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post #401 of 426
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Um... you didn't read what he said. By no means did he call "everyone who has a religion" anything. Just the ones who claim that God communicates directly to them using more than just their imagination.

Yes, I did read what he said. In prayer or meditation, which is something that any religion with a deity has, the individual "talks to God."
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post #402 of 426
Quote:
Originally Posted by Londor View Post

You just keep proving time and time again that among other things your grasp of the language is pretty poor. Omnipotent is not the same as having universal knowledge.

omnipotent |ɒmˈnɪpət(ə)nt|
adjective
(of a deity) having unlimited power

You are right here....late night, fast fingers, slow synapses....the word I mean was 'omniscient.'

om·nis·cient Pronunciation[om-nish-uhnt]
adjective 1. having complete or unlimited knowledge, awareness, or understanding; perceiving all things.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Londor View Post

But when you say you are in possession of the "Truth" it must be because you have universal knowledge and that is obviously not the case.

You can claim that Gravity is Truth without having a full grasp of all of what constitutes Truth. Likewise, I can say that Christ is Truth, without knowing all of what constitutes Truth; without being omniscient.

However, to say that God does not exist, you have to be omniscient. It's like saying that there are no pink rocks with purple strips in all the universe. The only way to know that is true is to have full knowledge of the universe to know that there isn't such a thing.
post #403 of 426
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post

So where's the universal truth?

You realize that, on the one hand, deep down in your soul you know there is a universal truth...that common sense of right and wrong...and the judgement for doing wrong and the rewards for doing right.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post

Each culture constructs its own solution. There are no universal beliefs, but there are quite universal human frailties providing the fuel.

For you, I am sure, the solution works. It's a highly-sophisticated fantasy. It well-engineered self-deception. Done properly, it makes you happy with your life.

But for me, a lie, however sweet it is, however good it makes you feel, is still a lie. My conscience just won't let me buy into it. My genome didn't make me that way.

You admit that you crave this 'universal truth', but then rule it out as self-deception.


There is enough evidence to believe, be it evidence based in science or philosophy or searching your own heart. But usually it isn't evidence that keeps people from believing. It's an unwillingness to accept that there is something out there more powerful than ourselves, because that something has rules, and we don't like rules. We want to be in control. To allow the possibilty of God is to open yourself up to his control, and this is a scary thing for many people. Those who are staunch atheists hide behind what they insist is a lack of evidence, or illogical, but deep down, it's simply that they will not consider bending the knee to an all-powerful God, even if it can be shown that that God is loving and caring for each and every one of us.
post #404 of 426
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post

Christians say they are down to just the one. ( although many also believe in a second minor deity called the "devil". Who appears to be possess many godlike attributes.)

We're really going to have to teach you the basics of Christianity, my friend, so you can know exactly what it is that you are railing against.

The devil (Satan) is not actually a deity (though he would like to be). God created other things before he created our universe, including angels. They, like us, were given free will, and a portion of them rebelled against God. These angels are called demons or devils, but they are simply angels gone bad. Satan is was an archangel similar to Michael before he rebelled against God.

Interestingly, the word Satan in Hebrew is literally the word 'opponent.' If you were guarding someone in basketball, he would be your satan (sah-TAHN), your opponent.

The Jews gave him the name Lucifer because of Isaian 14:12 that refers to him as the 'morning star', but the name Lucifer itself is not in the bible.


Now, with regards to God's 'oneness', that one is trickier. We definitely do believe that God is one, but in 3 parts -- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit -- referred to as the Trinity, though that word doesn't appear in scripture. That would take much longer to explain, but consider something interesting: At the very beginning of Genesis, it says, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. And the earth was formless and void, and the spirit of God was blowing over the waters."

So we have God being referred to as singular, yet it refers to God's spirit blowing over the waters (and another interesting tidbit is that the word 'spirit' and 'wind' are exactly the same word in Hebrew.)

Later God said, "Let us create man in our own image."

