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A big bloke in black carrying a scythe - Page 2

post #41 of 227
[quote]Originally posted by BRussell:
<strong>
What I don't get is if there is a heaven, and you've already made it there by believing in God, then what motivation is there to improve life on earth?

Maybe I don't understand exactly how you get to heaven, but I thought you did it through a decision to accept Jesus as your savior, not necessarily by doing good deeds for others.</strong><hr></blockquote>

James 2:14, 17, 19-20, 24, 26 (NIV)
14 What good is it if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead... 19 Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do... 20 You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? 24 You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone... 26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

(Whole Chapter: <a href="http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?passage=JAS+2&language=english&version=NIV-IBS&showfn=on&showxref=on" target="_blank">James 2</a>)

[ 03-10-2002: Message edited by: roger_ramjet ]</p>
shooby doo, shooby doo
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post #42 of 227
IMO
a)Ya, your living it (reincarnation baby)
b)No, and any one who tries to tell you otherwize is selling something.

Well, since there are many different religions who claim that they are the only true one, and that all others burn in eternal torment. It is logical to assume that everybody will suffer eternally. Hell must be one large place!

There was this great thermodynamics problem that a student used this exact reasoning on. He said that since every one goes to hell, then hell must be expanding wit hevery soul in order to make room. Since its constantly expanding the heat must strech out over it (or something like that, Im not in thermodynamics) and thus if hell has bee nconstantly expanding since its creation, it must have long since frozen over.
Man I butchered that badly

[ 03-10-2002: Message edited by: The Toolboi ]</p>
Those who dance the dance must look very foolish to those who can't hear the music
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Those who dance the dance must look very foolish to those who can't hear the music
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post #43 of 227
[quote]Originally posted by BRussell:
<strong>I think it goes like this: if there is no heaven, then we have to make this world the best place it can be.

What I don't get is if there is a heaven, and you've already made it there by believing in God, then what motivation is there to improve life on earth?

Maybe I don't understand exactly how you get to heaven, but I thought you did it through a decision to accept Jesus as your savior, not necessarily by doing good deeds for others.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Ding ding ding! We have a winner. For the most part. We (humans) cannot "do" anything that makes us go to heaven or not go to heaven. In fact, to spin the topic even further into a tailspin and get people really up in arms it is even said in the Bible that we cannot choose by ourselves to accept Christ. Christ chooses us first and draws us to him. Then we choose whether or not to answer his calling. The good news is, he calls everyone. The bad news is, you can choose not to answer as many of you do on a daily basis.
NoahJ
"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err." - Mahatma Gandhi
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NoahJ
"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err." - Mahatma Gandhi
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post #44 of 227
[quote]Originally posted by The Blue Meanie:
<strong>

I think we can completely throw out the Bible and nebulous concepts like faith (see my reply to MarcUK above). They've really got nothing to do with questions like whether there is an afterlife, IMHO.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Huh? How can you throw the bible out when it comes to questions about an afterlife? That makes no sense.

"The Blue Meanie wants to know if there is an afterlife. we on the boards can obviously figure this out without any help from something like the Bible as it has nothing to do with the subject." :confused: Is that what you are saying? the Bible talks about the afterlife quite a bit. Give it a read, you will see. Even if you don't believe it is the inspired word of God (it is) you cannot throw it out as much of the afterlife thinking is derived from it.
NoahJ
"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err." - Mahatma Gandhi
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NoahJ
"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err." - Mahatma Gandhi
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post #45 of 227
[quote]Originally posted by roger_ramjet:
<strong>

James 2:14, 17, 19-20, 24, 26 (NIV)
14 What good is it if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead... 19 Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do... 20 You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? 24 You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone... 26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

(Whole Chapter: <a href="http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?passage=JAS+2&language=english&version=NIV-IBS&showfn=on&showxref=on" target="_blank">James 2</a>)

[ 03-10-2002: Message edited by: roger_ramjet ]</strong><hr></blockquote>

Yes. But that is not all there is to it. I really don't want to get into a works or faith argument. It takes nothing from us. Jesus did everything on the Cross. All we have to do is accept. The works and faith come through that acceptance and praying for God to change our hearts concerning him. Read Ephesians 1 and 2 for more on this.
NoahJ
"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err." - Mahatma Gandhi
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NoahJ
"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err." - Mahatma Gandhi
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post #46 of 227
[quote]Originally posted by The Blue Meanie:
<strong>
A) Is there an afterlife?
& B) And if so, does it depend on subscription to dogma and fixed religious belief?
The Blue Meanie's answers would be:
A) Yes
B) No, absolutely not
</strong><hr></blockquote>

What certainty the Meanie can offer to the questions of the Soul. Of course we feel free in this contemporary intellectual ghetto to loudly proclaim a universal absolute negation, but one would be a bigot (a narrow-minded intolerant one no less) to state a universal positive affirmation.

