Some people like to comfort themselves with the idea that if they get rid rid of horrible-old Christianity from the world, we will be left with nice, peaceful nihilism. I would like to point out that if you trample away Christianity, we won't be left with the unity of blissful non-belief, we will be left with every other belief to contend with. The great GK Chesterton once said, "when people stop believing in God, they don't stop believing in everything, they start to believe in ANYTHING".
I suggest that in this modern world, and in the absence of Christianity, there is a very real danger we will descend into a veritable Babel in which people are increasingly unable to understand one another.
It is easy to take for granted the freedoms we enjoy within the legacy of our Christian culture. It is a bit like teenagers rallying against parents for having too much authority, failing to recognise the protection and nurture they would loose without them.
For all my questions, sometimes doubts and irritation I may feel about authority and institutions, I am only too aware, in this otherwise dangerous world, of how the benefits of a Christian culture out- weigh the harms by miles.
I await a torrent of abuse.
How about being able to think boundless or limitless rather than believing in anything. Unless your mind dose not shorting follow up from your heart you world can end up in disbelief
Well, that would be nice, but people aren't like that en-mass. People will huddle into groups, time and again.
Yes, people are very social creature like wolves, yet for most part , people can be led around like blinded magic sheep.
True, but the unspoken axiom for that is that ANY group that people choose to be a part of will have that effect. That includes atheism. And while many atheists pride themselves on being "free, deep thinkers" (and that's not just a Christian being snarky, I used to be on the other side until about 21 years of age with no family history of Christianity to "indoctrinate" me with,) the fact is that relativel few of them are. That goes for Christians as well, I admit, but a greater percentage of atheists claim the mantle.
Thinking boundlessly does not automatically lead people to the conclusion that there is no God. Many great thinkers have come to the conclusion that there is. I don't mean that they became Christians, many haven't, but they have still concluded that random chance is simply unable to answer many of the most basic questions. String Theory, non-Darwinion evolution Krauss' theory are all fascinating, but they fail to answer the most basic question.
I have never heard of an atheist ever making that claim.
Those "many great thinkers" obviously don't understand that random chance was never concluded in the first place. Seems they are not great thinkers at all, but poorly informed thinkers.
And, what would that be?
If you don't know, then that explains a lot.
Yes, it explains that I can't read your mind.
Christianity was formed out of 'belief in Christ as God the Son, the true Messiah, being one with the Father and with the Holy Spirit.' Hence, Christianity has become a religion. and it has grown so big that has presently the most number of believers worldwide.
Christianity will never ever die a natural death but will further flourish because of the truth in Christ's words, that 'heaven and earth will pass away but my words will never pass away,' as in Matthew 24:35.
Jesus is 'beyond' religion because he is in our being, whether we like it or not, as in 1 Corinthians 6:13-15, 17-20. And 'laminin' in our body, in the form of a cross, is a proof of this. And he created us all as he was here even before creation, as in John 1:3.
Sadly, not all Christians are true practitioners of Christianity. Many are still lacking in faith because of their ego which may overwhelm one's faith, because of a carefree stance as many have become baptized as Christians but never cared about learning how to live this life as true Christians, or, a good number are, unfortunately, ignorant about their faith that they have become easy converts to other religions.
They may or may not have said it in so many words, but it's certainly the undercurrent of the ones I have dealt with.
But, Christianity will make damn sure you aren't part of their group, time and again.
He has a point
Most of them do treat me like an out cast because if I don't over obey the good book and yet I'm harmless.
He has no point, he just likes to yell a lot.
As for your point, I wish I could say you don't have one, but unfortunately you do. However, that does not mean that atheists, as a group, don't also engage in this practice. They simply weren't large enough as a group to really make themselves known until recently. But yes, many Christians do practice exclusion, which is contrary to what Jesus practiced. Jesus went to the people who were hurting and outcast and told them about the good news that God really does love them. He also told everybody that we need to get our acts together.
You, as one person, may be harmless. It's hard to tell from one or two postings. I don't know who you influence or how you influence them. Of course, the same is true for me. But it's absolutely untrue to say that what we do affects only ourselves (I don't know if you personally say that, but many atheists do.) And that's why what we believe and tell others makes such a difference. I'm sorry that you've been ostracized. I hope that you find Jesus.
Yes, he is pushy, yet he dose have a point too, like anyone else and atheist are people too. By my own personal experience, Christian have treated me like an outcast, from jobs, family and you can't get elected in North America Government unless your Christian, all because I do not believe Jesus is the only way to God
Would you say that is extremely bigoted and one sided by Christians
So much to work with, here....
ATM is pushy but my experience with him is that he just looks for the point where (at least in his mind) he becomes justified in just standing there and saying nasty things about you. He seems to be changing, but I've thought that about him before.
Yes, atheists are people too, and when they are interested in actual discussion I find it worthwhile to discuss. I don't agree with their ultimate point (that there is no God) but many of their peripherals do need to be addressed. It would be disingenuous of me to say that the church has been all good throughout history, and I don't do that, but it's equally disingenuous of others to claim that it's ALL bad, and always has been. In any case, although Christians can be argumentative, I've found that (as a group) atheists are more than equal to that.
Have you read "UnChristian" by David Kinnaman? I'm reading it right now. A tad depressing from my point of view, but some good stuff.
Again, I'm sorry that you've been ostracized. It would be easy to say (again) that I don't know you or how you act but the fact is that Jesus has commanded us to love others, even when we don't want to. And the fact is that we, as human beings, tend to want to just stick "with our own." I'm sorry.
As for getting elected to government, I think that's still really only true for presidents (and two of the last three seem a little suspect.) Many local and state leaders (and here I'm specifically thinking of Barney Frank, but there are others) who aren't Christian but they still get elected. Things are changing. The question is, are they changing for the better?
All things change. If not given the chance, they stay the same.
As someone who has been alive 45 years, I really question that. I can't think of one single thing in my life or the world in general that has stayed the same, no matter how hard people have tried to keep them static.
So the question remains: All things change, but are they really changing for the better?
Are you changing for the better? That is the question, it does not matter what others do or what they have done, so much as we are part of now.
That's a cop-out. Yes, ultimately,we are all responsible for ourselves. But what others do or what they have done matters very much, because the now (and the future) are never divorced from the past. Any pain I have caused anybody I am responsible for, and any pain they have caused me they are responsible for. Otherwise, we simply give ourselves permission to live in eternal adolescense, self-centered and blunt, because it does not matter what others have done (or we do to others) so much as we are part of now.
Think Globally , act locally and first with yourself.
"Is Jesus white blond and blue eyes or was that brown skin and brown eyes?"
Well, we know that Jesus was a Jewish man living in Syria Palestine in the 1st Century. So you tell me, what do you think?
That is an entirely false premise.
And, they too will vanish eventually. No worries.
LOL! He also said these words...
"If there were no God, there would be no Atheists."
"You can only find truth with logic if you have already found truth without it."
Christians have already created that world and we can see their "understanding" here every day.
If our world is a "dangerous world" as you suggest, then look to Christianity for that origin, especially if you believe removing Christianity will make things worse.
Again, a believer is hoisted by their own petard.
There has always been religion. What makes you think this time will be different?
Have you ever tried to imagine what would happen if China, say, were to conquer America and America had to live under the thumb of an authority that didn't allow religion? We go on and on about how the Catholic church doesn't allow people to use condoms. Imagine being under a law which demanded the life-long use of contraceptives. A law which forces abortions on couples who don't have permission to have more children. Imagine too, living under Saudi Arabian law, in which a person can be hanged for adultery. Or in Afghanistan, where a person can be boiled alive for perjury. Anyone knowing these things can surely not dismiss what has helped us gain freedom from these things.
My point is that we take for granted the things which are unimaginable luxuries for members of other nations. We are free, perhaps too free to live as we please in the west. It is Christianity which allows us these freedoms. You are naive to think everything would vanish and leave us free to make our own minds up. Any knowledge of humanity will tell you that's never going to happen.
And, with religions comes conflict, war, genocide, intolerance, racism, hatred, oppression, ignorance and murder in the name of religion. We can easily make that different.
Your misinformed opinions about China are still misinformed. I see you have learned nothing. Notice how religion has affected your capacity to learn?
Who would make such a ridiculous law? Again, notice how religion has destroyed your capacity to link one concept to another?
Religion has told us to go forth and multiply, which has caused a population explosion around the world. Notice how religion did not plan our lives very well.
Your talking about religion ruling those countries laws. You make a case against religion. LOL!
Once again, your uninformed opinions about freedom are a result of religious beliefs.