Now hold on just a moment here! 'US'? Who is 'us'? 'OUR' image? Who is God talking about besides himself? The Jews knew God was one, but they alread had an inkling about the Trinity, long before Christianity.
post #405 of 426
Quote:
Originally Posted by JakeTheRock View Post

Yes, I did read what he said. In prayer or meditation, which is something that any religion with a deity has, the individual "talks to God."

Read your last post. That's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about those people who believes their God has actually "talked" to them. Not in a metaphor. Not indirectly. But directly. And there are plenty. And those people are loony.
post #406 of 426
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Read your last post. That's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about those people who believes their God has actually "talked" to them. Not in a metaphor. Not indirectly. But directly. And there are plenty. And those people are loony.


Look, I know I'll never show you. People can only see God or hear His voice if they want to, or if they are open to it. If you knew God, you would understand me, and other people, better. People percive God differently. People notice Him differently in their lives. When Frugality says that he "talked to God", he is not saying that God teleported down in front of him and started a heart to heart on the spot. He is saying that he has spoken to God through prayer, which is deeper then a conversation.
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post #407 of 426
Quote:
Originally Posted by frugality View Post

You realize that, on the one hand, deep down in your soul you know there is a universal truth...that common sense of right and wrong...and the judgement for doing wrong and the rewards for doing right.

You admit that you crave this 'universal truth', but then rule it out as self-deception.

There is enough evidence to believe, be it evidence based in science or philosophy or searching your own heart. But usually it isn't evidence that keeps people from believing. It's an unwillingness to accept that there is something out there more powerful than ourselves, because that something has rules, and we don't like rules. We want to be in control. To allow the possibilty of God is to open yourself up to his control, and this is a scary thing for many people. Those who are staunch atheists hide behind what they insist is a lack of evidence, or illogical, but deep down, it's simply that they will not consider bending the knee to an all-powerful God, even if it can be shown that that God is loving and caring for each and every one of us.

No, you should read the post again.

All animals including humans are challenged by the nature of the world. Fear and uncertainty are universal.

So what do we do?

Each culture writes their own solution. Each different, but all driven by the same frailties.

You guys invent a sky fairy which makes the world seem safer. A clever emotional-pillow which reduces your fear of death, injustice and solitude. Well done!

You have looked in your heart, and you feel that it is good and true. Here's what to do: reject it. Because when you want something to be true, it usually isn't. If you are serious about finding the truth, you have to use a better organ than the heart. One capable of reason and rationality.

Ethical and smart people can't accept lies just because they are nice, or comforting, or meet our emotional needs. We reject the tooth fairy, and santa claus, and the sky fairy, not because these ideas lack proof. Not because they are not nice, but because they are transparently and obviously inventions designed to fulfill wishes.

Emotional frailty is universal. And the weak demand comfort. You said it yourself. It made you feel better.

Here's the choice:

Religion, my friend, is the easy path. The weak are bound to follow it. And the cynical use it as a tool of social control. Wicked men throughout the ages have use it as a source of power. Because their human authority is much more effective when amplified by a bit of supernatural authority. They treat you like sheep, and your obedience empowers them and enriches them.
You want evidence of intelligent-design? Look in your myth-book. That text *was* intelligently designed, and its goal was twofold. Comfort and Control.
But it *is* comforting. They offer great bribes, just look what is on offer;
Justice, Life-everlasting, 10,000 virgins. A sense of order. Loads of great special offers! It's great!


There is a higher path. It requires much more strength to put aside the comfort-blanket. It requires courage to look the universe in the eye without an invisible sky-daddy to hold your hand. Sorry, this path offers no life-after-death. There is no guaranteed certainty. You have to figure out right and wrong for yourself. No one is telling you what to do. No one is standing by your side. You are alone, and all that fear and uncertainty, you have to deal with on your own. Like a grown-up. It's rubbish!

There's a fork in the road. On the left is the comforting path. On the right is the difficult path. Do you follow the rest of the flock?

C.
post #408 of 426
Quote:
Originally Posted by JakeTheRock View Post

Look, I know I'll never show you. People can only see God or hear His voice if they want to, or if they are open to it. If you knew God, you would understand me, and other people, better. People percive God differently. People notice Him differently in their lives. When Frugality says that he "talked to God", he is not saying that God teleported down in front of him and started a heart to heart on the spot. He is saying that he has spoken to God through prayer, which is deeper then a conversation.