Of course I can cheerfully affirm with absolute certainty that my belief is correct and that alternative views with thousands of years of experience grappling with these hard questions can be dismissed out of hand. But wait I'm a Christian, Oh God, I'm intolerant! I'm a Muslim, well, tougher call, I'm intolerant... or misguided. Oh, and either way I'm a dullard, or naive, or have turned off my brain. But if I am agnostic/whatever I'm tolerant and probably quite clever to boot.

Now then,
in reply (since I jumped on you, it is only fair that I put my answer out.
A) Yes
B) Yes (I'd rather get there by a God who made a positive choice throughout History to redeem humanity (ie the Jewish/Christian tradition) than a god/life force/The Force/ground of being whose primary mode of relating to his creation is indifference). There are Several reasons why I believe tis so, but the divide is more about world view than facts and I frankly don't have the time to waste my breath (fingers?) in a most likely futile discussion/flame fest.

Peace
"Moo" said the chicken
"Cluck" said the cow
Dr. Frankenstein rubbed his hands together with glee
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"Moo" said the chicken
"Cluck" said the cow
Dr. Frankenstein rubbed his hands together with glee
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post #47 of 227
[quote]Originally posted by NoahJ:
<strong>

Jesus did everything on the Cross. All we have to do is accept.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Ah ha, the answer to WHY.

Stand around doing fvck all, waiting to die. so this is why life is insignificant

post #48 of 227
A) We're worm food.
B) Don't have to answer since I said no for A. Woohoo!

One of the things I've always felt neglected in the proof of religions is that there is always an assumption that humanity has the faculty of rational thought born into them. We don't. Our thought processes are the result of cultural reinforcement, not logical thought. When presented with ideas, we're not given to rationally think through ideas (unless we're educated to do so), but to accept or deny based on the cultural sentiments of one's given society or culture. Those cultural sentiments can be any number of irrational or rational things. it doesn't matter. What they do is bind the community together with a common set of sentiments, which in the end makes the community stronger, and that's what matters.

In today's world, what makes us stronger could be forcing us into rationality since a rational culture (on the surface) would seem much more capable of doing things to defeat the culture that they are in conflict with.

Now the the answer to "why" or "what's the meaning of life" is relatively simple to this athiest. It's subjective. It's defined by the individual. In saying, moreover forcing, that one's system of belief is the end and be all is more a function of ego than the truth.
post #49 of 227
[quote]Originally posted by THT:
<strong>
Now the the answer to "why" ... is relatively simple to this athiest. It's subjective. It's defined by the individual...</strong><hr></blockquote>

Which is what I was getting at with my question. MarcUK said it was ridiculous to not try and make the world a better place. Given his worldview that was a non sequitur. I disagree with both of you in your atheism but yours is at least more honest.
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post #50 of 227
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by Belle:
<strong>
There isn't necessarily a contradiction, just perhaps an argument that lives are altered by such a belief.

One possibility, amongst a million others, is that the whole idea of an afterlife is merely a fable thought up a long time ago to make sure the kids ate their greens, brushed their teeth, and didn't murder grandpa.

There's a code of ethics that one has to adhere to if you want to see the afterlife in most religions, and the offer of eternal life would be enough of a carrot to many people to persuade them not to stray.

I'm not suggesting it's a bad thing at all, in fact I'd gladly support any form of bribery that would stop people needlessly killing each other.

As for Jamie's reference to worm food, seems to me I can be safe in the knowledge I'm doing some good once I'm dead, even if it's just taking my place further down the food chain. Now if you'd said cat food... </strong><hr></blockquote>

Some well-expressed points, Belle. Personally I tend to want to get away from the traditional idea of reward and punishment in the afterlife. I see it just as the next stage in existance
--
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All wor k and no play makes Jack a dull boyy
Alll work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
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All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All wor k and no play makes Jack a dull boyy
Alll work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
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post #51 of 227
[quote]Originally posted by THT:
<strong>Now the the answer to "why" or "what's the meaning of life" is relatively simple to this athiest. It's subjective. It's defined by the individual. In saying, moreover forcing, that one's system of belief is the end and be all is more a function of ego than the truth.</strong><hr></blockquote>
Which is why I dislike being referred to as a "close-minded" atheist, unwilling to believe in theist theory (Couldn't resist the expression).

