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post #81 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

Or maybe it really is a work of such a higher order that it could be called 'divine' or 'from God'.

If this were the case then of course hardly anyone would be able to understand it.

Stupid people would take it literally and other sorts of stupid people would spend inordinate amounts of time trying to deny it.

All of them would be missing the common denominator - obviously as they don't by definition have the wisdom to see it - which is the constraints of their own perception.

A donkey loaded with books is still a donkey.

how do you know that taking it literally isn't the 'highest order' of understanding and knowledge the writer or 'god' intended. It really could be that it is all 'literally' true and that all the interesting 'games and puzzles' a 'thinker' might try to decode are just needless fluff God inserted to confuse those who lacked or strayed from the the initial faith.

Perhaps there comes a time, when you realise that you can't ever hope to really understand all the nuances and you've been fooled by your own sense of intelligence and prowess, and because of this, the knowledge and wisdom you seek are just an illusion that led you away from pure faith in Gods word.

Then you've got an issue, because although you are somewhat 'different' from an ignorant Fundie - in many ways the end result of your journey might mean you are just like them.
post #82 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcUK View Post

how do you know that taking it literally isn't the 'highest order' of understanding and knowledge the writer or 'god' intended. It really could be that it is all 'literally' true and that all the interesting 'games and puzzles' a 'thinker' might try to decode are just needless fluff God inserted to confuse those who lacked or strayed from the the initial faith.

Perhaps there comes a time, when you realise that you can't ever hope to really understand all the nuances and you've been fooled by your own sense of intelligence and prowess, and because of this, the knowledge and wisdom you seek are just an illusion that led you away from pure faith in Gods word.

Then you've got an issue, because although you are somewhat 'different' from an ignorant Fundie - in many ways the end result of your journey might mean you are just like them.

Not quite like them.

I don't have a psychological need to trumpet my beliefs to any other human being at all. In fact, I doubt anyone knows what they really are.

Fundies oth, and yourself to a certain extent, do have this desire in varying degrees.

And after all, as Nietzsche so wisely said; "faith is not wanting to know what is true". If you know something for yourself then there is no need to bolster it with other's support or any need for faith at all.

As one of my favourite Arab poets has it:

All Faith is false, all Faith is true: Truth is the shattered mirror strown
In myriad bits; while each believes his little bit the whole to own.
What is the Truth? was askt of yore. Reply all object Truth is one
As twain of halves aye makes a whole; the moral Truth for all is none.

When doctors differ who decides amid the milliard-headed throng?
Who save the madman dares to cry: "'Tis I am right, you all are wrong"?
"You all are right, you all are wrong," we hear the careless Soofi say,
"For each believes his glimm'ering lamp to be the gorgeous light of day."

Do what thy manhood bids thee do, from none but self expect applause;
He noblest lives and noblest dies who makes and keeps his self-made laws.
All other Life is living Death, a world where none but Phantoms dwell,
A breath, a wind, a sound, a voice, a tinkling of the camel-bell.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
post #83 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

Not quite like them.

I don't have a psychological need to trumpet my beliefs to any other human being at all. In fact, I doubt anyone knows what they really are.

Fundies oth, and yourself to a certain extent, do have this desire in varying degrees.

And after all, as Nietzsche so wisely said; "faith is not wanting to know what is true". If you know something for yourself then there is no need to bolster it with other's support or any need for faith at all.

yes, but its not like I forget all this every time I post something, although it might not be at the forefront of my consciousness.

Whatever the natural or supernatural pecking order is that created me, I have a feeling of my place in it, and there are some who I consider more gifted and some I consider less gifted, I'd like to spend time with the 'more' and less with the 'less' - but then we all feel like that, so you for instance probably dont want to greatly expend effort with me - because there is a sense that I am too stupid to understand - the same feeling I get when conversing with xxx.

When one contemplates the Bible for instance, one might assume that the writers (or god) would have wanted to explain the 'message' to as many people as possible. Assuming the writers or god were of reasonable intellect, they would have realised that most people wouldn't really understand it. But whats more worrying is that they would know that most people would interpret it entirely oppositely to what was intended (im trying to avoid using the word 'wrongly' - because that is yours and my POV)

What would we be to make of these peoples intentions then? Is it a book that the intellectual and spiritual elite wrote for the fellow elite? If it is - then it must be rejected by the non-elite (thats me) for being grossly unfair. Is God unfair?