This is just plain silly.

Prayer is Frugality talking to God. Not God talking to Frugality. There is no two-way conversation. Period.

In the process of prayer, Frugality may come to his own conclusions, or may interpret random or non-random occurrences or coincidences as some sort of "sign" toward making his decision, but it is not God talking to him. People who "hear His voice" are liars or deluded or foolish. In other words loony.

Have you yourself had God speak to you? If you have, I'm sure you won't mind sharing. Was it something that couldn't have been a coincidence? Was it something that couldn't have been misinterpreted as "His voice"? Do share. What did He say and how did He say it?

Of course you can complain that it's none of my business and as a non-believer I wouldn't understand anyway... how convenient.

But I think it's more likely to be something like this if you told the truth:

"I asked God in prayer about my sexual feelings for my best friend, and told Him if it was wrong, send me a sign. At that very moment, a leaf fell off of the tree I was sitting under!!!! I knew it was Him speaking!"
post #409 of 426
Quote:
Originally Posted by frugality View Post

The bigger question is: What does this mean for God? Society's definition, or your or my own personal definition of 'well-adjusted, healthy, successful, moral, upstanding' doesn't matter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post

There is a higher path. It requires much more strength to put aside the comfort-blanket. It requires courage to look the universe in the eye without an invisible sky-daddy to hold your hand. Sorry, this path offers no life-after-death. There is no guaranteed certainty. You have to figure out right and wrong for yourself. No one is telling you what to do. No one is standing by your side. You are alone, and all that fear and uncertainty, you have to deal with on your own. Like a grown-up. It's rubbish!

There's a fork in the road. On the left is the comforting path. On the right is the difficult path. Do you follow the rest of the flock?

C.

Frugality, I'm with Carniphage. I define "well-adjusted, healthy, successful, moral, upstanding" by thinking it through myself. Thinking of consequences of actions. I don't need a quote from a bible to back up my logic--because it makes sense.

I guess another way of thinking about it is--would murder be wrong if it weren't in the bible? Why have any laws at all, other than what's written in the bible? Why not just throw logic out the window?
post #410 of 426
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post

Religion, my friend, is the easy path. The weak are bound to follow it. And the cynical use it as a tool of social control. Wicked men throughout the ages have use it as a source of power. Because their human authority is much more effective when amplified by a bit of supernatural authority. They treat you like sheep, and your obedience empowers them and enriches them.
You want evidence of intelligent-design? Look in your myth-book. That text *was* intelligently designed, and its goal was twofold. Comfort and Control.
But it *is* comforting. They offer great bribes, just look what is on offer;
Justice, Life-everlasting, 10,000 virgins. A sense of order. Loads of great special offers! It's great!

Unfortunately you don't know the bible. You only know ABOUT the bible. You have some pre-conceived notions that are false. Two brief points:

I've already stated this before: There is a TON of criticism in the bible of the religious leaders. Consider in particular Jesus' railing against the Pharisees. He had more criticism for hypocritical Pharisees than he had for prostitutes. Why? Because the leaders of the flock were leading the sheep astray. Likewise the prophets in the old testament continually railed against the corrupt, hypocritical priests and leaders. Yet you keep arguing that religion is about leaders exerting power over the masses. If that were the case, the priests, who were in charge of the bible, would have removed things they didn't like. They would have sanitized it to make themselves shine like gold, and give them all kinds of power over the people. But this is not the case! The leaders are more heavily criticized than the lay people. Your argument doesn't hold water. The bible is very empowering to the people, and keeps the leaders in check.