I'm very open-minded about it. I'd be happy to be persuaded one way or another if the evidence presented fulfilled my requirements.

Can the theist population say the same?
Chicanery.
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Chicanery.
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post #52 of 227
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by MarcUK:
<strong>
Edit: IF anyone has any external links on the Afterlife, that are scientifically based and not religious, please put 'em up

[ 03-10-2002: Message edited by: MarcUK ]</strong><hr></blockquote>

Well, The Blue Meanie does have such a link - sort of- but it does involve reading some books(sorry!). There is, for instance, this guy:

<a href="http://www.georgeanderson.com/bio.html" target="_blank">http://www.georgeanderson.com/bio.html</A>

Its not a particularly compelling or well-presented website, but I have read the three books written about him by Joel Martin and Patricia Romanowski (in order of publication: We Dont Die, We Are Not Forgotten and Our Children Forever - best read chronologically), and I found them (and Im a cynical newspaper journalist, remember), to be cogent and intellectually rigorous. I quote from the blurb of the first book:
George Anderson, the most publicly tested psychic medium in history, knows first hand that death is not to be feared but understood- a life transition well within our comprehension. For over twelve years, Joel Martin documented evidence of Andersons powers in thousands of radio, television, and private psychic readings. Anderson repeatedly astonished believers and skeptics alike with the accuracy with the accuracy of [his] other side communication[s] revealing personal events, shared experiences, and names and places for which there is only one possible source: the living consciousness ofthe deceased.
--
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All wor k and no play makes Jack a dull boyy
Alll work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
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All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All wor k and no play makes Jack a dull boyy
Alll work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
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post #53 of 227
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by NoahJ:
<strong>

Huh? How can you throw the bible out when it comes to questions about an afterlife? That makes no sense.

"The Blue Meanie wants to know if there is an afterlife. we on the boards can obviously figure this out without any help from something like the Bible as it has nothing to do with the subject." :confused: Is that what you are saying? </strong><hr></blockquote>

Yes, thats exactly what Im saying. The Bible may make a few vague references to the afterlife but so what? So do the texts of all the other religions. How do we know whos right? Doesnt it make more sense to just throw out all these dusty old tomes and think for ourselves?
You are obviously a committed Christian, and I respect that if its a force for good in your life. But personally I would tend to see the Bible as a vague, jumbled, self-contradictory collection of writings by various authors, not the infallible Word of God. There is evidence to suggest that the Bible texts was heavily edited in the first few centuries AD - by the Emperor Constantine amongst others. And in The Blue Meanies humble opinion, it just contradicts itself too often to be credible. Ever notice, for instance, the extent to which the gospels (which were written decades after the death of Jesus) differ from each other even though theyre recounting about the same life?
--
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All wor k and no play makes Jack a dull boyy
Alll work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
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All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All wor k and no play makes Jack a dull boyy
Alll work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
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post #54 of 227
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by BobtheTomato:
<strong>

What certainty the Meanie can offer to the questions of the Soul. Of course we feel free in this contemporary intellectual ghetto to loudly proclaim a universal absolute negation, but one would be a bigot (a narrow-minded intolerant one no less) to state a universal positive affirmation.

Of course I can cheerfully affirm with absolute certainty that my belief is correct and that alternative views with thousands of years of experience grappling with these hard questions can be dismissed out of hand. But wait I'm a Christian, Oh God, I'm intolerant! I'm a Muslim, well, tougher call, I'm intolerant... or misguided. Oh, and either way I'm a dullard, or naive, or have turned off my brain. But if I am agnostic/whatever I'm tolerant and probably quite clever to boot.

Now then,
in reply (since I jumped on you, it is only fair that I put my answer out.
A) Yes
B) Yes (I'd rather get there by a God who made a positive choice throughout History to redeem humanity (ie the Jewish/Christian tradition) than a god/life force/The Force/ground of being whose primary mode of relating to his creation is indifference). There are Several reasons why I believe tis so, but the divide is more about world view than facts and I frankly don't have the time to waste my breath (fingers?) in a most likely futile discussion/flame fest.