If we were to rely on the knowledge YOU have provided, the case against religion is very strong indeed.
I'm sorry, which facts on China are misinformed? As usual it is difficult to get through your answer as you seem to be against writing in paragraphs. Which ridiculous law are you referring to?
I referred to 2 countries with inhumane laws. One is religious, the other secular and your argument is still, look how religion ruins everything. You're being very childish.
Perhaps you should stop laughing and start considering the plight of the Chinese as a serious one.
We have been down this road before and a lot of evidence has been put right in front of you that clearly refutes your misinformed opinions about China.
No, you dishonestly posted your own misinformed opinions about 2 countries.
Did you know America is a secular country?
Thank you, Miss Kettle.
Based on your misinformed opinions about China?
Ah, so you won't answer my question.
My very good friend has been living in China for several years. Infanticide has been a problem there on a big scale for decades. She found a newborn baby on a rubbish dump and had to wait 9 hours for the police to arrive since it wasn't seen as that big a deal. It happens all the time you see.
Everything I have said has been in the news at various times. You could easily find them for yourself.
But, it's obvious you have never been there.
Yes, pretty much the amount of time religions have been sacrificing children to appease their gods.
I tried to find what you were saying and found it be complete hogwash, and not just a various times.
No, I've never been there. Did I say I had? I haven't been to Africa either but I still send aid there.
Sacrificing children? Don't know many religions that do that.
If you are determined to see the suffering of the Chinese through rose-tinted glasses, there is nothing I can say really.
That is just Marxist rhetoric. It doesn't matter what you say. They just follow the sentence map.
Well, Lizzie, I am sure you will consider this "abuse" but I don't agree.
I don't understand why nihilism and Christianity are our only choices. And yes, there are many religions out there, but Christianity is the biggest and most influential by far, so it seems like a good place to start.
Babel--people have never been able to understand each other, lol. This was even more true in times past.
As for the teenager analogy, you have this backwards. It is the modern Christians who--benefiting from the safety, knowledge, enlightenment and material wealth that secular science, politics and philosophy have given us--lambast the very source of their prosperity.
A simple example: many creationists, hating the theory of evolution, criticize the scientific method. Yet these same people gladly enjoy airplanes, cell phones, medical diagnostic equipment and computers--none of which would exist without the scientific method.
You seem to think that in the absence of Christian institutions, there is chaos and confusion. To the contrary, the vast plethora of Christian denominations betray a basic confusion among Christians. As religion has waned, people have realized a unifying desire for human freedom, happiness and well being. That, more than anything, is what guides the lives of billions of people today.
[As religion has waned, people have realised a unifying desire for human freedom, happiness and well being. That, more than anything, is what guides the lives of billions of people today.]
Secularist, I respect your responses on these forums.
I agree with so much of what you write, and yet I perceive through a different lens.
From what I have read of your writing, you have determined that there is no god. Therefore, every other facet of your world view is impacted by this underlying assumption; after all, if belief in God is wrong, then the pursuit of him is wrong, and all religion is wrong also.
Unlike yourself, I believe in God and that the pursuit of him is healthy; part of man's designed intent. However, I agree that religion can be wrong, but only because it frequently involves manipulating man's natural tendency to ungodly ends; though I don't believe all religion is wrong (after all, I myself am a Christian).
I suppose the point I am making is that, unless we can come to an agreement of whether God exists or not, there is little hope of us agreeing on whether the pursuit of him is acceptable or not.
I would suggest that, globally, religion has not waned; though in the West it may have. As you allude, religion has been involved in much harm throughout history that has robbed people of the freedoms and happiness they seek. Therefore, I understand the logic that narrows man's many problems down to his religiosity and concludes that the absence of it would solve those problems.
But I don't think it's that simple.
The problem is, we don't agree on the one point that could unite us in our perception of the problem; God's existence.
"From what I have read of your writing, you have determined that there is no god. Therefore, every other facet of your world view is impacted by this underlying assumption"
Actually, no, I do say that there may be a God, there is just no reason to believe in it. Same as with Big Foot, Loch Ness monster, etc. It's possible they exist, but there is no rational or empirical reason to believe it.
You have the causality wrong; it is my emphasis on naturalism, skepticism, logic and whatnot that informs my non-belief in God, not the other way around. These habits of mind and methodologies, if anything, are what impact everything else. God is as incidental as Big Foot, although I do like to discuss it because it is so popular.
Belief in God depends, whether the theist realizes it or not, on the more fundamental belief that supernatural explanations are reasonable. But supernaturalism must be legitimated first, before any specific beliefs that stem from it.
Now, it is possible to believe in God and still agree with everything I said above. There are many people who believe in a God, or a supernatural, who do not belong to a particular established religion. Some just have a vague "spirituality."
For the most part what I was referring to were real world, measurable facts dealing with the relationship between religion and society/ culture. Even if one believes in the Christian God, one cannot escape the real world benefits of natural science, the greater material wealth among nonreligious populations, etc.
BTW, I never said eliminating religion will solve all problems. I have never said that, anywhere in my writing. But it is a major component. Other major components include political systems, economic regimes and culture.
[I do say that there may be a God, there is just no reason to believe in it. Same as with Big Foot, Loch Ness monster, etc. It's possible they exist, but there is no rational or empirical reason to believe it.]
Sorry, my mistake, you're an agnostic, not an atheist. Like I said, though, we see through a different lens. The fact we exist is an absolutely good enough reason to infer a creator. There is a perfectly logical (reasonable) progression from the complexity of design to intelligence of designer; in fact, I would suggest that one has to sidestep reason to assume otherwise. However, the same cannot be suggested of Big foot, so the analogy is moot.
[But supernaturalism must be legitimated first, before any specific beliefs that stem from it.]
Ironically, the legitimising is discovered only when one accepts the obviousness of Gods existence. Faith is not so much the step taken toward accepting there is a maker, to me that is logic, but rather it is the step taken toward actively seeking him, to the end that we might know him. This may fly in the face of many who will not believe in God while difficult questions remain unanswered.
[For the most part what I was referring to were real world, measurable facts dealing with the relationship between religion and society/ culture. Even if one believes in the Christian God, one cannot escape the real world benefits of natural science, the greater material wealth among non-religious populations, etc.]
Of course, there we come back to the original problem. In referring to 'natural sciences', I assume you refer to arena's of influence not requiring a creator. I suggest such do not exist. Further, there have been many God-fearing scientists throughout history that have benefited mankind, fully accepting that all empirical natural forces must have had a super-natural first cause.
Statistics can be easily manipulated to speak whatever “truth” the writer intends. I have looked into the religious/irreligious, prosperity/happiness connection and find it strewn with speculation.
[I never said eliminating religion will solve all problems. I have never said that, anywhere in my writing. But it is a major component. Other major components include political systems, economic regimes and culture.]
I have been a Christian for several decades, many of the most beautiful people I know are believers; some even scientists of the highest calibre. They are peace loving, community nurturing, hard-working, honest and hope filled people. Everyone of them would tell you that God is the key-stone to their lives, their life-changing faith in Him (not some vague "spirituality.") being the driving force behind their life-choices. Therefore to suggest that the world would be a better place without the “component” of such like-minded people, is alarming to say the least.
"The fact we exist is an absolutely good enough reason to infer a creator."
Well you are DEFINITELY going to have to flesh that out. We exist because of evolution, because of the chemical and physical laws that have produced this solar system, this planet, etc.
There is no reason why our existence should say anything affirmative or negative about an all-powerful creator of the universe who has a plan.
"There is a perfectly logical (reasonable) progression from the complexity of design to intelligence of designer; in fact, I would suggest that one has to sidestep reason to assume otherwise."
To the contrary, the logical thing is to say complex things arise from less complex things. That's what the Big Bang and evolution of the universe indicate. That's why almost all the matter in the known universe is composed of the simplest element--Hydrogen.
Complexity arises spontaneously in nature all the time, because of the way atoms and subatomic particles bind to each other. That's what natural chemical reactions often do--combine simple substances to create complex ones.
In addition, it is a classical fallacy to say that a complex thing must be created by an even more complex mind. For this creates an infinite regress: what created that even more complex mind? Something even more complex, etc. If, on the other hand, the theist will claim that that most complex mind (i.e. God) was uncreated, then there is no reason why the complex universe or anything else that is complex cannot be uncreated too. Thus there is no logical need for a complex thing to be created by a complex mind.
Natural science as it is practiced today, whatever the personal beliefs of scientists themselves, explicitly does not allow a supernatural into its methodology. I have written about the development of science away from its roots in the church and toward the more secular realm.