Secondly, the bible doesn't promise that things will go well in this lifetime. Good people will die young. Righteous people will be oppressed. In fact, those who stand up for Christ and proclaim his message will become a lightning rod of harassment by people like you. It's not something that one would choose to be. Read up on the prophets and see how rough and un-glamorous their lives were. To an extent, they hated being chosen by God to relay his message, because they often got nothing but trouble because of it. We are also not promised wealth and riches and virgins (in fact, Jesus told us there would be no marriage in heaven, so there will be no sex.) We are promised that heaven will be incredible, though, because God himself is there, and we will see him in his full glory. And the new heavens and new earth will be sin-free and perfect, as things should have been here.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post

There is a higher path. It requires much more strength to put aside the comfort-blanket. It requires courage to look the universe in the eye without an invisible sky-daddy to hold your hand. Sorry, this path offers no life-after-death. There is no guaranteed certainty. You have to figure out right and wrong for yourself. No one is telling you what to do. No one is standing by your side. You are alone, and all that fear and uncertainty, you have to deal with on your own. Like a grown-up. It's rubbish!

There's a fork in the road. On the left is the comforting path. On the right is the difficult path. Do you follow the rest of the flock?

Your argument here doesn't make sense. You are saying that we have to figure out right and wrong for ourselves. I've figured that out, yet you criticize me for my choice. You are trying to convert me to your position.

You say that there is a comfortable path on the left and a difficult path on the right. If your assertion is true, that we all make our own version of right and good, then it doesn't really matter whether one goes with the flock or goes off on our own. Both are equally valid, because both are a personal choice. So why are you trying to lead me one direction over another? Why should I listen to your proselytizing? You're telling me your way -- the irreligious way -- is better and is a 'higher path.' Why should I take the hard path, as you say, as opposed to the comfortable path? If both are equally valid, we might as well take the comfortable path, eh? Even if you think the hard path is the way to go, it ends up at the same place as the comfortable place -- a dirt nap for eternity.

The very fact that you are trying to reason this way shows that you were created in the image of God. If you were a randomly evolved being, you wouldn't bother arguing over what you think is right or wrong. Everything would just be as it is, no more no less. But you are trying to be righteous, and you don't yet know why.
post #411 of 426
Quote:
Originally Posted by bikertwin View Post

I define "well-adjusted, healthy, successful, moral, upstanding" by thinking it through myself.

And the pedophile believes he is well-adjusted, too. His conscience is clear. It's society's rules that are the problem. Read up about the guy who had the pedophile how-to website back last fall that made the news. He said that it was completely natural to him, and he felt no guilt for it. It was only the law that kept him from acting on his impulses.

If 'moral and upstanding' is all relative, then there is no definition of 'moral and upstanding', and anyone can call anything 'moral and upstanding.' Go to death row and you will find many self-proclaimed 'moral and upstanding' people. They'll tell you.
post #412 of 426
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Prayer is Frugality talking to God. Not God talking to Frugality. There is no two-way conversation. Period.

I'm sorry you've missed the point of prayer. It's about communion with God, which is 2-way.
post #413 of 426
Quote:
Originally Posted by frugality View Post

I'm sorry you've missed the point of prayer. It's about communion with God, which is 2-way.

If you believe God has spoken to you beyond your own conclusion, or if you believed a "leaf falling from a tree" is God talking to you, then you are loony. I haven't missed the point at all.

If you still disagree, then you won't hesitate to explain exactly how God communicated to you and what exactly he said. Of course, as I pointed out, I bet you are too ashamed to explain, and will claim that since I'm a non-believer, I can't understand anyway, so you won't tell me. Once again... HOW CONVENIENT.
post #414 of 426
Quote:
Originally Posted by frugality View Post

And the pedophile believes he is well-adjusted, too. His conscience is clear. It's society's rules that are the problem. Read up about the guy who had the pedophile how-to website back last fall that made the news. He said that it was completely natural to him, and he felt no guilt for it. It was only the law that kept him from acting on his impulses.

If 'moral and upstanding' is all relative, then there is no definition of 'moral and upstanding', and anyone can call anything 'moral and upstanding.' Go to death row and you will find many self-proclaimed 'moral and upstanding' people. They'll tell you.

Once again, paedophilia and bestiality can never be used as slippery slope arguments against homosexuality. There is no comparison. Children and animals cannot give reasonable consent. Period.
post #415 of 426
"Religion is the most potent device known with which to control men and worlds."
-Isaac Asimov
post #416 of 426
Quote:
Originally Posted by frugality View Post

Unfortunately you don't know the bible. You only know ABOUT the bible.