Peace</strong><hr></blockquote>

Nah, were not having a flame fest, are we, guys? This is a friendly bar room debate...
I'm afraid I don't quite follow what you're saying. You seem to be suggesting that I'm being intolerant. If so I refute that. If you reread my other posts, you'll find that I'm not criticising other people's beliefs, just expressing my own ideas and perspectives.
--
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All wor k and no play makes Jack a dull boyy
Alll work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
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All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All wor k and no play makes Jack a dull boyy
Alll work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
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post #55 of 227
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by The Toolboi:
<strong>IMO
a)Ya, your living it (reincarnation baby)

[ 03-10-2002: Message edited by: The Toolboi ]</strong><hr></blockquote>

Yay, reincarnation! You are officially broadcasting on The Blue Meanies wavelength
--
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All wor k and no play makes Jack a dull boyy
Alll work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
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All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All wor k and no play makes Jack a dull boyy
Alll work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
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post #56 of 227
Yay, reincarnation! You are officially broadcasting on The Blue Meanies wavelength

Dude, dont get me started on some of my memories
I also find the whole Dali Lama (sp?) stuff TOO bizzare.
Those who dance the dance must look very foolish to those who can't hear the music
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Those who dance the dance must look very foolish to those who can't hear the music
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post #57 of 227
[quote]Originally posted by The Blue Meanie:
<strong>

Yay, reincarnation! You are officially broadcasting on The Blue Meanies wavelength </strong><hr></blockquote>

That's too bad...
NoahJ
"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err." - Mahatma Gandhi
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NoahJ
"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err." - Mahatma Gandhi
Reply
post #58 of 227
[quote]Originally posted by The Blue Meanie:
Yes, thats exactly what Im saying. The Bible may make a few vague references to the afterlife but so what? So do the texts of all the other religions. How do we know whos right? Doesnt it make more sense to just throw out all these dusty old tomes and think for ourselves?<hr></blockquote>

So where are you going to get this information from your arse? After all there is no science that will prove it for you, just what others have pulled from their arse if it did not come from another book somewhere else. Like, say, the Bible...

[quote]You are obviously a committed Christian, and I respect that if its a force for good in your life. But personally I would tend to see the Bible as a vague, jumbled, self-contradictory collection of writings by various authors, not the infallible Word of God. There is evidence to suggest that the Bible texts was heavily edited in the first few centuries AD - by the Emperor Constantine amongst others. And in The Blue Meanies humble opinion, it just contradicts itself too often to be credible. Ever notice, for instance, the extent to which the gospels (which were written decades after the death of Jesus) differ from each other even though theyre recounting about the same life?<hr></blockquote>

Nope never noticed that actually. Show me the contradictions that you speak of. The gospels were written from 4 different perspectives. And for different emphasis. One takes it from the scholar point of view, one takes it from a medical point of view, one from a fishermans point of view and so on. They all say the same thing, but from people having different backgrounds and their take on what was happening. they all line up. They just noticed things differently. There are no inconsistencies in the way you are making it out.
NoahJ
"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err." - Mahatma Gandhi
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NoahJ
"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err." - Mahatma Gandhi
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post #59 of 227
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by NoahJ:
<strong>

Nope never noticed that actually. Show me the contradictions that you speak of. The gospels were written from 4 different perspectives. And for different emphasis. One takes it from the scholar point of view, one takes it from a medical point of view, one from a fishermans point of view and so on. They all say the same thing, but from people having different backgrounds and their take on what was happening. they all line up. They just noticed things differently. There are no inconsistencies in the way you are making it out.</strong><hr></blockquote>

On the contratrary, there are plenty of contradictions - what about all the incidents that are mentioned in one gospel but not the other? And how is people 'noticing things differently' consistent with the idea of divine inspiration? And what about the evidence for editing of the Bible texts? (Passages quoted in letters from one church father to another that are no longer found in the current Bible; historical records of the Council of Ephesus, etc)
It is interesting to note how thin the veneer of tolerance is here - as soon as I start mentioning things like reincarnation you start throwing words like "arse" around. It's a short step from that to wanting to burn The Blue Meanie as a heretic...

PS - I'd like to repeat that I respect your views a Christian as long as they are a force for good in your life and not:
a) a reason to belittle or mock other peple
& b) an excuse to switch off your brain and stop thinking for yourself

[ 03-12-2002: Message edited by: The Blue Meanie ]

[ 03-12-2002: Message edited by: The Blue Meanie ]</p>
--
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All wor k and no play makes Jack a dull boyy
Alll work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
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--
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All wor k and no play makes Jack a dull boyy
Alll work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
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post #60 of 227
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by Belle:
<strong>
Which is why I dislike being referred to as a "close-minded" atheist, unwilling to believe in theist theory (Couldn't resist the expression).