I wrote a short series of hubs detailing the negative relationship between religiosity and human well being. This was the last one, a summary and conclusions, and (predictably) quite controversial:
http://secularist10.hubpages.com/hub/Re … -Wellbeing
There is abundant data supporting this conclusion, from a variety of sources and a variety of fields. Far too much to write it off as "speculative."
[We exist because of evolution, because of the chemical and physical laws that have produced this solar system, this planet, etc.]
I accept micro-evolution, but not macro-evolution; a theory presented as fact for far too long.
[To the contrary, the logical thing is to say complex things arise from less complex things.]
Except that all observed cases in which complex things are derived from less complex things demand an already existing machine that is at least as complex as that which it produces.
[Complexity arises spontaneously in nature all the time]
Not by understanding of the word 'spontaneously' they don't. And the complexity we are talking about is far more elaborate than a few atoms banging together or the accidental mixing of chemicals.
[In addition, it is a classical fallacy to say that a complex thing must be created by an even more complex mind.]
It may be classical, but it isn't a fallacy; and has yet to be answered sufficiently by evolutionists.
[For this creates an infinite regress: what created that even more complex mind?]
Now that's a classical fallacy, applying natural laws of our universe to the realm of the supernatural.
[If, on the other hand, the theist will claim that that most complex mind (i.e. God) was uncreated, then there is no reason why the complex universe or anything else that is complex cannot be uncreated too. Thus there is no logical need for a complex thing to be created by a complex mind.]
You compare apples and oranges here. A supernatural mind being eternal is feasible. Matter being eternal goes against reason and science as we know it. An intelligent mind creating self-duplicating complexity is feasible. Unintelligent lifeless matter spontaneously doing so goes against reason and science as we know it. I find it odd that unbelievers are so quick to deny the supernatural while at the same time attributing supernatural traits to the material universe. The very arguments used to refute a Supernatural Mind, are ignored to support a supernatural material universe.
[Natural science as it is practised today, whatever the personal beliefs of scientists themselves, explicitly does not allow a supernatural into its methodology.]
Not sure what you're getting at here. If you are saying that accepted scientific methodology does not require a supernatural element to make it work, I agree; much like if, having wound up a clock, I accept that it can keep time without my ongoing supervision (as it was designed to do).
Added to this, there is a growing global scientific community advocating 'scientific methodology' yet opposed to macro-evolution. You can download and read the names for yourself.
Oh, I've read plenty about creationism, and the pseudoscience behind it. Not interested in getting into that whole discussion here. Maybe another time.
I don't understand your quibble with the word "spontaneous." By spontaneous I am referring to something undirected or unguided.
"And the complexity we are talking about is far more elaborate than a few atoms banging together or the accidental mixing of chemicals."
A few? Try trillions. And the atom is hardly a simple thing. The process of atomic bonding or molecular bonding is similarly not simple. Particularly given the fact that there are molecules that arise in nature with hundreds upon hundreds of atoms in them.
Another good example of spontaneous order is the structure of diamonds: a regular, orderly organization of atoms that requires no conscious guidance or direction.
But really you need to now give your definition of "complex," because you are dealing with the eye of the beholder.
"Now that's a classical fallacy, applying natural laws of our universe to the realm of the supernatural."
Here you have committed what is known as the "God of the gaps" fallacy. You or I or anyone else can say anything is possible with God or the supernatural. Unless you can clearly define the parameters and the nature of the supernatural, you have not provided any useful knowledge, you have simply said "God can do it. I don't understand how God does it, but he can." That is the God of the gaps: we can't explain it, therefore "God" (or whatever supernatural placeholder) explains it.
"Matter being eternal goes against reason and science as we know it."
Nope. Law of conservation of matter actually makes eternal matter more logical. But matter does not have to be eternal in any case. Reality can be eternal, and multiple universes can be created within that eternal reality.
"You compare apples and oranges here. A supernatural mind being eternal is feasible."
But an eternal space-time is not feasible? Why?
"Unintelligent lifeless matter spontaneously doing so goes against reason and science as we know it."
Wrong again. Logic and scientific experiments have provided significant validation to the theory of abiogenesis. I can dig up a very informative Youtube video on that if you're interested.
Oh, and just because something seems funny or weird or unbelievable is irrelevant. A round earth is a great example of something that goes against common sense, but is nonetheless totally factual.
I hear you, but disagree; and don't believe either of us is going to convince the other.
[Oh, and just because something seems funny or weird or unbelievable is irrelevant.]
Ditto regarding God (couldn't help myself)
Well I've been through these discussions countless times so I'm pretty familiar with all the major arguments on the theistic side. They just don't hold up. I have to give it to the apologists though, they sure try.
But the surface absurdity of the God concept is really just icing on the cake. The substantive reason to not accept it is the logical and philosophical reasons aforementioned.
I think the absurdity is on the other foot. Theist arguments do hold up, they're just not accepted by everyone . On the other hand, evolution is a theory pumped as fact that doesn't hold up. And, as previously mentioned but completely ignored, there are many scientists (not pseudo-scientists as you would like to believe) who agree.
Well, unless you want to continue the discussion (which you indicated you did not), that's the end of it. Theistic arguments do not hold up to logical scrutiny, though they are certainly accepted by many. On the other hand, evolution is a fact that does hold up. (Even though drawing an equivalence between a scientific theory and a metaphysical worldview is not comparing like with like, but whatever.)
And I did not ignore your point about evolution. I already said that I've heard these things, and it's a big tiresome long discussion about evidence, bones and mutations that will take us far away from the original point.
Suffice it to say there will always be someone, somewhere, with a PhD who disagrees with established knowledge. Seek, and ye shall find someone who agrees with you.
I will never for the life of me understand so many apologists' obsession with Darwinism and evolution. It seems absolutely impossible to have a discussion about ANYTHING relating to God without them dragging evolution in, and making evolution the center of discussion.
But just one point of clarification: Darwinism died with Darwin. The theory of evolution has grown and improved (and yes, evolved!) significantly since his writings.
[It seems absolutely impossible to have a discussion about ANYTHING relating to God without them dragging evolution in]
I think that's calling the kettle black. Evolution is a theory used by practically every agnostic/atheist to deny the necessity of God's hand in things. Apologists simply refute it.
[But just one point of clarification: Darwinism died with Darwin.]
Quite the opposite, it hasn't died at all.
[Suffice it to say there will always be someone, somewhere, with a PhD who disagrees with established knowledge.]
We're not talking about a few random eccentrics. There are some pretty impressive credentials on this long list. But, of course, what do they know, they're just experts in their field that made the mistake of questioning "established knowledge" (because everyone knows that "established knowledge" shouldn't be questioned).
Evolution is just the factual answer to the question of how we got here that Christians ask. Atheism existed long before the theory of evolution.
If evolution is wrong, we still have no reason to believe in God. Just as the fact that we are ignorant on anything does not mean that "God did it" (again, the God of the gaps fallacy). Perhaps the first humans just popped into existence from the quantum foam. Perhaps the ancient Greek gods are real, and they're the ones that created us. Perhaps an unintelligent life force developed humans somehow. There are countless possible natural and supernatural explanations, if evolution is false, that do not require God.
Darwinism has been incorporated into evolution, which is ever-improving with more data and evidence. This is from Wikipedia:
"While [Darwinism] has remained in use amongst scientific authors, it has increasingly been argued that it is an inappropriate term for modern evolutionary theory. For example, Darwin was unfamiliar with the work of Gregor Mendel, and as a result had only a vague and inaccurate understanding of heredity. He naturally had no inkling of yet more recent developments and, like Mendel himself, knew nothing of genetic drift for example."
You can put words in my mouth all you want, but I never said established knowledge should not be questioned. It should, however, be questioned based on rational skepticism, not based on a bias in favor of supernatural beliefs, or a hidden religious agenda.
Don't you find it just a tad interesting that the vast majority of the thinkers who criticize evolution are devout believers in the Bible? Coincidence? Hmmm. Why is that, if there is such a strong scientific case against evolution? By contrast, there are people of every stripe--Christian, Jewish, Muslim, atheist, Hindu, agnostic, etc--who accept evolution as a fact.
What biologist wouldn't jump at the chance to destroy evolution, if he could? He would be guaranteed a Nobel prize, and a permanent place forever in the pantheon of greats like Newton or Einstein.
Ok, I can see you want the last word, so have at it.
That's all folks!
Your dishonesty is showing. Those statements are certainly not true. Evolution is a fact, confirmed with mountains of hard evidence from every science on the planet. Theists arguments can't hold up, they are based entirely on faith.