Did they write a book that is to be understood by the lowest of intelligence and spirituality? Then it must be rejected because that is grossly unfair to people of higher intelligence and spirituality.

Did they write a book that could be understood by everyone - to the degree they are capable of? Hmm, a wiser person might think so - but really - isn't that completely unfair for everyone?

Afterall, im quite happy to judge people as being 'less' or 'more' - or to put it more crudely - dumber and smarter - I'd consider you smarter - but then if youre so smart - surely you would have been at some point of similar understanding to me - so why then are you implying me as a donkey? - to some extent I'd agree - from your POV i probably am a donkey - maybe thats all I can ever be. Is it fair then that someone who'se more versed in the esoteric understanding of the book, can still fall foul of the same pitfalls as someone like myself? What does that imply about the genuinity and message of the book?

Why is it that with greater understanding - there comes greater elusiveness and reluctance to explain things? Perhaps I've fallen through many 'trap doors' in my quest to find this elusive 'truth' thing. Perhaps you could have prevented some of those - but I get the feeling that you'll stand there and watch - if not pull the lever.

Contemplating this, I wonder if infact the path to truth IS the process of falling through the trap door - often. I wonder if it is a test of resolve to see how many times you can pick yourself up and carry on - is it a game devised by God that only the people who pick themselves up every time and carry on are only the worthy to discover the truth? If i gave up after 'truth-1' falls - is it right that someone who picked themselves up at the final hurdle may deem me stupid?

If this MO, were discovered by some other religious or cultist group - you'd immediately call foul and rightly see that infact the group isn't about truth or knowledge - just the impression or illusion of it - and any friends you had watching you fall down these trapdoors would try their hardest to pull you away from the inevitable self inflicted misery.

Therefore I may be a donkey with a lot of books, and I may be stupid and corse - but thats OK with me and I dont have a personal problem with that, because I feel my intentions were honest and genuine. If I have been had over by a few people along the way - then they might be seen as trapdoors I learned something from, maybe some of the trapdoors I am fond of and like to fall through!

Perhaps then, the book is not penned of the 'highest order' after all, because at my level of understanding it is grossly unfair to everyone, if not wholly disgusting to humanity- and within my capability there is not a way to reconsile this belief with the hope that at some point it would all become 'sense' - Therefore because of my inherent 'stupidity' - it has to be by 'default' unfair, the message is a failure and therefore has to be rejected.

I hope humanity could do better than this - If the best we can do was done 2000 years ago, then humanity is over.
post #84 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcUK View Post

When one contemplates the Bible for instance, one might assume that the writers (or god) would have wanted to explain the 'message' to as many people as possible.

Why?

It is just a collection of books separated by thousands of years perhaps.

Who brought them together? What was their agenda? What was the agenda of the people who wrote them?

The agenda of the Dueteronomist was nothing like that of the person who wrote 'Q' which the synoptics are based on.

In viewing the issue as it is presented by the fundies (ie that God inspired all these books and writers and their message is uniform) even to refute it then you give credence to their inaccuracies.

Why do you not then try to argue with that loon with the banana and prove him wrong on his own terms? Because you do not for a moment accept those terms - not ever accept things as he presents them. Yet you do with the Bible.

There is no smarter or stupider. There is just smart in certain areas and stupid in others - differs in different people but we more or less all way the same. Some fundies may be brilliant at cross-word solving or playing the banjo. It's in the realm of theology where they suck.

It all depends on what you want to focus on and I suppose the trick s manipulating situations and circumstance so one's own stupidity lies in areas that are never on display.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
post #85 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

Why?

if you spend the rest of your life contemplating it - then won't you one day come to the simple conclusion that if its unfair or unjust - to just one person then - it cannot be what it claims to be? God may not want many people to understand the message as youre sugessting/questioning, but in my moral opinion if there is any truth in the bibles claims it would be grossly unfair to withhold that. (of course I see that you have subtly but cleverly got one over me this time )

Now you might argue, that in coming up with this conclusion that I am giving some credence to the thing I am denying, there could be some truth in that - but it also appears that if you fully believe that, then it is not possible to stand in opposition to *anything* without giving some credibility to the position you oppose. Why for instance stand in opposition to Bush's position of Iran?