I'm very open-minded about it. I'd be happy to be persuaded one way or another if the evidence presented fulfilled my requirements.

Can the theist population say the same?</strong><hr></blockquote>

Belle - if you're really interested, try the first of the books about the medium George Anderson I referred to in my reply to MarcUK above. Guaranteeed to contain evidence and no exhortations to any particular religion....
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All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
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Alll work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
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All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All wor k and no play makes Jack a dull boyy
Alll work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
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post #61 of 227
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by The Blue Meanie:
<strong>

Well, if that's the case, then I respect your views that little bit more. I have found that people who throw such armour-plated opinions around often don't really know what they're talking about. I suppose all I'd want to say is much the same as in my rambling reply to MarcUK above - that the worm food scenario is just your opinion. The situation might not be as clear-cut as you think it is.And as for the roses in your garden, well I know this is a deliberate reductio ad adsurdam, but at the risk of a few jibes I'm going to stick to my convicitions here. I don't think there is a flower heaven in the sense that you mean it, but yes, a rose contains life force (if that's the right phrase), just like Jamie and The Blue Meanie and Canadian elks and Pacific sea anemones, and life force is eternal IMHO. So I would say yes, some aspect of the rose will survive you pulling it out of the garden.
I think if you're going to believe in life after death, the only logical stance is some kind of afterlife all living things, not just people as so often assumed.</strong><hr></blockquote>

I notice Jamie has not replied to this. Does this mean he thinks The Blue Meanie is crazy?
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All wor k and no play makes Jack a dull boyy
Alll work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
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All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All wor k and no play makes Jack a dull boyy
Alll work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
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post #62 of 227
[quote]Originally posted by The Blue Meanie:
<strong>

I notice Jamie has not replied to this. Does this mean he thinks The Blue Meanie is crazy? </strong><hr></blockquote>

Jamie has noted your comments but is very busy at work. I am sure Jamie will reply to you when Jamie gets home.

J :cool:

Edit: I'm busy NOT busty <img src="graemlins/lol.gif" border="0" alt="[Laughing]" />

[ 03-12-2002: Message edited by: Jamie ]</p>
post #63 of 227
[quote]Originally posted by Belle:
<strong>
I'm very open-minded about it. I'd be happy to be persuaded one way or another if the evidence presented fulfilled my requirements.

Can the theist population say the same?</strong><hr></blockquote>

Nope, that door's shut, bolted, locked and I can't find the damn key - not that I'm exactly looking for it...

NoahJ, I'll get back to you on James 2 in a little while. (I'm going to be a bit of a pain-in-the-ass about it and I'm just not in the mood for that right now.)

[ 03-12-2002: Message edited by: roger_ramjet ]</p>
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post #64 of 227
[quote]Originally posted by roger_ramjet:
<strong>

Which is what I was getting at with my question. MarcUK said it was ridiculous to not try and make the world a better place. Given his worldview that was a non sequitur. I disagree with both of you in your atheism but yours is at least more honest.</strong><hr></blockquote>

I dont understand how you could find my reasoning dishonest. Explain?
post #65 of 227
[quote]Originally posted by MarcUK:
<strong>
I dont understand how you could find my reasoning dishonest. Explain?</strong><hr></blockquote>

In an earlier post you described us as "selfish animals." (BTW, I agree with the selfish part.) But then you wrote, "So we should use this accidental gift of intelligence to do positive things for ourselves and the planet." Trying to make the world a better place is a perfectly valid choice for you to make but it doesn't automatically arise from your point of view. If someone else who believes as you do, doesn't choose to "do positive things for the planet" well, that's an EQUALLY valid choice. As THT wrote, it's subjective. Accepting "the truth of what we are" (as you put it) doesn't put you in a better place to help others. Really helping someone else carries with it a cost. And a lot people probably don't put that high of a value on social acceptance to be willing to pay that cost - especially when one considers that both you and whoever it is you are trying to help (allegedly) don't have any intrinsic worth anyway.
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post #66 of 227
Life after death? I don't know, and neither does anyone else. We can believe what we want, but for me there is more credibility in the approach of people like Sagan or Feynmann (who demand evidence) rather than following traditional religious denominations which provide reams of pompous speculation on the subject, with zero cold hard evidence, (more to keep populations in order than to dole out enlightenment).