More dishonesty. That website is from the Discovery Institute who are known falsifiers of information and bold faced liars, too.
I didn't say 'absence of Christian institutions' but an absence of Christianity - meaning the culture.
I am quite happy to hear all sorts of theories on evolution and am not at all bothered by creationalism vs evolution. I don't see how it poses a problem for Christian living.
You are right that different Christian denominations are often at logger-heads about Biblical interpretation. I would level the blame on putting a book at the centre of ones faith, rather than spiritual graces.
Ok, so it's culture. Fine, whatever. The fact is, we just don't see an explosion of chaos, depravity and social collapse in countries with little or no Christianity. People still go to work, kids still go to school, the police still keep order, the politicians still serve themselves. Everything is functioning as it should
Well, you stick with the wonders of Ikea or Panasonic or Applemac if that's enough for you. I like them too, but I'm not about to let go of my Cathedrals, my dreaming spires, Mozart or Shakespere. I am full of gratitude for the richness, the complexity and spirituality of my Christian culture. Certainly there is neatness and order like a billiards table in perfect secularism, but where is the joy?
There's plenty of joy in the secular world. You just have to know where to look. Joy, of course, is very subjective, but there's something for everyone out there.
I don't know what the heck gives you the idea that secular people are some kind of dour, purposeless, passionless, directionless emotionless drones living out a grey, joyless nihilistic existence. LOL!
In fact, to the contrary, with the exception of some charismatic preacher personalities, it seems to be the Christians that are forced to restrain their passions and excitement, in service of the next world.
Go to places like San Francisco, Manhattan, Las Vegas or Los Angeles. You will find all kinds of crazy and wonderful personalities--artists, musicians, actors, comics, drag queens, DJs, innovators, entrepreneurs, models, designers, activists, intellectuals, authors, the list goes on. Very few of these people are devout Christians.
Anyway, I don't know what Shakespeare or Mozart have to do with Christianity, except that they existed in a time when Christianity happened to be ascendant.
I don't think I would refer to our culture as being "Christian"...and was it ever really a Christian culture?
Those acting in the name of Christianity have also done terrible things. But I guess your point was, it outweighed them. But do they?
I would agree that there have been people throughout history doing terrible things in the name of religion. In the same way that America has done terrible things in the name of America. I would still say that both have enough attributes to want to hang onto them.
Sorry Lizzie, considering that the most successful countries in terms of both living standards and morality are secular, such a suggestion as yours is as crooked as the bible that you preach
I don't preach the Bible, as you know. I think it's worth recognising the things we have gained from a Christian culture and also the things worth keeping from a Christian culture. Where would you rather live, sweden or Italy?
Sweden. Much better country. Much less crime. Stable economy (not collapsed and being bailed out by Germany like Italy). Much less god (only 23% belief in God)...
That was a nice point for me, thank you Lizzie. Who's side are you on
And we didn't "gain" anything from religion, humans invented the morals found in the scriptures, we "gained" from humans' invention, it's nothing new.
"It is easy to take for granted the freedoms we enjoy within the legacy of our Christian culture."
I can't think of any freedoms brought on by Christianity. It isn't like Christianity freed the slaves being that Abraham Lincoln fought the good fight from a secular/Deist ideology. (Don't forget the undermining of human rights I.E. gay community. "God hates fags",right?)
The past 50years we can see a correlation between the flourishing of human rights/ advancement technology and a secular world. (Americans without affiliation comprise the only religious group growing in all 50 states.)
Outside of government using Christianity for political coherence, America is secular, being that only 20% attend church regularly.
"benefits of a Christian culture out- weigh the harms by miles."
Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Japan, Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Great Britain, Belgium, Canada, Switzerland, ect.. fall within the top 15 of most secular countries in the world. So from your above quote, I ask you, what's going wrong in the most secular countries that they would benefit from Christianity?
William Wilberforce was a Catholic.
"God hates fags" is just another example of Americans ruining Christian culture.
Great Britain has a head of state who is also head of the church. It still has a way to go before being secular, despite a good deal of the population being nonreligious . Have you been to Finland? Have you been to Denmark? Give me the rich cultures of Italy and Spain any day. What makes them great is not their new found atheism, it is their wonderful cultural heritage which lives with them still, thank God.
"Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Japan, Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Great Britain, Belgium, Canada, Switzerland, ect.. fall within the top 15 of most secular countries in the world"
Yes, and not one of them enjoys the freedom or economic vitality of the US. As America becomes more secular, we strive to catch up (sarcasm intended) with them, not the other way around. Some day we may aspire to the economy and strict state regulation of Germany, and what a sad day that will be.
"God hates fags" (I hate repeating that!) grabs the headlines but doesn't actually reflect the true feelings of most Christians.
Lincoln was not secular nor deist. And it was Christianity that freed the slaves. No secular enlightenment thinker ever came up with the equality of man without first heavily borrowing from the Christian idea of human equality as espoused by Paul.
I am in Canada and i am just as free as you are...our economy is also doing better.
@ Chris Neal
What freedoms do they not offer?
Would republicans vote for a candidate if he/she supported equal rights for the 'fag' community? "(sarcasm intended)" Making it majority of Christian views on the subject.
Let all who are under the yoke of slavery regard their masters as worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and the teaching may not be blasphemed. Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful to them on the ground that they are members of the church; rather they must serve them all the more, since those who benefit by their service are believers and beloved. Teach and urge these duties. Whoever teaches otherwise and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that is in accordance with godliness, is conceited, understanding nothing, and has a morbid craving for controversy and for disputes about words. From these come envy, dissension, slander, base suspicions, and wrangling among those who are depraved in mind and bereft of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain. (1Tim. 6:1-5
"Would republicans vote for a candidate if he/she supported equal rights for the 'fag' community? "(sarcasm intended)" Making it majority of Christian views on the subject."
It's a mistake to think that I'm arguing a political point of view, and I won't get into that debate. The relative merits of elephant v donkey are a seperate discussion and off-topic here.
Am I reading you right that you think Paul was endorsing institutionalized slavery? Because that's not true. But I don't want to accuse you of something you haven't done.
In regards to American, looking at religious influence in politics is a great way to identify mainstream Christian views.
As a conservative evangelical Christian, I gotta disagree. It's axiomatic that any mass debate is propelled by the loudest voices, and those voices are on the extremes 99% of the time. What you get from the political pulpit is not necessarily the same as what you would get from the "average" pulpit.
Read Unchristian by David Kinnaman. I don't like a lot of it, but it certainly would put the lie to thinking that Newt Gingrich really fully represents mainstream Christian views.
I understand the Christian right who pushes political agendas doesn't represent mainstream Christianity. With that said, Christian moderates are responsible for the 'right'.
Religious moderates are, in large part, responsible
for the religious conflict in our world, because their beliefs provide
the context in which scriptural literalism and religious violence
can never be adequately opposed. - Sam Harris
I would need a better philosophical explanation for that statement. I disagree with the premise, but I don't quite understand the reasoning.
It isn't that difficult. If I had a better 'philosophical' explanation I wouldn't have used a quote.
If I understand what you're saying correctly (though I won't swear to that,) then again I must disagree. Literalism and violence do not go hand in hand (in most cases) and to have one is not the same as having the other. Besides, Mr. Harris is ignoring the attempts of the religious left to oppose the right, with mixed results at best. And it basically sounds like just another fancy way of saying that religion begets violence and suffering, which I don't think I need to state I disagree with, especially since that would be historically inaccurate.
"It's more than just violence. It's the broad picture of religious moderates being the foundation for religious fundamentalist."
I disagree. Although fundamentalism certainly does not arise in a vacuum, it's both simplistic and a little arrogant to blame "moderates" for "fundamentalism." Quite frankly, it robs both parties of the respect due them as thinking and feeling human beings, made in the image of God. It fails to take into consideration that people make decisions based on all kinds of data, and are not just some easily programmed fleshly computers.
And it might be more than just violence, but I notice that Mr. Harris singled that out as one of the defining negative attributes of fundamentalism, although Christian fundamentalism actually has little history of physical violence.
Ah, true (sort of.)
It's true that your currency is worth more than ours, as is the euro and the pound. So I apologize for that, I got ahead of myself.
Religiously, though, I have heard that your country is not as free as ours.
Before I answer you, which part specifically are you laughing about?
The part where you claim Christianity released the slaves. Hilarious.
Not in the least. The overwhelming majority of abolitionists were Christian. Not atheist, not deist, not Muslim, not agnostic.