When Isaac Newton wrote Principia Mathematica - he was just a human, writing a book.
But when he wrote it, he did it such a way that it was unambiguous. It was clear. It was definitive.

The laughable notion that the Bible is the word of god implies that god is confused, immoral and dangerous.

On one page, killing is forbidden. On anther page, mass genocide with virgin rape is endorsed.
God encourages forgiveness in one part, but appears spiteful and aggressive in another part.
The moral guidance is despicable. The taking of slaves is acceptable. Women are regarded as property even in the 10 commandments.

The gospels were written so long after the events that they are barely recognizable as the same story. They have been clearly reverse-engineered to try to map Jesus onto a pre-existing set of prophecies. Jesus came from Nazareth, the prophecy said the messiah was going to be born in Bethlehem, so the Bethlehem story was added in. There was no census until AD 6, and that did not require people to move. The contradictions could fill a book.

The Virgin birth story (which appears also in Egyptian, Roman and Indian mythology.) Mary's virginity seems to be in doubt because Jesus clearly had several biological brothers.

So my question to you is. If you KNOW the bible. How come all this contradictory nonsense does not bother you. A scientist can interpret Newton's word and work out precisely what he meant. If this is supposed to be God's actual language, why is he such a poor communicator?

Here's another theory. The text was written, collected, translated and edited by men. Driven to do so by the popular religious zeal of the day. They were keen to spread a message, and altered and distorted facts, myths and invention to suit the message. For a long time the clergy prevented it from being translated into current language. People were executed for doing so. I wonder why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by frugality View Post

The very fact that you are trying to reason this way shows that you were created in the image of God. If you were a randomly evolved being, you wouldn't bother arguing over what you think is right or wrong. Everything would just be as it is, no more no less. But you are trying to be righteous, and you don't yet know why.

More likely that god was created in our image. When ignorant and illiterate humans were scrabbling for explanations for earthquakes and storms, their child-like minds invented the notion of an angry human-like spirit. Back in the day, it was a pretty good theory. They even tried to bribe the thunder spirit with gifts of sacrifice. The hebrews took the notion and ran with it.

Evolution solves problems by BRUTE FORCE. It tries every combination, and only those that work get through the filter. Randomness is irrelevant. If you ever played chess with a computer, you'll know that stupidity, combined with brute force feels a lot like intelligence. Brute force also makes mistakes. Which is why there are so many design flaws in us.

If you and I were crossing the road together, and you stepped in front of an oncoming truck. My evolved instincts would be to save your religious ass. We share much of the same genes and saving you is good for our common selfish genes. That is where morality comes from. Death and suffering are not so good. We moral people try to make choices to reduce it.

So I am trying, in a way, to save you now. From a truck which you have chosen to lie in front of. If you carry on as you are doing, you'll be wiped out. For three billion years, lifeform has begat lifeform. Countless millennia have gone by. A continuous unbroken chain of reproductive success. Until they got to you. Your immortal genes are in peril.

If you want to know real joy, hold your 5 minute-old daughter in your arms. *That* is what you are made for. That is the meaning of life. It's an unforgettable experience.

It is in no way diminished when 16 years later, the same daughter tries to hustle you for an over-priced leather jacket.



C.
post #417 of 426
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

If you believe God has spoken to you beyond your own conclusion, or if you believed a "leaf falling from a tree" is God talking to you, then you are loony. I haven't missed the point at all.

If you still disagree, then you won't hesitate to explain exactly how God communicated to you and what exactly he said. Of course, as I pointed out, I bet you are too ashamed to explain, and will claim that since I'm a non-believer, I can't understand anyway, so you won't tell me. Once again... HOW CONVENIENT.

