, but an opposing point of view does not harm me at all as long as that opposing view doesn't cause another person to try to kill me because of a difference of opinion.
In my personal case, yes it does. Then again, The muslim faith is one of the Abrahamic religions therefore it could be reasoned (by me) that though there are differences in practice, the target deity is the same (despite beliefs to the contrary by both Christians and Muslims)
Yes, but it would take a lot to achieve considering the fact that the foundations of current belief systems of organized religion runs very deeply and there are those who resist change to accept others and their differences without seeking to convert them
It is possible to happen
Speaking as, I think, one of the more conservative evangelical voices here I would say that many of us have been in the process of learning how to do that. I am, however, a bit hesitant (more than a bit, actually) to go along with what I see as a singling out of the Christian viewpoint here. My experience has been that many different people, from many different perspectives, have taken the rather unloving view. That sometimes is from a Christian perspective and sometimes is from the perspective of someone who thinks that Christianity is the problem. As I've said before, in tone if not in substance there is little difference between the two.
I understand every point that you are making and understand where you are coming from. I'm game to try to explain to you the difference between what you do and what I do, but I personally have no issue with what you do as it is what you feel is best for you.
Please consider this:
Good, but you are hoping that others adopt your belief. There is a difference which I will go into detail more on below
Good, We are absolutely on the same page here. Now below is where we separate
Perhaps from here is were the perception of a difference exists...let's see...
in a sense, yes.
It isn't about having a desire for control over anyone, but the overall idea is that they must believe what you believe or go to hell. This carries the implication that they must believe in God or else. On page 6 of this very forum, you made the statement that sparked our current discussion
This statement here says that you already know for sure which choice is right or wrong (as according to what you believe). This in itself says you are trying to get people to change their beliefs.
As did I, but they no longer mock or dismiss me. There is a reason that you (and some of the other Christians here) still get mocked (and it has nothing to do with the atheists simply wanting to be combative). More on that below
That is part of an issue that you are dealing with on the forums. But not an issue I have with you (as I have no issue with you)
No you mustn't do that at all. That would be dishonest. But at the same time, in the absence of knowledge, it is more honest to accept the potential validity of both beliefs.. I'm getting to the point. Stick with me
No, you aren't pretending. Truth and knowledge are not subjective. Belief and philosophy is.
1+1 does =2. This is universal knowledge. Here it does matter to be wrong. But this isn't what is at issue here. I'm getting to the point.
Exactly what I said.
Yes, everyone is entitled to their view and in the absence of universal evidence, each view is equally valid at this point. in other words, your guess is as good as mine.
To a degree, yes because their lack of belief is just as valid at this point as our beliefs.
Nope.. This isn't about being PC. This is about keeping beliefs in their proper perspective. We're almost there.
When discussing validity, it has nothing to do with believing everything or nothing at all.
Now we get to the heart of the matter. Again, it has nothing to do with avoiding conflict. It has to do with things being in their proper perspective and place in discussions and debates. (**NOTE** THE FOLLOWING COMMENTS ARE NOT MEANT TO IMPLY THAT I THINK YOU ARE UNINTELLIGENT OR ANYTHING ELSE. YOU ARE VERY INTELLIGENT AND I RESPECT YOU A LOT. I AM ATTEMPTING HERE TO LAY THINGS OUT IN A MANNER TO PROPERLY ILLUSTRATE WHERE THE DIFFERENCE IS BETWEEN WHAT YOU DO AND WHAT I DO. I WILL LAY SOME THINGS OUT IN LAYMAN'S TERMS IN THE INTEREST OF BEING SHORT AND CONCISE)
There is a difference between philosophy, belief, and knowledge. BELIEF is accepting something as true without evidence that will make it universal knowledge. PHILOSOPHY is a bridge (of sorts) between knowledge and belief. it is how you apply your beliefs to your life within the confines of knowledge. KNOWLEDGE is what it is. It is the universally accepted ideals and principles that have been tested and shown applicable to all people. To further break it down,
1+1=2 falls under the category of KNOWLEDGE. It can be tested and verified by anyone who seeks to test it.
"God is (Christians)/is not (Hard Atheists) real or there is not enough evidence to support the existence (Common Atheists) fall under the category of BELIEF. Whatever evidence that we can come up with (which is mostly individually experiential) can only reinforce at this point our BELIEFS (or lack thereof in the case of atheists) as a matter of confirmation bias. But such evidence cannot be tested by everyone and as such cannot be accepted universally as applicable to knowledge.
How we live our lives within our beliefs (or lack thereof) and knowledge falls under our PHILOSOPHY. Based on what we KNOW and BELIEVE, we then make the decisions what we BELIEVE works best for our INDIVIDUAL lives within the confines of what's universally KNOWN and accepted by SOCIETY.
Here is where the mocking, ridicule, and dismissal come in. Those things come into play (from either side) when someone tries to force and pass an INDIVIDUAL BELIEF as UNIVERSAL KNOWLEDGE then pass judgment on others that disagree with that BELIEF. This is why you and a lot of other Christians are still being mocked by a majority of all atheists (instead of just the HARDCORE ones).