So, in a last ditch effort to actually treat you like the adult you refuse to be, give me your sources to contrary. Put up or shut up.
Oh I see, trial by association. And, of course, you claimed Christianity freed the slaves.
That's like saying fermented vegetables were the overwhelming factor in freeing the slaves because everyone drinks beer.
Hey Chris--just FYI--ATM seems to very much have his mind made up and repeats the same messages of opposition over and over (which is his right to do) so I'm not saying don't engage--I'm just saying don't spend too much time trying to convince him of something that he's opposed to before you even type your first word. Not trying to intentionally offend you ATM, but I've watched your posts and you argue, argue, argue and seem to not even really be listening or open to any perspective besides your own--and you tend to be quite unkind in the way that you communicate in most cases. That is why, if you notice, people tend to start ignoring you after a while. If you really want people to take you seriously, try to discuss instead of accusing and be open to information...even if it doesn't fit into your opinion...it really does work better. I know I'm not the first to suggest it. There's a reason people keep telling you the same thing. Patterns contain information--hope you'll use it to your own benefit!
Yes, you were, or you wouldn't have written this post.
Thank you for taking the time to tell me you aren't happy with my posts or the delivery and how you conveniently ignore your religions hatred and bigotry to others in the process.
Feel better now?
Far from disagreeing or abuse... I agree with your premise in this... That Getting rid of any and all religions would still not get rid of the Humans that are do not liked... You would just have to find a new thing to hate and turn against...
I think religion began as an organizing force in primitive societies, where tribes or clans had to accept a certain amount of order, curtailing their unbound freedom, for the common good.
Those days are past and education should replace indoctrination. With the advent of our computerized society parents will be able to monitor what their kids are being taught more closely. The school system is ridiculous. Just about the time Suzy begins to understand her math the bell rings, and its time to go try to figure out history or english. Then, 45 minutes later its the same thing again. For twelve years.
Sorry, getting back to the subject, just as we have laws separating church and state, we should have laws restricting any political activity by those who are supposed to spiritual mentors, of any religion.
We don't discuss religion at political rallies, so we shouldn,t have politics in religion.
If you take the politics out of religion you pull its teeth.
The only way for that to happen is with free unrestricted education, so that those poor saps that are blowing themselves up in the name of god aren't brainwashed from birth.
I think it would take time, but society would chip away at those domineering or violent religious motivations that we take for granted today.
I agree with your estimation of the education system. But you can't take politics out of religion nor religion out of politics. It's simply never going to happen.
BTW - Do you know where "seperation of church and state" actually comes from? Who wrote it? And what he actuall meant when he wrote it?
A Baptist minister first put forth the idea of the seperation of church and state that Thomas Jefferson was referring to.
The church of the Jews under the Old Testament in the type and the church of the Christians under the New Testament in the antitype were both separate from the world; and when they have opened a gap in the hedge or wall of separation between the garden of the church and the wilderness of the world, God hath ever broke down the wall itself, removed the candlestick, and made his garden a wilderness. ..The commonweal cannot without a spiritual rape force the consciences of all to one worship.”-Roger Williams
Think it would just be better to give people the free will to choose what they want to believe without judging or criticizing others. Perhaps seeing others as different and accepting their differences without trying to mold them into your version of beliefs.
Curing cancer won't end all disease, but it's still a good cause. I think the analogy works quite well.
Are we afraid of faith? If we are we are giving credence to the existence of God and once we do we must establish a relationship with Him.
The thread in this post seems to focus not on whether God exists and how to relate with Him (religion), but on fear and who to blame for our fears. The simplest answer lies in "who will control whom." In other words, it is not a belief that should be feared, but individuals themselves: hypocrites, liers, manipulators and anyone who will use sincere trust he/she finds in others.
It is a cop-out to say a religion can claim the free choice of others. Individuals do this. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice... To say that people are uneducated and can easily be duped is an arrogant attitude. Ever met a farmer without a PhD, MBA or BS? And yet, if you had that person's knowledge will probably make more sense than any doctor's or scientist's does.
Respect poor people's choices to be of a particular religion even though they may not have your high and mighty education. And as far as polling... Look at all the exit polls before an election after the election: they never match. There are many ways to ask questions to turn one issue into a favorable outcome.
So lets cut the crap about attacking Christianity; a religion whose tenets are not based on forced belief, but on free choice. A choice which, btw, many poor people in countries where It is prohibited are choosing to day for.
Honestly.. When in History that any religious group has been in power - has it been a good thing?
Christians like to taut America as having Christian origins.
Really? Christians want to OWN slavery and Native American Genocide and land theft, child labor and Robber Barons?
Please... A stack of first century manuscripts that expose the fraudulent and completely fabricated origins of Christianity would be a good start at Global enlightenment!
"Honestly.. When in History that any religious group has been in power - has it been a good thing?" I can't speak for the OT Jewish theocracy or Muslim theocracies, but when the Catholic church was in temporal power that was not a good thing. Too many people who didn't know Scripture were teaching it to others. In the process they completely ignored what Jesus actually taught. It's very sad.
"Christians like to taut America as having Christian origins." Well, the early settlers were Christians looking for a space to worship God as they saw fit. It may not have been perfect but it was Christian. And the majority of the Founding Fathers were Christian, many were ministers. The Declaration of Independence ("We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,...") is a Christian document. And many of the early separatists were inspired by George Whitfield, a preacher.
"Really? Christians want to OWN slavery and Native American Genocide and land theft, child labor and Robber Barons?" Ah, no. Although it's sadly true that many who did these things claimed to be Christian, they weren't. The Bible repudiates slavery (yes, it does.) Most of the colonies abolished it as soon as they had the chance. The robber barons were hardly carrying out the Lord's work, whatever they might have said (and most of them didn't say that.) The early settlers actually bought land as often or more often than they stole it. To say that bad things didn't happen is not what I'm trying to do. They did. But I'm separating the motive from the rhetoric.
A stack of completely fabricated second century manuscripts passed off as authentic first century papers certainly does lead to Global something, I'll agree with that. But serious historians mostly agree with the authenticity of the Bible (as a first century account of the rise of Christianity.)
It's hilarious when you "Christians" contradict yourselves openly, but even more so when it involves false statements about history.
a) I apologize for accusing you of making fun of my wife and child. I'm under a lot of stress.
b) Don't let that go to your head. You're still just a little kid. When you get something other than sticking that finger up, let me know. We'll talk.
So, even a little kid can laugh at a grown adult who believes in fairy tales.
Well, you certainly never fail to prove me right!
Yeah, little kids can laugh, but since they're little kids, they don't understand what they're laughing about. You know, because you (yeah, you) lack the sophisticated understanding to hold an adult conversation and probably to even understand what you're talking about.
At least, that's what you shown in the past...
That's why I like your predictable, inane little self so much!
I agree lizzie. The anti-Christians look at Christianity in a one-sided way to make their point. When Constantine took up Christianity as a state religion it created many enemies. But I wouldn't worry about it. Christianity is thriving and spreading outside of Europe. Europe hasn't been Christian since the turn of the century and it's suffered a lot and experienced a lot of "isms". Americans have done better but would have done a lot better if we didn't get involved with Europe and their problems.
I agree that Christianity is far stronger as a movement, than any single generation can hope to blot out with cries of "unnecessary".
I disagree that Europe hasn't been Christian for a hundred years (if thats what you mean). Europe began to loose its faith after the tragedy of WW1, which was further compounded by the time WW2 was over. We still live in very Christian times believe it or not.
My point is that people may think that we live in un Christian times already, and that it would be only a small step to leave that culture altogether. We do still live in Christian times, but poor Christian lives. We are in danger of loosing something valuable just because we can't recognise its value right now.
I would say that many Europeans self-identify as Christian but don't really practice it as their churches are empty on Sundays. Your parish could be the exception. This trend had started since the turn of the century. I have to search for the link.
For those people who are staunch Christians and practice it and know its value, we continue the good fight. That's really all that we can do. I wouldn't let the atheists, agnostics, and anti-Christians fool you into thinking that Christianity will or has disappeared. It is quite healthy, it is just moving away from places where it used to be, more to the detriment of the population in those places.
There will always be challenges in whatever era. I am confident that our faith will see us through it like it has in previous times.
The numbers of Christians in the UK has been growing in recent years, because of mass migration from Christian African countries, and Eastern Europe. As a result, the Roman Catholic Church is now the largest denomination in the UK, even though the Church of England is still the official church.