Your earlier question was directed to JakeTheRock, so of course I didn't answer your question to him. Since you are now asking me (and being so nice about it):

The best instance was when I was trying to get to know a particular girl and church, and she said something that really annoyed me. That night I walked down to the beach, sat down and prayed. My praying was along the lines of, "God, what's the deal? Why do I have to go through this frustration?" It wasn't just this particular girl, but a general frustration with why I haven't found the right girl yet. All of a sudden a strange thought popped into my head, "Are you going to trust Me with her?" I basically said back to God, "What? CAN I trust you with her?" because up to that point, I was still wondering if God does arrange people to meet, if we pray for it. Also, I have no idea what he meant by 'her'. Was he referring to this particular girl, or was he referring to whoever the right girl is, who I may not have met yet. I know my own random, even at times strange thoughts. This wasn't my thought. I had questions about who 'she' was, and was surprised that God was asking me to trust him with her, when I didn't know if I could trust him to bring me her a the right time.

This was not my thought. It was God's thought, spoken to my in my heart. God has only spoken audibly a few times throughout the bible. In general, it's a strong feeling. It's not a falling leaf.

That was a couple years ago. I have since given up 'her' to God, to arrange the meeting in his time.


Likewise, there have been other times when I've been frustrated or stressed out, and I've prayed for peace. And I've literally felt God's peace wash through me. I even tried to be mad again and couldn't.


These are rare instances. In general, prayer is about communing with God -- confessing sins, praying for forgiveness, praying for others, praying for our own needs, being thankful for what he's given us, etc. At the end of prayer time, I feel a recharge and a peace.


Prayer is not something you can explain very well. You have to learn by doing. If you want a really good picture of what someone who is advanced in prayer can be like, read A. W. Tozer's "The Pursuit of God." I am just a beginner by comparison.
post #418 of 426
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Once again, paedophilia and bestiality can never be used as slippery slope arguments against homosexuality. There is no comparison. Children and animals cannot give reasonable consent. Period.

You're missing the point. I am not talking about the child (or animal) at all. Forget the child. I am saying that the pedophile says, "this is my natural urge", and "God made me like this." This is the same argument used to defend homosexuality -- that it is a natural urge. The pedophile also claims that his urge is natural. The only thing keeping him from the object of his desire -- and this was stated explicitly by that guy in WA who had the how-to pedphelia site -- was the law. It was simple pragmatism.
post #419 of 426
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post

The laughable notion that the Bible is the word of god implies that god is confused, immoral and dangerous.

He may be those things by your misunderstanding. He is not wrong, you just need to understand him.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post

On one page, killing is forbidden. On anther page, mass genocide with virgin rape is endorsed.

The commandment is "thou shall not murder" -- like killing someone in a personal dispute, a fit of rage, during killing someone to rob them, etc. Killing obviously has to be O.K. in certain circumstances, like when another army is invading your country. Or there's the law that someone is not guilty if he kills a burglar who's invaded his house at night and is defending himself and his family. You want to say the bible contradicts itself because you believe the commandment "thou shall not murder" means you have to let someone kill you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post

God encourages forgiveness in one part, but appears spiteful and aggressive in another part.

I'll take that as your opinion from your own viewpoint. But if you see it from God's eternal, holy viewpoint, you would see things differently.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post

The taking of slaves is acceptable.

If someone became so indebted that he couldn't pay what he owed, he would become a slave, but it was more of an indentured servitude. It was not like modern slavery. And every 7 years any slave was set free in a year of Jubilee. Also, God reminded the Israelites to remember how they were slaves in Egypt, to remind them that they shouldn't treat slaves as they were treated in Egypt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post

Women are regarded as property even in the 10 commandments.

Not true. The 10th commandment is to not covet your neighbor's wife, house, property, etc. But it did not equate women with property.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post

The gospels were written so long after the events that they are barely recognizable as the same story. They have been clearly reverse-engineered to try to map Jesus onto a pre-existing set of prophecies. Jesus came from Nazareth, the prophecy said the messiah was going to be born in Bethlehem, so the Bethlehem story was added in. There was no census until AD 6, and that did not require people to move. The contradictions could fill a book.