It has to come down to your intent and when all else is said and done a *belief* you hold, and how you feel you need to act in response to the belief.

I believe it important, that knowledge is given freely and not withheld. There are people I consider purely ignorant - ignorant but capable of learning - and learned - obviously this is relative to my capability and understanding and most importantly my perception of reality - Frank is never going to take my knowledge - you dont need it - but to some people, the knowlege I offer is relavent to where they are.

I would much rather YOU educate all of us into the nature of religion, but you don't - maybe you see it/ feel differently - or think I am wrong or foolish to do so.????

I look at the world, I see 7 billion people fighting with each other because they IMO misunderstand religion. I'd like this to stop as much as you feel passionatley about Iran vs USA. (really IMO these two things are highly connected) There is a solution - knowledge. Its a solution to Iran as much as its a solution to religion. You feel the need to spread the knowledge of the Iranian situation because in your opinion the possible result is worthwhile - likewise why I like to tell everyone about AstroWhatevers.

Really, when you take out the possibility of US incitement of sectarian violence - would the Shia be bombing the Sunni's and vice versa IF they really knew the natural astrowhatevers their faith was based on. If a shia bomber and a sunni bomber and a palestianian bomber, and an Israeli bomber were put in a room and sufficiently educated to the extent of what I/we know - would they leave that room still hating the others, still clutching the pin to their bombs. Maybe - but i'd like to hope not.

Therefore you must be able to understand why I want *everyone* to know, just like Frank genuinely wants everyone to know what he believes in, just as you want everyone to know what is really going on in Iran. It does IMO amount to more than a psychological issue - I know all the psychological issues as do you.

Why for instance - if this is all it is, do you stand in opposition to me wanting to tell people what I know/believe? are not you giving credibility to me by standing in opposition to me?

There is of course another reason that cannot be denied. I am pleased with myself for being in possession of this knowledge because it took alot of work and effort to come across it. As everyone on the planet, I enjoy the feeling of being recognised for this effort and there is naturally some self satisfaction in displaying the extent of my learning. I think anyone who wont recognise this kind of selfishness in themselves is lying.

Quote:
It all depends on what you want to focus on and I suppose the trick s manipulating situations and circumstance so one's own stupidity lies in areas that are never on display.

see, thats what I mean, we all do this, we can't help it - but when theres manipulation of circumstances and situations, it by default has to be unfair. I can only see that the Bible is, and is used for this very thing, which leads to much worse. Thats why I/have to/need to (delete as appropriate) stand in opposition to it.
post #86 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Wait... I missed something. Is this YOUR argument!?

Are you saying it's the critics of Catholicism and American style Christianity who are "picking and choosing"?

Or are you saying every good Christian should NEVER pick and choose, and that's what's wrong with Christianity? Do you mean we should actually start stoning people to death for adultery?

Please, I hope you don't support taking away Good Christians' right to "pick and choose" not to do so.

It was simply meant as a casual response to BR's assertion that we should stop "throwing the first stone" and "turn the other cheek" more often.

While taken at face value the line is probably true, it's not true in the way BR said it. His "throwing the first stone" implies our questioning of beliefs and lifestyles that are seen to be anti-Christian. When Jesus said those words, he was talking about religious people actually stoning someone to death. Jesus didn't seem to have a problem with questioning beliefs and motives when he went postal in the Temple, or talked about what would happen to people who harmed children.

To directly answer your question about the death penalty for adultery, to make that a case of "picking and choosing" to me is a false analogy. Christianity (well, certainly proponents of dispensationalism) makes the case that the New Testament Age of Grace supercedes the Age of Law. (Indeed that's why they are called 'Old' and 'New' Testaments.)

Adultery is shown to be wrong in the Bible (in any age) but the remedy since the coming of Christ is not death by stoning but the declaration of the Gospel and the authority of scripture on the matter. (I'm assuming the adulterer to be non-Christian. There are separate - and more severe - rules for dealing with adultery within the Church.)