Now keeping my illustration in mind, here is the difference between what you do and what I do. You (and some of the others) speak of God and the bible and spread the word because you love God (as I do) but also in the hope that (by your earlier statement) people make the "Right choice" (Which presumably is to choose to believe and follow God). By this ideal, you have already passed judgment on another's BELIEFS in the absence of universal proof that would change your BELIEF to KNOWLEDGE. By this specific ideal, you have made Jonny's point because you are seeking to convert others into BELIEVING what you BELIEVE. The ramifications of that is that if someone does choose to convert to our BELIEF in God, they must also change their PHILOSOPHY to line up with the Bible. So, in essence, If your Belief is in God and your philosophy lines up with the bible, then you are wanting people to change their beliefs to match yours (fundamentally speaking. I know it is about a PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP with God).
I, on the other hand, share my belief in God and spread the word because I love God and want to share the word and my belief. The difference is that when it comes to choices, I don't hope that someone will make the "right choice" because I have no proof of what the "right choice" is for anyone other than myself and cannot make that assessment of others (not even you). Basically, there are three sets of scriptures that apply here that I tie together:
(1). Matthew 10:14
And whoever will not receive and accept and welcome you nor listen to your message, as you leave that house or town, shake the dust [of it] from your feet.
(2) Joshua 24:15
And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
(3) Matthew 7:1-5
1 Do not judge and criticize and condemn others, so that you may not be judged and criticized and condemned yourselves.
2 For just as you judge and criticize and condemn others, you will be judged and criticized and condemned, and in accordance with the measure you [use to] deal out to others, it will be dealt out again to you.
3 Why do you [a]stare from without at the [b]very small particle that is in your brother’s eye but do not become aware of and consider the beam [c]of timber that is in your own eye?
4 Or how can you say to your brother, Let me get the tiny particle out of your eye, when there is the beam [d]of timber in your own eye?
5 You hypocrite, first get the beam of timber out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the tiny particle out of your brother’s eye.
So in layman's terms as it relates to me in the forums and my discussions with others:
I am to spread the word to others, but under scripture 1, if they reject me and my message, I am to shake the dust off and move on to whoever else may hear. Christ demonstrated this behavior himself when he was rejected at Nazareth. Now under scripture 2, I basically am operating under the idea that others must make whatever decision they feel is best for themselves and their lives, but as for me, I must make the decision i feel is best for me. But the ultimate thing about it is that I am to apply scripture 3 to the whole thing. I cannot judge or assess what others are doing are wrong (ESPECIALLY SINCE I DON'T HAVE PROOF THAT IS SATISFACTORY TO BE CONSIDERED UNIVERSAL). I have to continue to make sure that I am lining up with my beliefs. this is a whole life thing that will never be completed until we die so we should not even have the time (much less the inclination, in my case) to try to condemn anyone else..
I hope this clarifies where I see a difference. But at the very least, I think I might have a good hub out of this...LOL
+ 100% Thank you so much for this. It reads long, for sure, but contained in that is so much good, down-to-earth sense.
Please, everyone, read this Contribution to the discussion and digest it. It will help this forum to continue with benefits for everyone, of whichever persuasion.
I have only one suggestion.
Since CAPS are seen as shouting, but the bits where you have used CAPS are vital to the discussion, would they be less likely to deter people from reading if they were formatted in bold instead?
Thanks for the suggestion. Still getting used to formatting responses so that was the best way I can think of to emphasize points
Use [ then ] with a "b" enclosed before the word(s) and [ then ] with /b enclosed at the end of the word(s).
So that your thinking process is not stalled while writing, you can go back and edit the formatting later.
Of course we're trying to change mindsets. I assume that most of the people posting on the other side are trying to do the same, even if they are only trying to get people to "leave them alone." But what I think John was saying (and please correct me if I'm wrong) is that governments apply pressure when they are "officially" one religion. And he's right. But that's not what I'm trying to achieve.
No need to apologize, thanks.... I am not trying to be obstinate or condemnatory. As you can see, I have come from a christian background and moved on from it.
I criticize myself for being narrow minded when I was a christian, and still find myself annoyed with those who are narrow minded in relation to their faith. Since none of the christian beliefs can ever be proven beyond reasonable doubt, and those beliefs depend upon personal choice over what to believe, I don't see it as something which can be proclaimed to the world as the only and final answer.
Those christian beliefs, about life after death, resurrection, virgin birth, etc., are accepted by believers as what they wish, or find themselves convinced, to believe.
Therefore I ask any person with such beliefs to open their mind to infinite possibilities. In reality, that is what you are asking me to do in the act of "believing," when there is no proof to be presented by finite means.
I would say the same thing to anyone of the Islamic religion or any of the other religions which focuses on a mystical Being who is to be met after death. It all comes down to extending the mind beyond what we can experience finitely, in the Now. All choice, so let's positively recognize and honour differences of opinion.
And transcend, go beyond, the Narrow Mind. I am trying to do so, most of the time.
i Can't speak for other Christians, but I'm not trying to convert anybody.