As far as evidence goes, what constitutes acceptable "evidence" anyway? If something looking like a flying saucer lands on the White House lawn, is filmed by CNN and the US Government pronounced it to a real alien space-craft, would you believe it? Would you be less inclined to believe an *unofficial* claim of an alien space-craft by an airline pilot, 100 passengers and a crop of radar returns? If a medium claimed to have contacted your dead great-grandfather and told you about aspects of his life in detail, would you believe him?

We don't even understand what consciousness is all about, yet. We are hardly in a position to making grand pronouncements about whether there is life after death, or not. I am far more comfortable being open-minded, but skeptical. If somebody presents me with irrefutable evidence, then great!

I think it is far more important to leave some legacy, ie some positive lasting benefit/impression for one or many people on this planet. That constitutes the only current, valid and tangible life after death scenario for me, and you have to do that while you are alive; you don't get to take your luggage with you. All the other superstitious mumbo-jumbo remains just that, and is moot and until proof arrives, irrelevant..
Why of course the people don't want war ... But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a...
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Why of course the people don't want war ... But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a...
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post #67 of 227
<strong>Originally posted by The Blue Meanie:
Belle - if you're really interested, try the first of the books about the medium George Anderson I referred to in my reply to MarcUK above. Guaranteeed to contain evidence and no exhortations to any particular religion....</strong>

What makes George Anderson any different from John Edward? Except perhaps Edward is handsome and charismatic enough to have his own TV series. No medium has ever survived rigorous scientific tests. They would be fools to do so (submit to testing), and we would be fools to believe them.

However, if one finds solace in believing them, then I suppose it's fine.
post #68 of 227
I´m on the "what second question?" team.

About death: The human body is a study in keeping low entropy internal by exporting huge amounts to the outside. To go from living entity to one of total entropy is actually a very poetic thing just like the opposite is. Of course I don´t want myself or other people to die but to have life is the exception in the world and somehow I find it beautiful to become one with physical world again. So the worms won´t be eating me but something that have become "not me"
"I reject your reality and substitute it with my own" - President Bush
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"I reject your reality and substitute it with my own" - President Bush
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post #69 of 227
<strong>Originally posted by roger_ramjet:
In an earlier post you described us as "selfish animals." (BTW, I agree with the selfish part.)</strong>

I wouldn't. We are selfish, but I wouldn't put it that way. We have a capacity for abstract thought and genetic tendencies to certain traits, one is survival of which selfishness is a part. I wouldn't say that we are selfish because our capacity for abstract thought can override our emotional and mental genetic tendencies. Cue Homer Simpson: "Doh! Stupid brain. Need to be totally selfish!"

<strong>Really helping someone else carries with it a cost. And a lot people probably don't put that high of a value on social acceptance to be willing to pay that cost - especially when one considers that both you and whoever it is you are trying to help (allegedly) don't have any intrinsic worth anyway.</strong>

What cost are you talking about?

There is no intrinsic - as a property of the universe - value to our lives. However, that's fairly irrelevent to humanity since intrinsic value is different from emotional value or evolutionary advantage. Not to mention "intrinsic value" inofitself may very well be a construct of human thought.

So, one can say it the other way. The cost of being nonsociable is more than the cost of being sociable. By helping others, one is making life easier on oneself. That is, if you help another person, that person can help you later. The emotional connection would be an evolutionary response developed for social animals to keep the bonds stronger. Being a loner doesn't really have that many rewards.
post #70 of 227
[quote]Originally posted by The Blue Meanie:
<strong>

Well, if that's the case, then I respect your views that little bit more. I have found that people who throw such armour-plated opinions around often don't really know what they're talking about.</strong><hr></blockquote>

So are you saying that some people do know what they are talking about when it comes to the afterlife?? Surely no one knows for sure? They would have to have died first to know for sure.

[quote]<strong> the worm food scenario is just your opinion.</strong><hr></blockquote>

That’s what you asked for so that’s what I gave ya.

[quote]<strong>And as for the roses in your garden, well I know this is a deliberate reductio ad adsurdam,</strong><hr></blockquote>

I’m not trying to be absurd at all.