The speculations could fill a book. We have copies of the gospels from 125 or 150AD. That's not enough time to be able to reverse-engineer the whole New Testament and so intricately weave it together with the Hebrew bible. The more I read it the more I am amazed. Man could not have invented the God that is revealed in the pages of the bible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post

The Virgin birth story (which appears also in Egyptian, Roman and Indian mythology.) Mary's virginity seems to be in doubt because Jesus clearly had several biological brothers.

And the Roman god Dionysus supposedly changed water to wine each year. Just because there was a pre-existent myth doesn't rule out that the true God couldn't do it. Could it be that God was showing all the phonies who the real boss was?

The bible said that Joseph, "had no union with her (Mary) until after Jesus' birth." Sure, Jesus had brothers and sisters, as the bible says. They were Joseph's kids. Joseph and Mary had kids after Jesus, the normal way. This in no way contradicts the virgin birth.


I'm sorry, but to be a believer you DO have to think a little. In some cases, killing is murder, and in some cases killing is good self-defense, or even judgment against wrongdoers. You seem to want religion strained out for you and fed to you through a tube. I think you're a little brighter than that.
post #420 of 426
Frugality, the fact that you and I can argue about it shows the weakness of the text.
It's not just you and me. No two christians agree. And there are currently about 3000 versions of the text. How many thousands of sub-cults exist in Christianity - each believing something slightly different? Like I said, if this is the literal word of god, he's a pretty bad communicator.

He really should have taken a writing class before writing the sequel. The Koran is just as confused too.

Now try and find two physicists who disagree with the interpretation of Newton's text.

Newton 1 - God 0

The bible it is shot through with ambiguity and contradiction, and requires interpretation.

The clergy liked to do that interpretation on behalf of their sheep. Because doing so gave them power. Prior to the reformation, the Bible was only available in Latin which the populace could not read. When men tried to translate the bible into the common tongue, they were put to death.

Here's my all-new bible recipe.
Take 2 parts illiterate savage creation myth.
Throw in a bit of transparent wishful thinking.
Add a lot of tribal xenophobia, racism and a ton of misogyny.
Just a dash of shamanistic rambling.
Sprinkle this with a plenty of fire and brimstone to keep the readers in fear and in guilt.
Then toss out any embarrassing historical fact which might undermine the message.
To bake, translate it two to three times as required.

Best enjoyed two millennia later when there are more interpretations than followers.

C.

Didn't want to tackle the brute force argument eh?
post #421 of 426
Quote:
Originally Posted by frugality View Post

You're missing the point. I am not talking about the child (or animal) at all. Forget the child. I am saying that the pedophile says, "this is my natural urge", and "God made me like this." This is the same argument used to defend homosexuality -- that it is a natural urge. The pedophile also claims that his urge is natural. The only thing keeping him from the object of his desire -- and this was stated explicitly by that guy in WA who had the how-to pedphelia site -- was the law. It was simple pragmatism.

It may be that the paedophile's urge is natural. But to act on it is rape. Please explain how acting on a homosexual urge compares to rape.

Homosexuality hurts no one. Period.

Our planet is overpopulated already, so we no longer need to encourage procreation.

In wealthy areas where there is population decline, population change can easily be stabilized through immigration.

There are orphans in need of adoptive parents, and plenty of homosexual couples would be happy to volunteer. Think what you want about raising a child in a homosexual household, but it is certainly better than raising a child in an orphanage... or leaving the child to the streets.

Meanwhile... a man goes to the police station. He says, "I am a paedophile. I have erotic thoughts of children." The police interviewer says, "Have you ever acted on those thoughts?" "No." "Do you download kiddie porn?" "No." "Then what the hell do you want from us? Go away."

Is the man a paedophile? Yes. Is he a criminal? No. If he's afraid he might act on his urges, the best he can do is seek the help of a psychologist. Or maybe he can join the Church, but that doesn't always help, does it?
post #422 of 426
Quote:
Originally Posted by frugality View Post

And the pedophile believes he is well-adjusted, too. His conscience is clear. It's society's rules that are the problem. Read up about the guy who had the pedophile how-to website back last fall that made the news. He said that it was completely natural to him, and he felt no guilt for it. It was only the law that kept him from acting on his impulses.