If the adulterer doesn't heed the caution of scripture, we're back to eternal consequences and the existence of heaven and hell.

In short, Christians do not 'pick and choose' among Old Testament laws. The Law provides a clear context as to existence of right and wrong, and the degree of severity with which an offence is regarded. Under the New Testament, the Gospel provides the mechanism for dealing with the offence.
The evil that we fight is but the shadow of the evil that we do.
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The evil that we fight is but the shadow of the evil that we do.
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post #87 of 98



Frank777 and others,

I'm glad it's you who are fielding these responses, and not me. This is a tough crowd.


post #88 of 98
Spending years defending my choice of computer platform has prepared me well for such responses.
The evil that we fight is but the shadow of the evil that we do.
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The evil that we fight is but the shadow of the evil that we do.
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post #89 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post

It was simply meant as a casual response to BR's assertion that we should stop "throwing the first stone" and "turn the other cheek" more often.

While taken at face value the line is probably true, it's not true in the way BR said it. His "throwing the first stone" implies our questioning of beliefs and lifestyles that are seen to be anti-Christian. When Jesus said those words, he was talking about religious people actually stoning someone to death. Jesus didn't seem to have a problem with questioning beliefs and motives when he went postal in the Temple, or talked about what would happen to people who harmed children.

To directly answer your question about the death penalty for adultery, to make that a case of "picking and choosing" to me is a false analogy. Christianity (well, certainly proponents of dispensationalism) makes the case that the New Testament Age of Grace supercedes the Age of Law. (Indeed that's why they are called 'Old' and 'New' Testaments.)

Adultery is shown to be wrong in the Bible (in any age) but the remedy since the coming of Christ is not death by stoning but the declaration of the Gospel and the authority of scripture on the matter. (I'm assuming the adulterer to be non-Christian. There are separate - and more severe - rules for dealing with adultery within the Church.)

If the adulterer doesn't heed the caution of scripture, we're back to eternal consequences and the existence of heaven and hell.

In short, Christians do not 'pick and choose' among Old Testament laws. The Law provides a clear context as to existence of right and wrong, and the degree of severity with which an offence is regarded. Under the New Testament, the Gospel provides the mechanism for dealing with the offence.

considering how important and influential Jesus is, why is it he holds such a small percentage of what is actually written in his name in the Bible?
post #90 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcUK View Post

considering how important and influential Jesus is, why is it he holds such a small percentage of what is actually written in his name in the Bible?

Not sure what you mean by that. The prophecy of the Coming Messiah starts on the second page of the Bible and is an undercurrent, if not the central theme, of every book of the Bible. The Bible also ends with a picture of Jesus reigning in Heaven for all eternity. He isn't just in the Bible, Jesus IS the Bible.

If you mean why His words (while He was on Earth) make up only a small percentage of scripture, it's because the Bible is a collective record of God's dealing with Mankind over several thousands of years. Jesus' earthly ministry only lasted three and a half years.

Even so, three years was enough to radically reshape life on the planet in every conceivable way. InterVarsity's What Has Christianity's Ever Done For Us is a book that explores the effect of Christianity on the modern world, and it's still fascinating to read the impact that Jesus had on the planet.
The evil that we fight is but the shadow of the evil that we do.
Reply
The evil that we fight is but the shadow of the evil that we do.
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post #91 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post

Not sure what you mean by that. The prophecy of the Coming Messiah starts on the second page of the Bible and is an undercurrent, if not the central theme, of every book of the Bible. The Bible also ends with a picture of Jesus reigning in Heaven for all eternity. He isn't just in the Bible, Jesus IS the Bible.

If you mean why His words (while He was on Earth) make up only a small percentage of scripture, it's because the Bible is a collective record of God's dealing with Mankind over several thousands of years. Jesus' earthly ministry only lasted three and a half years.

Even so, three years was enough to radically reshape life on the planet in every conceivable way. InterVarsity's What Has Christianity's Ever Done For Us is a book that explores the effect of Christianity on the modern world, and it's still fascinating to read the impact that Jesus had on the planet.