Alan Watts was from the Catholic priesthood and later became a Buddhist. He found that the philosophy of it was flawed and that thoughts should be free, not constrained to a singular idea. Unfortunately, religion is still poisoning the minds of people, the world over. Eventually Watts gave up on buddhism and moved on to form his own philosophy for himself and then became a sought after teacher of spirituality. If everyone thought for themselve's what religion does would not matter, for the idea would become mundane and of no use to anyone. As it is now, religion is only keeping us from growing wise.
Nonsense. Religion produces great thinkers if it is imparted freely and with intelligence. Ghandi, William Wilberforce, Florence Nightingale, Samuel Jonson to name but a few.
If ever we act the fool, then we would believe that this is all real and not just an illusion of the mind. Instead of being confined in mind, it would seem an imparitive for us to learn or else we would have no brain to begin with.
Our minds are for more than learning, they are for glorifying God in all ways. Furthermore, denying the existence of the Creator, in itself, is confinement of the mind and makes for fools.
If the mind is trapped in glorifying an aspect of the self, then we are not learning from the world at large, which can become an imparement all it's own.
Yes, education is absolutely important to life but also to faith. Prayerful scholars are an ancient tradition in all religions for a good reason.
To enlighten others, so that they too may find peace. If one pays too much attention to the words and not the meaning, the teaching is lost.
True, but if the teaching is in error, then the meaning is useless.
"If the teaching is recieved in error, it becomes meaningless."
So, in other words, if the student fails to understand the meaning, it's always and entirely the fault of the student, never the teacher.
Here a cool Buddhist page- it's very interesting!
http://desburwell.hubpages.com/hub/Budd … m-The-Dead
Constantine embraced Christianity because of a political agenda.
Ending "Christianity" won't mean no more religion
The Mythical "Christianity" will be taken over by the true, peaceful and real teachings of Jesus mentioned in Quran; atheism has no chance; they should rest assured.
Atheism has no chance? But Islam does, right? Let us look at some facts, okay?
Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Japan, Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Great Britain, Belgium, Canada, Switzerland, ect...make up the top 15 most secular countries..........
Great prosperous countries that anyone would feel safe visiting or living in, right?
Now, shall we look at Islamic countries? Pakistan, India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Turkey, Iran, Egypt, Nigeria, Algeria, and Morocco make up the top ten countries with highest percent of Muslims.
Do you see the point I'm making? Do you see a correlation between third world countries and Islam? So for you to be "rest assured" that non religious countries have no chance, you should focus more on the "teachings" of the "Quran", teachings that need all of the critiquing it can get, being that it's a case study for humankind's ignorance and suffering.
A case study that could produce an analogy for Islam being a ball and chain. A ball and chain tightly secured to humankind's ankle, hampering it from the much deserved secular world in which it longs for.
All in all, yea......
Doing away with just Christianity wouldn't solve anything. And anyone who makes the claim knows nothing about "religion" in general.
I know more about people in a general sense than any person I know or interacted with.
Your OP isn't about people. It IS about Christianity and doing away with it. Which goes back to what I said- "they know nothing about religion".
You must run with a dense crowd, cowboy. You seem to think very highly of your own OPINION. What she is saying is that getting rid of christianity would solve nothing...you seem to think it would, and your statement "they know nothing about religion" is unsupported. The actual fact is described as such. A poll was taken and overall, atheists seem to know more about Christianity than Christians do. First point: ALL POLLS ARE FAULTY. Second point, the data which you base your statement on (That poll) was only about Judeo-Christian religion, with an inclusion of Islam, known as the Big Three, but, did not include the numerous other Religions (Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, and on, etc.) Your statement is faulty as presented.
Interesting statement coming from you.
Think highly of my own "opinion"? I know what I know.
And apparently you failed reading class.
"all polls are faulty" - you need to read a little more into surveys and statistical analysis. You could perhaps say that about a census, but this was actually a survey (polls are only one question) conducted on a sufficiently large sample (3000+) that allows for accurate statistical inference.
And if you go to the actual research page, you can see that there was indeed questions relating to the other 'world religions', but members of those religions make up such a small percentage of the US population they weren't included in the data as participants.
It was primarily about 'religious knowledge, not just Christianity (which only Mormons and white evangelicals topped the atheist/agnostics)
Have a look for yourself:
http://www.pewforum.org/Other-Beliefs-a … urvey.aspx
Jews and atheist/agnostics know more about world Religion than any other group.
Make enough sense, maybe because they need to protect themselves from attacked from all sides.
"Jews and atheist/agnostics know more about world Religion than any other group."
I would definitely need some hard data on that, because it's just waaaayyy too easy to say and believe without any support. I don't, by the way, believe that.
Atheists, agnostics most knowledgeable about religion, survey says
Report September 28, 2010says nonbelievers know more, on average, about religion than most faithful. Jews and Mormons also score high on the U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey.
September 28, 2010|By Mitchell Landsberg, Los Angeles Times
If you want to know about God, you might want to talk to an atheist.
Heresy? Perhaps. But a survey that measured Americans' knowledge of religion found that atheists and agnostics knew more, on average, than followers of most major faiths. In fact, the gaps in knowledge among some of the faithful may give new meaning to the term "blind faith."
A majority of Protestants, for instance, couldn't identify Martin Luther as the driving force behind the Protestant Reformation, according to the survey, released Tuesday by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. Four in 10 Catholics misunderstood the meaning of their church's central ritual, incorrectly saying that the bread and wine used in Holy Communion are intended to merely symbolize the body and blood of Christ, not actually become them.
Atheists and agnostics — those who believe there is no God or who aren't sure — were more likely to answer the survey's questions correctly. Jews and Mormons ranked just below them in the survey's measurement of religious knowledge — so close as to be statistically tied.
So why would an atheist know more about religion than a Christian?
Good question. Of course, that doesn't mean that every atheist knows more about religion than every Christian (I haven't read the actual article, but I did know the answers to all those questions.)
I would say that atheists do as a whole tend to pride themselves on their intellectual knowledge more than most other groups.
Christians is a broad term, too. That's not a cop-out. As a person who takes his faith seriously, I marvel at the number of people who don't do that.
And frankly, the arguments I get into with atheists aren't about the finer points of religion. They're about whether God even exists at all, if Jesus is God (by the way, was He blond and blue-eyed?) and about a misunderstanding of some of the more obscure points of history in general.
If only atheist "knowing more" about religion actually meant they knew God, I would be happy.
It's more about defending themselves from Religious people's attacks.
Yeah, I get that a lot of atheists see it that way. And remember, I used to be an agnostic, so I do get it.
But pointing out that people need Jesus is not an attack. And knowing that Martin Luther is the founder of Protestentism isn't really a defense against religious people.
A lot of religious people are more concerned with their day-to-day, experiential religion than they are with the intellectual knowledge or history of their religion. Too bad, really, because as a history buff and "armchair theologian" I find that a knowledge of history is a tremendous benefit. Knowing where we've come from helps avoid repetition of a lot of the mistakes that our fathers made.
reflect the pass, don't live in the pass and regret it all over again.
Studying history IS reflecting the past (I assume that was a spelling error and not some new maxim that I don't know. I'm 45, I miss a lot of stuff these days.) And as Santayana said, "Those who refuse to learn from the past are doomed to repeat it."
And as far as that goes, regret is not only inevitable for some things but even healthy. Someone who truly never regrets anything they've ever done no matter what is in danger of being a sociopath.
Yes, it is. So, you never described Jesus yet, when will you be doing that?
Love history and learn a few lesson, yet would not dare to reenact like many of the low conscious people of their med evil times. How much can I learn from many of those horrible hardships, where biblical people could only manage an age of mid 20s a life span.
Why regret the pass, there is nothing you can do about it, best time to live, is in the present and you can only make sure you don't regret the future,
History is rich with lessons to teach, if you have eyes to see and ears to hear.
Many people in medieval times lived into their 50's and 60's. Average life span in Medieval Britain was 30, but if you made it into your teens you could reasonably expect to make it to your 40's or beyond.
"Low conscious", I'm not totally sure what you mean by that. People were just as smart then as they are now, on the whole, they just didn't have the technology. In fact, I would argue that they were smarter on the whole, they just had to be more practical about their intelligence.
No one is asking you to act identically to people in Biblical times. In 1st Century Syria-Palestine, the average working man was paying a third of everything he made to the Romans. And then some, because the tax collectors were notoriously greedy and squeezed people even harder. Since they didn't get paid by Rome, that was how they made their money but they still made a lot of it and dishonestly, too.