If 'moral and upstanding' is all relative, then there is no definition of 'moral and upstanding', and anyone can call anything 'moral and upstanding.' Go to death row and you will find many self-proclaimed 'moral and upstanding' people. They'll tell you.

Moral and upstanding is relative. How can you not see that? Why have laws changed tremendously over the years? Even in Christian countries (like most of Europe), laws have changed tremendously over the past thousand years. Even between Christian sects, their morals are different--that's why there are so many varieties of Christianity.

Many Christians would say you are not 'moral and upstanding' for being so judgmental. Others would say you are 'moral and upstanding'. How is that not relativism within Christianity itself?

You have no leg to stand on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by frugality View Post

You're missing the point. I am not talking about the child (or animal) at all. Forget the child. I am saying that the pedophile says, "this is my natural urge", and "God made me like this." This is the same argument used to defend homosexuality -- that it is a natural urge. The pedophile also claims that his urge is natural. The only thing keeping him from the object of his desire -- and this was stated explicitly by that guy in WA who had the how-to pedphelia site -- was the law. It was simple pragmatism.

There are several questions Christians ask about homosexuality:

1. Is it a choice?
2. Is it immoral?

"It is a natural/inborn urge" answers the first question. It does not answer the second question, and no one is claiming that it is.

Logic and debate about what is 'moral and upstanding' answers the second question (i.e, it is 2 consenting adults, so therefore it is nothing like pedophilia or bestiality). In fact, more heterosexuals perform anal sex than homosexuals do (because homosexuals are such a tiny proportion of the population, and even then not all of them perform anal sex, and anal sex among heteros is more common than most people admit)--are all those heterosexuals doomed to hell, too, even if they're Christian in every other way? Why do you (or any Christian) care what heterosexuals do in their own bedroom if they're both consenting adults?

And what about homosexuals that don't do anal sex (there are plenty of them)? Are they doomed to hell? Is it the anal sex that's so bad? Or just the fact that they are head-over-heels in love with each other?
post #423 of 426
Quote:
Originally Posted by frugality View Post

The commandment is "thou shall not murder" -- like killing someone in a personal dispute, a fit of rage, during killing someone to rob them, etc. Killing obviously has to be O.K. in certain circumstances, like when another army is invading your country. Or there's the law that someone is not guilty if he kills a burglar who's invaded his house at night and is defending himself and his family. You want to say the bible contradicts itself because you believe the commandment "thou shall not murder" means you have to let someone kill you.


Actually, according to the earliest ancient Hebrew texts of the Commandments, the phrase is roughly translated as "a person may not kill without permission." It was originally only state/authority sanction that allowed people to kill... even in self-defense (legally, mind you). That was based on the society at the time and the need for the curtailing of unauthorized retributional deaths. Gotta keep that power in the hands of the authorities.

There are some really odd things in the earliest pieces of what became the Bible... but you gotta go to the source. This "translation business" of yours is very confusing. Do you read the King James version of the Bible? Luther's translation? Which? They are all different, you know. In many of the early Greek translations they found that some Hebrew names for God were gender un-specific: neither male, female or it. It just was. The Greeks made a patriarchal choice. Ruled by men, they made God a man. So all your Him, He stuff for God... if you go back far enough, is incorrect. Just plain wrong translation. There's a whole bunch of that stuff.
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post #424 of 426
Hey, let's not get hung up on Pedophilia, according to Moses, it's fine. That and child murder.

Numbers 31:13-18 (King James Version)

And Moses, and Eleazar the priest, and all the princes of the congregation, went forth to meet them without the camp.
And Moses was wroth with the officers of the host, with the captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, which came from the battle.
And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive?
Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD.
Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.
But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.

Yeah boys, keep em for yourself. You know what to do with em.

C.
post #425 of 426
The links above are used to infect a Mac with one of the only X-trojans out there in the wild. http://answers.yahoo.com/question/in...3154943AAJ9Mrx So... until the mods squash this, don't be tempted by the offer of Live Group Sex.

It feels... wrong typing this, but it's true.
post #426 of 426




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