You mean like setting the world back 1000 years by destroying the vast majority of the knowledge of the advanced folks in the middle east? Good job, Christianity.

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
Reply

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
Reply
post #92 of 98
I think someone's been watching too much Stargate SG-1.
The evil that we fight is but the shadow of the evil that we do.
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The evil that we fight is but the shadow of the evil that we do.
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post #93 of 98
huh???
"In a republic, voters may vote for the leaders they want, but they get the leaders they deserve."
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"In a republic, voters may vote for the leaders they want, but they get the leaders they deserve."
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post #94 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post

I think someone's been watching too much Stargate SG-1.

I think someone else has been watching too much The Passion of the Christ..
"How fortunate are you and I.."
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"How fortunate are you and I.."
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post #95 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by hardeeharhar View Post

huh???

While I'm accustomed to people making wild, exaggerated claims about Christianity on AI, I'd come to expect more from BR.

While I know a lot of warring, and sacking and burning took place in the early years of the first millennium, I'd like to see someone provide evidence that 'advanced' Middle Eastern knowledge was deliberately destroyed by Christian leaders as part of some sort of conspiracy that set the world back 1000 years.
The evil that we fight is but the shadow of the evil that we do.
Reply
The evil that we fight is but the shadow of the evil that we do.
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post #96 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

A donkey loaded with books is still a donkey.

And an evangelist loaded with bibles and "literal" interpretation is a jackass.
post #97 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post

It was simply meant as a casual response to BR's assertion that we should stop "throwing the first stone" and "turn the other cheek" more often.

While taken at face value the line is probably true, it's not true in the way BR said it. His "throwing the first stone" implies our questioning of beliefs and lifestyles that are seen to be anti-Christian. When Jesus said those words, he was talking about religious people actually stoning someone to death. Jesus didn't seem to have a problem with questioning beliefs and motives when he went postal in the Temple, or talked about what would happen to people who harmed children.

To directly answer your question about the death penalty for adultery, to make that a case of "picking and choosing" to me is a false analogy. Christianity (well, certainly proponents of dispensationalism) makes the case that the New Testament Age of Grace supercedes the Age of Law. (Indeed that's why they are called 'Old' and 'New' Testaments.)

Adultery is shown to be wrong in the Bible (in any age) but the remedy since the coming of Christ is not death by stoning but the declaration of the Gospel and the authority of scripture on the matter. (I'm assuming the adulterer to be non-Christian. There are separate - and more severe - rules for dealing with adultery within the Church.)

If the adulterer doesn't heed the caution of scripture, we're back to eternal consequences and the existence of heaven and hell.

In short, Christians do not 'pick and choose' among Old Testament laws. The Law provides a clear context as to existence of right and wrong, and the degree of severity with which an offence is regarded. Under the New Testament, the Gospel provides the mechanism for dealing with the offence.

This is the most coherent answer to my question that I've seen. However, it still confounds me that Christians can divorce in record numbers and still attack homosexuality as if it were murder. That, to me, is still "picking and choosing".

And what about eating shrimp or touching menstruating women? There is no indication whatsoever that these prohibitions were any less "severe" than the (perceived) prohibition against homosexuality. So why are these "laws" no longer considered sins?
post #98 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post

While I'm accustomed to people making wild, exaggerated claims about Christianity on AI, I'd come to expect more from BR.

While I know a lot of warring, and sacking and burning took place in the early years of the first millennium, I'd like to see someone provide evidence that 'advanced' Middle Eastern knowledge was deliberately destroyed by Christian leaders as part of some sort of conspiracy that set the world back 1000 years.

Doctors, scientists of all flavors, mathematicians, and philosophers were murdered by the Crusaders in addition to the written accounts as the libraries were pillaged and burned. Not only that, but the Dark Ages were, if not directly caused, certainly exacerbated by Christianity and its leaders. Christian oppression (not the oppression of christians but rather the oppression of society BY christians [kind of like today in the US]) stifled scientific and medical research for at least 500 years after the fall of the Roman Empire and for as long as 1200 years until the start of the Renaissance.

We can also pin the destruction of many Native American societies on Christianity, too.

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
Reply

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
Reply
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