Keeping a clear conscience (making sure you don't regret the future) is an admirable goal and one I heartily endorse. But if you think the past has nothing to teach (or very little) then you ensure that the future will be regrettable, indeed.
I think live is better than ever NOW from my studies, going back 35,000 year ago from the dawn of art and culture advancing modern man . History shows it's the consciousness of the people the changes things from mankind abuses along the flow in life.
I'm smarter with age and my child generation is smarter than my generation. I guess you will have to try that one on someone's who's cup is half empty , I'm too much of an optimist.
Optimism is good and I wholeheartedly endorse it, but it shouldn't blind us to truth. To say we're smarter than previous generations is a little too optimistic. Try going back to the sort of mental arithmetic done in the 1800's in schools (I assume the curriculum was pretty similar in Canada at that time.) It runs rings around anything our kids are learning now. And those people who weren't as smart as we are are the ones who figured out all the things that make us so smart. Somehow, that doesn't compute
Yeah, I'm smarter now than when I was 20. But I look around and don't see this young generation acting more intelligently than any previous one (including my own.) And that has nothing to do with religion, it is a statement of practical living and doing what is best to ensure their own future, let alone the future of the planet (like saving instead of borrowing.)
Believe it or not, I'm an optimist too. No offence, but I still believe I live in the greatest country in the world although I think it's not as great as it was when I was 20, or 10. But I still believe that on the whole, there is more opportunity here for most people than anywhere else on earth. I think Canada is a great country, and I think highly of Britain and many other countries as well. It's not like I think there is no opportunity for people other places. And I think people born in other countries should be just as patriotic for their countries as I am for mine.
My main point still stands, though. Those who refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat its mistakes. And I think that we are getting a huge lesson in that right now.
The religious delusion is that ancient spiritual leader are wiser than the leaders are today. Why stick to just one wise person, when you can pick and incorporate many men with wisdom today. Why pick one book of universal truth and knowledge claim when you have millions of good books to choose from.
"The religious delusion is that ancient spiritual leader are wiser than the leaders are today. Why stick to just one wise person, when you can pick and incorporate many men with wisdom today. Why pick one book of universal truth and knowledge claim when you have millions of good books to choose from."
Okay, you switched up a bit from what I was saying, but okay. Christianity is not the sayings of a wise human being. Jesus was, of course, fully human. But He is also fully God. So it's not like the Buddha, or Confucius, or Maimonides or Plutarch or Aristotle. It's not some philosophy where you can pick what works and work out the kinks as you go along. If He is truly God (and He is) then either everything He said is true (including the parts about loving your neighbor and judging not lest you be judged, as well as judging rightly, speaking well of those who do evil to you, accepting His death and subsequent resurrection, and following all His commandments because otherwise you will go to hell,) or He was crazy and Christians are all the worst-off of the whole lot. Jesus also said He was the only way to God, the Father.
By the way, the same is true in many ways of the Quran. Mohammed certainly never made claims about himself comparable to Jesus', but he did claim that what he received is the only true way to Paradise. So either way, you can't just pick and choose from their "wisdom" because it either all holds together or it all falls apart.
And one more thing, the "millions of good books" mostly make very contradictory claims about the most basic truths, like the nature of God, the role of Jesus, the afterlife, works vs. grace for salvation, stuff like that. Other than that, they all agree on basic points.
I pick out just one great man in history, Darwin
Made a hub called JesusVS.Darwin, see what you think of this one
Imagine,I could pick out a100 of other great men out of history and learn as much from them or more than Jesus
I really think you limit your thinking or maybe your just blindly obeying and refuse to expand your mind
"Imagine,I could pick out a100 of other great men out of history and learn as much from them or more than Jesus
I really think you limit your thinking or maybe your just blindly obeying and refuse to expand your mind"
I will read your hub when I get a chance, I promise, but in the meantime you lose the argument before you even start when you make assumptions about people. I've posted my thoughts, I've posted my history. Not to be trite, but I've looked at this from both sides, first hand. So no, and no, but thanks for not asking how I really feel.
"Made a hub called JesusVS.Darwin, see what you think of this one." I found it difficult to understand. Where you throw out statistics I would need to see some sources, because I'm reading statistics that show that 74% of people with higher education (doctors, lawyers, physicists) believe in a higher power, and a significant number of those believe in Jesus as God the Son.
USA is the most predominate Christian country at 85% in the western world. Yes American doctors, lawyers, physicists have a lower Christianity rate because they are more educated than the average American..When the American post graduates that are 74% believer in Evolution take over the US future higher profession. I envision Darwin will surpass Jesus in the future as the newer and fresher way of thinking again.
Ending Christianity will not mean the end of religion. Even ending all current world religions will only mean new ones will be created to fill the space. Christianity is itself a replacement for former pagan religions, which no doubt were replacements for even older, now forgotten religious beliefs. And the loss of formal religion in much of the West has lead to people accepting anything, whether it be the power of crystals or the need to have a dream-catcher above their beds to stop their dreams from escaping. People in the West are more likely now to describe themselves as "spiritual" rather than religious, which usually means they adopt beliefs from many different cultures and times, and tie them up with descriptions such as New Ageism.
Your children's children's children will end Christianity as they become educated about the world around them.
Our children will shrink Christianity, thank god.
Oh yes, yours too. I know that sounds impossible, but there you have it. Your religion is toast in about 300 years.
Statistical trends point that religion in general, and Christianity specifically, are not "toast" at all, but are actually growing.
Growing now, but the growth will soon stagnate and fall over the next couple decades.
Christianity "grows" because of babies being born and getting brainwashed, conversions to Christianity are nowhere near as much representing a small percentage of growth, and this percentage has dropped dramatically even over that past decade and continues to plummet.
You've said that before but it shows only that you read the statistics for the west (you don't understand them, but you read them.) "Brainwashing" is not only an irrelevant statement but downright untrue because most of those "brainwashed" kids leave the church. Read the actual statistics. And yes, I expect you to say something about kids can't wait to get to the "real world" or some such thing. Whatever. My point is that Christianity is growing fastest in places where the "brainwashing" would be in exactly the opposite direction, and being a Christian can literally cost you everything. That's not a plummeting.
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad ended Christianity by proving that Jesus did not die on the Cross; this is the back bone of Christianity which has been proved wrong by his brilliant arguments.
Excellent question. The fact is that (and I'm old enough to remember this first-hand) at one time it seemed that Christianity specifically and religion in general was on its way out in the west. That was the late 60's, early 70's when the "cultural revolution" inlcluded the study of Enlightenment thinking as well as the early strains of multi-culturalism by embracing communism as a viable political alternative, as well of course as the rise of the "sexual revolution" which were aimed at shocking the old people. Christianity seemed on its way out, until Jimmy Carter became president. Although you couldn't exactly call President Carter an evangelical, he did proclaim himself "born-again" and suddenly people were interested. Then the rise of the religious right in the 80's. Then the rise of "seeker sensitive" churches in the 21st century.
In other words, every time people start to think that "education" will eradicate religion, they are proven wrong. It always comes back in one form or another. I am a Christian, but I'm not talking about Christianity per se. New Age spiritualism, Eastern style mysticism, Kabala, even Islam to some extent, have all risen to fill voids felt by people that cannot be answered "education." And the intellectuals, unable to understand it, decide that it is all because of "indoctrination" or "upbringing" or other such things. But it's not.
End Times is the end of Christianity.
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad ended Christianity by proving that Jesus did not die on the Cross; this is the back bone of Christianity which has been proved wrong by his brilliant arguments.
You are full of Islamic propaganda.
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, an Indian who claimed to be a prophet, a
messiah and a spiritual reappearance of Jesus in 1908, was a retard.
Islam is a barbaric and misogynistic confabulation of arab BS and hatred.
How, exactly, did he do that when Jesus sits at the right hand of God this very day?
So Christianity no longer exists? LOL!!
That is by no means true, religion is rapidly growing and has been for thousands of years. Removing some religion will not rid the world and man of its need for God.
I wonder how long existence in the spirit world is supposed to last, because it is impossible to imagine eternity. If heaven exists, then our ancestors, who lived a million years ago, would surely still be up there, sitting on a cloud, or whatever it is they do in heaven. Even in paradise, would we get bored if we had to be there forever?
I would think that eternity would inspire suicide.
Eternity has many qualities. One of the many qualities it has is that it's participants do not have the realization of the restraint of time. The participant would not realize time, only that it was beyond time in eternity.
To be perpetualy blissful would most definitely lead to the want to escape it. It would eventually become painful, nobody can smile forever or laugh forever, theyed eventualy go insane and insanity is a form of suffering or at least it can be.