Of course the object is to convert the world but Protestantism was based in part on knowing that externally applied pressure doesn't necessarily produce actual conversion. And again, as seen in America, having politicians who proclaim Christianity, no matter how sincerely they do it or even how strongly they believe it, does not in itself equate to "Christian" policies emanating from government.
While what you say is true, and can certainly be historically verified no only with Christianity but also with many pagan religions, about the universal application of a faith to a community, it seems to me that you give too much power to individuals if you equate a few lone voices with state control.
For all intents and purposes that's over. Anti-religionism is on the rise, and the government in America, not to mention most of the rest of the West, is moving, albeit sometimes glacially, toward quashing any religious expression that does not conform to the prevailing social norm, even if that norm is imposed by the government. It just happens that the loudest voices on both sides happen to be either pro- or contra- Christianity.
when JCl mentions,
"Christianism is not out for love, only control of my life and many like me."
You are absolutely wrong .It could be the result of bad experience with some believers, but you cannot judge every believers by what kind of experience you had.
You seem to know so much about Christianity.
But I think you need to go deeper into this before you talk again about matters of Christian faith.
"The two are NOT one and the same."
Did He then clone himself about the time of Abraham and there have been two ever since?
Or was the man called Jesus just a man after all, another itinerant preacher of the times and you have swallowed whole the tale that he was a god?
Been there, seen that, got the t-shirt. Then one day I started to read the bible aside from what my Church leaders told me it meant. I then began to use my God given brain and critical thinking. And you know what....I came to the conclusion that the idea of The Father wilfully and dispassionately burning his children for all eternity for being a bit naughty was a croc of crap. But never before that did I ever take the kind of self righteous attitude that you have that almost joyfully speaks of unbelievers going to he'll as if it somehow vindicates your collection. Of Brownie Points with God.
Actually, that is a logical fallacy to assume that if there is only one God then that God must be the same for all religions. This assumes that two or more religions (since you specifically referenced Christianity and Islam, and didn't reference Hinduism, Jainism or Scientology) must have an equal understanding and that that god has revealed himself (again, don't get mad at the parameters anyone, I'm going with Johnny's example and in both religions God is a definitive masculine character) equally to both religions.
A) It's possible that though there is only one Supreme Deity (which indeed both religions teach) there are other 'minor' deities, i.e. devils and angels (and djins, in Islam.) It is therefor possible that a minor deity may have made an imperfect, or counterfeit, copy of the true religion to garner followers for itself.
B) It's possible that God did reveal Himself equally to both but that perceptions were skewed because of the way the religion was transmitted to subsequent followers.
and there are others but my daughter is telling me it's time to go out. Just saying that the 'two sons' paradigm has some variables that were not taken into account.
I have only briefly read thru a few of the postings on this thread so going back to your original question. I don’t think ‘rigidity’ or ‘openness’ would define the truth. The truth should be independent of that. One can be rigid with the truth or be open with falsehood or even vice versa.
Also, I don’t agree that people are always sold out in their minds and hearts with their beliefs which is why they may come across as rigid—hence they may not really be lying or deceiving. I say this because I am an active proselytizer myself. When I engage people I am trying to win over to what I believe to be the truth and presenting the case, sometimes they react negatively when their logic, fact-record, viewpoint or philosophy is in apparent compromise. Sometimes people do not want their belief system challenged and their solace disturbed, no matter how ridiculous it may be. I won’t say that they are deceiving themselves, but for them religion is more a social system than a path of salvation to God. Human beings are complex, emotional and defensive. They may say one thing in public, and another in private, one thing with a certain group of people and yet another with some other group. While subscribing to a certain, let’s say, social system that originated in religion, people sometimes harbor doubts and other beliefs.
"Simply because, inevitably, if and when the dogmatic religious assertion becomes commonly applied to a society, or a community, then those who do not agree with the dogma get punished." JCL dixit
"The sales men of god started..." riddle... dixit
I ask in all honesty... what does it mean 'applied to society or community"...If you had good news, as Jesus called it and instructed His followers to spread them, would not you want to share them? Can you judge a forest by depicting a tree? Cannot you turn your face around and see that no matter what or who says or does not, there is an inherent flaw in human kind..What or why does that have to be blamed on christianity...It's not about of faith...the flaws are not about the credo, but about the interpretation of a credo and the living it Or you wil pretend to say that humans as parents do not love their kids when they make sooo many mistakes while responsible of their upbringing? yet, would you dare to say that they lacked love? of that they were 'flawed' like everybody else...
Or on the science itself corner...how many times 'science' with evidence and method and etc, has stated "this is safe to do" to find ot later that it was not? then science is evil? then let's find some caves to go and live there ensgrined in out own self righteosusness and on our own ntolerance of the rest being just humans...and let's blame it all to Gid Himself for having made man so un-interestting or un-interested in the rest and selfsh to claim that 'me' is more important than "we'
Was there any good news? I missed it. All I heard was the story about a poor man claiming himself as god and railing against the rich and walking with goons and prostitutes and other scum of the society and performing a lot of magic. I enjoyed Harry Potter better.