[quote]<strong>but at the risk of a few jibes I'm going to stick to my convicitions here. I don't think there is a flower heaven in the sense that you mean it, but yes, a rose contains life force (if that's the right phrase), just like Jamie and The Blue Meanie and Canadian elks and Pacific sea anemones, and life force is eternal IMHO. So I would say yes, some aspect of the rose will survive you pulling it out of the garden.
I think if you're going to believe in life after death, the only logical stance is some kind of afterlife all living things, not just people as so often assumed.</strong><hr></blockquote>

If that’s what The Blue Meanie wants to believe then let him, I ain’t gonna argue with him.

J :cool:

[ 03-13-2002: Message edited by: Jamie ]</p>
post #71 of 227
[quote]Originally posted by The Blue Meanie:
On the contratrary, there are plenty of contradictions - what about all the incidents that are mentioned in one gospel but not the other?<hr></blockquote>

Such As?

[quote]And how is people 'noticing things differently' consistent with the idea of divine inspiration?<hr></blockquote>

Divine Inspiriation does not mean God Controls the pen and the person is just a mind numbed medium. The person put down exactly what he saw. Are you going to tell me that everyone sees things exactly the same all the time?

[quote]And what about the evidence for editing of the Bible texts? (Passages quoted in letters from one church father to another that are no longer found in the current Bible; historical records of the Council of Ephesus, etc)<hr></blockquote>

Can you show me where you found this evidence. I really am interested. Were they quoting from the Apocrypha? (SP?)

[quote]It is interesting to note how thin the veneer of tolerance is here - as soon as I start mentioning things like reincarnation you start throwing words like "arse" around. It's a short step from that to wanting to burn The Blue Meanie as a heretic...<hr></blockquote>

Get a rope! Hey, I was more having fun at the time than looking for your "accidental dismemberment in a big piece of heavy machinery". (that was a joke BTW.) But to say that we as humans can make up what the afterlife is with no real literature but what we choose to make up off the tops of our heads seems somewhat rediculous. Where are you getting your information on the afterlife if it is not your arse?

[quote]PS - I'd like to repeat that I respect your views a Christian as long as they are a force for good in your life and not:
a) a reason to belittle or mock other peple
& b) an excuse to switch off your brain and stop thinking for yourself <hr></blockquote>

Hey, don't belittle me for sticking to my convictions. My brain is always in gear, always. And I was not mocking you (well maybe a little ) I was merely trying to point out the big flaw I saw in your arguments.
NoahJ
"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err." - Mahatma Gandhi
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NoahJ
"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err." - Mahatma Gandhi
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post #72 of 227
[quote]Originally posted by roger_ramjet:
<strong>NoahJ, I'll get back to you on James 2 in a little while. (I'm going to be a bit of a pain-in-the-ass about it and I'm just not in the mood for that right now.)</strong><hr></blockquote>

I look forward to your thoughts on this. It is a subject that I have been studying a bit lately and has a lot to do with how I try to conduct myself as a child of God.
NoahJ
"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err." - Mahatma Gandhi
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NoahJ
"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err." - Mahatma Gandhi
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post #73 of 227
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by Samantha Joanne Ollendale:
<strong>
If a medium claimed to have contacted your dead great-grandfather and told you about aspects of his life in detail, would you believe him?
</strong><hr></blockquote>

If the information was accurate and there was no reasonable way in which the medium could have obtained the information from anywhere else, then yes, I would believe him.
And like I said in my reply to Belle above, I really don't see why there is supposedly such a dichotomy between a belief in life after death and living life now. Yes, of course we should life to the full, help our fellow our human beings and try to make the world a better place in some way - how does an interest in the possibility of life after death prevent us from doing that? :confused:
After all, if we don't get it right this time, we'll only have to come back

[ 03-14-2002: Message edited by: The Blue Meanie ]</p>
--
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All wor k and no play makes Jack a dull boyy
Alll work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
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--
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All wor k and no play makes Jack a dull boyy
Alll work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
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post #74 of 227
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by THT:
<strong>

What makes George Anderson any different from John Edward? Except perhaps Edward is handsome and charismatic enough to have his own TV series. No medium has ever survived rigorous scientific tests. They would be fools to do so (submit to testing), and we would be fools to believe them.