Who's said you smile and laugh forever? Happiness is a perspective.
The Christian idea of heaven is eternal bliss. I believe it is heaven to be alive, whether I suffer or not. So then, what I believe becomes of no import because I am here and I am happy for it.
But we all have an eternity, whether we believe it/think about it or not.
We are bathing in an eternity of moments. Now will repeat infinitely and we swim in an ocean of infinite nows.
"The Christian idea of heaven is eternal bliss"
That's not true. Heaven is eternal joy, but that's different. We will be in the presence of God forever, and His Spirit will be with us always. Although we've been given some picture of it, it's really unimaginable as to what it will really be like.
Equating it with bliss is a very human, and very un-Christian, idea.
Bliss and joy are synonimous. We crave this existence, because it is the only thing we have to percieve. Now is the most precious time we will ever have.
Not true. Eternity is the most precious time we will every have. And Jesus is the most precious person we will ever know.
I only hope that you do as well.
Then we can truly laugh together!
Is Jesus white blond and blue eyes or was that brown skin and brown eyes?
I'm sure Chris will tell us soon, CP! He's probably got a photo of Jr. posing with him!
Now that's just mean. Let the man live in his own illusion, it's not hurting anyone. Yet...
Delusion would perhaps be a better word and I don't care what he believes as long as he doesn't try to convince others he's right!
Is it a sin to capture a spirit on camera or a painting
The latter is easy to do if one relies on their imaginations.
The former might be somewhat more difficult.
Light would have to come into the lens of the camera in order for an image to be created. So, where does the light originate from a spirit?
If they had camera by then, they could of snap shot Jesus being he was in human form, yet angel have never caught on camera
Yet, you will imagine it and tell us all about your imaginings, no matter how much fantasy is involved.
Not when there's hope of spending it in the right place.
I'm a bit hazy on it but my first guess would be the Magna Carta, the reason there has never been another King John in English history.
Jesus is the most precious person we will ever know.
How do you know?
We humans love to attribute the myriad wonders and mysteries of the world to deities and there will be religions. Christianity is only one faith, there are many more other religions for the other faiths.
Though some are not religions or faiths and are only construde as such. Some are simply ways of living, in a chaotic world.
That is true. But Christianity is the only that can truly set you free!
Yet, all we observe is slavery to irrational beliefs. Thinking for oneself is setting oneself free and not being a puppet to slave master.
And you're absolutely sure of this? Can you back that up without scripture? I'm free and Christianity had nothing to do with it. Is it realy that real to you? Wow! You mean Christianity the only religion that could have saved me this whole time? How did I miss that?
Read the Bible and you'll see how you missed it.
I missed it for 21 years. I thought I was free without Christianity. But only Jesus can set you free.
You are on a path and I am on a path. Mine leads to the heights of consciousness, yours to the heights of heaven. Mine is a path inward, yours is a path outward. My heaven is the universe, yours is somewhere else.
Yes, free from thinking, free from facts, free from reality...
You can accept to believe in anything or you can choose to believe in GOD. I prefer the latter. A great point actually..there will always be doctrinations of belief that people label religion but does that mean its the truth. It does not...however, it is no debatable point with me because I know in my heart that God the Father/Son/Holy Spirit exists. Nothing taught to me..but I believe.
By what means do you decide what truths to believe in? Picking and choosing your morality like that is akin to picking and choosing what traffic laws you will abide by. Aside from the fact that the Bible is the the Word of God (if you choose to believe it or not), it sets the standard upon which Christians live their lives. It is the standard upon which nations were formed. Without it, what do you have? A fluctuating system of morality based on societies whims.
I have more faith and optimistism in our human race and nature than any be all or end group. For Spirirtual is the 99% unknown world and Universe , who am I to said there is only way to a God, why not everyone and every thing is god. More kindness is much more needed in our over ego world than more Religion
"why not everyone and every thing is god. "
I hope this is not the case, because I can find several examples of people that I wouldn't want to see as God. Ted Bundy, Hitler, Osama Bin Laden to name just a few.
They would only be our equals, not our leaders of our ultimate lives
So you subscribe to some sort of pantheism?
Do not belong to a group, yet share with all groups
That's not an answer.
Pantheism is a philosophy, not a group.
To belong to any one group, and try to protect it's morals would not work for me, I prefer ethics and unlimited thinking
I understand. If you belong to no one and take from everyone, then if anyone gets hurt it doesn't matter because their limited thinking is only attempting to hold you back. Meanwhile, in your quest to better yourself and make of yourself whatever you consider to be your best self, you never have to do the actual adult work of examining not only your own ethics but any one set of ethics whole hog because you really only take what works for you and sounds good.
Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt.
"why not everyone and every thing is god."
Meanwhile, the question of whether this panentheistic statement means you actually believe in anything like pantheism goes unanswered.
Then you've missed the point. My point was not to label you and therefor dismiss you or render you some harmless straw man that can be easily dealt with and shoved away. My point is to try to get a better sense of what you think and why than a few simple platitudes and maxims.
And this is not meant to be as offensive as it sounds, but the harder I've tried to understand what you actually think, the more you've resorted to bumper sticker answers. I don't honestly think you're that shallow.
I'm guided by love and if I join an ego group, then I cannot share my love with the whole world, as my family'
If I'm wrong, then start floating down the lava river to the lake of fire. At that point, you can tell me then. : I told you so; it's all because Yahweh loves you.
Everyone should be entitled to unlimited thinking but the moment belief in a god appears you are controlled and your unlimited thinking becomes damnation, which is so wrong. A god is just a control mechanism, put out so that you will do as you're told!!!
Yes, over obeying is vital for salvation or one has hell to pay
God doesn't need a "control mechanism." He is just there, cheering us on. The way you state your view, it sounds as though you are the one with the control issue. Not very "gentle" of you.
yes, i admit i like to know the dangers in order to control the dangers of anyone enslaving me forever
1) How is God "enslaving" you if the choice to follow Him is of your own free will?
2) If God exists and He has already told us how to get to Heaven, wouldn't it be better to do what He says, knowing that the alternative is to go someplace worse than we can imagine, forever?
3) If God exists, and He has already told us how to get to Heaven, then aren't questions about "freedom" and "enslavement" academic?
Out of the 1000s of Religion that want to take my soul.
I say no, don't take my soul, of a million parts that can foul.
All I have in life is what i give AWAY,
If you take my soul, i have nothing to say
I'll keep my soul and give much to all Religions as my family
I give to nature, give to the Stars , to God and even Aunt Emily
For all I have in life is my soul and what I give away
The soul is there to stay, only true love can take it some day
The Zen student asked the master a question.
The master refused to answer the question, but did spout saying wise and profound if some question that would have been asked but had never been asked had been asked.
The master was then wise in his own eyes, looking down on the student and teaching the student to look down on others.
And the circle of life remains unbroken....
Chris just came up with a story
Soul Master, give it all away, Master
Soul Master, can sheep become a Soul Master, let me keep my brain master
Let go of my Soul Master, don't be such a greedy Soul Baster
Let me give it all away Master, for each and every day Master
The millions parts must stay at bay, I promise to pay Master
I won't forget the best part of you, this is true
Must share with all Religions too, must learn something New
All I have in life is what i give Away,
If you take my whole Soul, I have nothing to Say
Soul Master, Soul Master a1000 Religion want to take my Soul away
Obey is vital for Salvation today, or enslave in Hell you must pay
Every dream I dream, hierarchy soul gangster, is very little part of my team
Everyone is God, no better nor worst, changes our enlighten stream..
Each one of us is one of my kind, all for one and one for all, is kind
You gave my life direction too, your not the be all end all, keep in mind
Soul Master, Soul Master, all Religion and all people are my family too, Master
My game of love is to give it all away, to love nature, the Stars can blow your mind away
All I want the world to see, is you being with me, then our Souls can give it all away
Our Souls are first here to stay, when true love comes, they can take it all away
Peace and Love
So many want to heap abuse on those who don't believe the same things they do. I am so surprised at how many who strongly state their lack of a belief in God spend so much energy railing against something they profess does not exist. Will they next attack unicorns? Evil has been done in the name of religion by humans, not by God. When humans committed evil it is always about resources (food, water, power, oil, etc.). This is true going all the way back to neolithic hunter-gatherer's. But if an attack on another is dressed up with a claimed edict from God, it makes it easier to live with. But the claim doesn't make God evil, just the ones who used Him as a cloak for their misdeeds. An over-zealous dedication to hate, even if it the hate of an atheist for a believer, is still evil.
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