However, if one finds solace in believing them, then I suppose it's fine.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Well, I don't know who John Edward is so I can't comment about him. All I can say is that those books about George Anderson do contain detailed accounts of many scientific tests, including laboratory tests, which Anderson reportedly passed with flying colours.
I'm not saying that Anderson is some sort of guru and the answer to everything. Far from it. All I'm saying is that I read those books and found them very convincing.
"...we would be fools to believe them"? What, you mean even if they passed the tests it would have to be some sort of trick? Hmmm, the words "closed" and "mind" come to mind


[ 03-14-2002: Message edited by: The Blue Meanie ]</p>
--
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All wor k and no play makes Jack a dull boyy
Alll work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
Reply
--
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All wor k and no play makes Jack a dull boyy
Alll work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
Reply
post #75 of 227
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by Anders:
<strong>...somehow I find it beautiful to become one with physical world again. So the worms won´t be eating me but something that has become "not me"</strong><hr></blockquote>

Yes, exactly
--
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All wor k and no play makes Jack a dull boyy
Alll work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
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--
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All wor k and no play makes Jack a dull boyy
Alll work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
Reply
post #76 of 227
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by Jamie:
<strong>

If that’s what The Blue Meanie wants to believe then let him, I ain’t gonna argue with him.

J :cool:

[ 03-13-2002: Message edited by: Jamie ]</strong><hr></blockquote>

Jamie, yes that's what The Blue Meanie wants to believe
The Blue Meanie did indeed ask for your opinion and was happy to receive it. He was just trying to make a distinction between it and the absolute truth - but, yes of course, The Blue Meanie's opinion is also just his opinion.
And (switching back into the first person because The Blue Meanie is getting tired of typing 'The Blue Meanie' ), I may not have expressed myself as well as I might have done when I wrote that about people 'not knowing what they are talking about'. I didn't mean knowing what's on the other side of death - I meant that it's easy to throw opinions around but people often feel differently about this subject when they have suffered a bereavement and had certain experiences
--
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All wor k and no play makes Jack a dull boyy
Alll work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
Reply
--
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All wor k and no play makes Jack a dull boyy
Alll work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
Reply
post #77 of 227
<strong>Originally posted by The Blue Meanie:
"...we would be fools to believe them"? What, you mean even if they passed the tests it would have to be some sort of trick? Hmmm, the words "closed" and "mind" come to mind
</strong>

Or maybe it is "fool"

Lets just say I'd be more rigorous than you would be. There's a difference between being close minded and rigorous. Closed minded is refusing to believe despite the evidence. Rigorous is making sure the test was done correctly.

John Edward is a medium, that is, a person who talks to the dead, with his own show on the Sci-Fi channel and is in syndication now as well.

[ 03-13-2002: Message edited by: THT ]</p>
post #78 of 227
[quote]Originally posted by The Blue Meanie:
<strong>And (switching back into the first person because The Blue Meanie is getting tired of typing 'The Blue Meanie' </strong><hr></blockquote>

I was beginning to wonder if The Blue Meanie was related to Bob Dole for a while there.
NoahJ
"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err." - Mahatma Gandhi
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NoahJ
"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err." - Mahatma Gandhi
Reply
post #79 of 227
[quote]Originally posted by THT:
<strong>John Edward is a medium, that is, a person who talks to the dead</strong><hr></blockquote>
Actually, this is incorrect.

A medium is someone who claims the dead talk back.

[ 03-13-2002: Message edited by: Belle ]</p>
Chicanery.
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Chicanery.
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post #80 of 227
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by NoahJ:
<strong>

Hey, don't belittle me for sticking to my convictions. My brain is always in gear, always. And I was not mocking you (well maybe a little ) I was merely trying to point out the big flaw I saw in your arguments.</strong><hr></blockquote>

I'm not belittling you, mate. Convictions can be a good thing if they motivate you to do good things. I do have evidence to back up my claims about the gospels and the edited passage (from the Gospel of Mark), but it involves typing out a long quote from a book. Come back later today (Thursday) and I'll post it then.
There are other sources of information on this topic besides the Bible and my "arse" See some of my other posts in this thread
BTW, I don't want to be too harsh on the Bible - I'm not denying that there are powerful passages and memorable stories. (For I remember particularly liking one speech of Jesus' where he talks about inviting the poor to a banquet - I can't remember the reference. Perhaps you can remind me?)
I think Jesus was a real person and perhaps a spiritually advanced person too. I just don't buy the idea that the Bible is the divinely inspired instruction book in the sense that you are suggesting. I think there's too much evidence against that idea (and actually no evidence for it, either IMHO).
--
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All wor k and no play makes Jack a dull boyy
Alll work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
Reply
--
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All wor k and no play makes Jack a dull boyy
Alll work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
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