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is4fun
04-12-2009, 22:18
Here are a list of religions and spiritual traditions. Why is your religion greater than that of others'?

List of religions and spiritual traditions - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bels
04-12-2009, 23:13
I do not think my beliefs are better than others. I was brought up as a protestant, but strange as it might seem, I grew up questioning what I was taught at church and school. No black and white for me. Sorry. Especially when we were talking about another land in Jerusalem. WHY? I asked myself then. Why there? Why not here? Isn't our God everywhere? Why just there. So! Although I believe in some priciple of the bible, I think it is ful of garbage. I think it as useful as the Hans Chrirstian Anderson Fairy tale. And to be honest with you I beieve all books written by God about are full of fabricated nonsence, usefull only for those who want to overpower and make wealth for us weaker people. And they have succeeded. They have also succeeded in causing a lot of and deaths in this world. Whether it be for Christian or Islamics for Example. I am sorry but a real good God wouldn't that, but it has has already happened over the past two thousand years up to the present.

So what is religion? Money, land, power. wealth. greed. for humans.

But yes I do believe in a God, but not what humans have written about him, and he has not likely to have had anything to do with Jerusalem or ananywhere in Africa.

rusmeister
05-12-2009, 09:22
I do not think my beliefs are better than others. I was brought up as a protestant, but strange as it might seem, I grew up questioning what I was taught at church and school. No black and white for me. Sorry. Especially when we were talking about another land in Jerusalem. WHY? I asked myself then. Why there? Why not here? Isn't our God everywhere? Why just there. So! Although I believe in some priciple of the bible, I think it is ful of garbage. I think it as useful as the Hans Chrirstian Anderson Fairy tale. And to be honest with you I beieve all books written by God about are full of fabricated nonsence, usefull only for those who want to overpower and make wealth for us weaker people. And they have succeeded. They have also succeeded in causing a lot of and deaths in this world. Whether it be for Christian or Islamics for Example. I am sorry but a real good God wouldn't that, but it has has already happened over the past two thousand years up to the present.

So what is religion? Money, land, power. wealth. greed. for humans.

But yes I do believe in a God, but not what humans have written about him, and he has not likely to have had anything to do with Jerusalem or ananywhere in Africa.

Looking over them, I agree. Your beliefs are not better than others. ;)

Seriously, the question is not "good" or "better", but "true" or "false". I would characterize much of your attitude, especially towards Christianity, to be false, based on selected facts that, while true, ignore much larger ones. (Looks like a public school education to me.) The absence of religion has caused far more death than the application of religion, which generally works to restrain evil.

Wodin
05-12-2009, 13:46
Looking over them, I agree. Your beliefs are not better than others. ;)

Seriously, the question is not "good" or "better", but "true" or "false". I would characterize much of your attitude, especially towards Christianity, to be false, based on selected facts that, while true, ignore much larger ones. (Looks like a public school education to me.) The absence of religion has caused far more death than the application of religion, which generally works to restrain evil.

I fully agree that belief systems cannot be said to be "better" than others. It's a ludicrous notion. I am however not so sure that the aplication of religion generally works to restrain evil. Firstly, I think that different cultures and different people have different ideas of what constitutes evil (beyond the basic concepts of not killing, not stealing, etc), and secondly I can think of a number of communities where religious belief is completely absent but where lives are not led in a particlualrly evil way.

In other words, what I'm saying is that evil is not primarily restrained by religious belief, evil is restrained by the humanistic rules of needing to live in a functional community.

rusmeister
05-12-2009, 16:10
I fully agree that belief systems cannot be said to be "better" than others. It's a ludicrous notion. I am however not so sure that the aplication of religion generally works to restrain evil. Firstly, I think that different cultures and different people have different ideas of what constitutes evil (beyond the basic concepts of not killing, not stealing, etc), and secondly I can think of a number of communities where religious belief is completely absent but where lives are not led in a particlualrly evil way.

In other words, what I'm saying is that evil is not primarily restrained by religious belief, evil is restrained by the humanistic rules of needing to live in a functional community.
There is a clear and obvious exception to the idea that a given belief system cannot be better than others (although it seems to me to be nonsense to say that they can't be better or worse - the Indian Thuggee and Carthaginian (and others') worship of Moloch and Tanit being decidedly worse) - and that is if the belief system happens to be the correct and accurate description of the nature of man and the universe. If it is, then it is obviously better than any that contradict it, for the simple reason that it is true.
Also, it is not terribly difficult to show, if instead of speaking abstractly of "religion" (which lumps in devil worshippers and God knows what) to speak of the major world religions that have a history of millenia, than it can be shown, by and large, that their tenets and teachings DO work to restrain evil more effectively than any society without them (living only on "humanistic rules"...). For every case where you can show a Christian or Jewish or Buddhist atrocity, I can show you a dozen where it was the lack of religious restraint that actually allowed the atrocity.

GaNozri
05-12-2009, 18:03
Mine is still better than thine. Ye bastard!!!

Wodin
05-12-2009, 18:55
There is a clear and obvious exception to the idea that a given belief system cannot be better than others (although it seems to me to be nonsense to say that they can't be better or worse - the Indian Thuggee and Carthaginian (and others') worship of Moloch and Tanit being decidedly worse) - and that is if the belief system happens to be the correct and accurate description of the nature of man and the universe. If it is, then it is obviously better than any that contradict it, for the simple reason that it is true.

By our standards yes, you are correct. However it is worth mentioning that neither sutee or thugee are actually part of hinduism, but are merely (and horribly) expressions of cultural interpretations. Equivalent, if you wish, to the shi'a muslims who beat themselves to a pulp on certain religious aniversaries and some christians in asia and the South of europe who practice self harm and in some cases actually crucify themselves on good friday. Neither are actually part of the religion beyond the cultural expression of the individuals' beliefs. As for the worship of Moloch, you must understand that that worship happens (happened?) in the context of a whole range of dieties, some good some bad, which collectively emphasised "positive" values. Whether a belief system is "good" or "bad" must be considered in the light of the cultural and developmental milieu.


Also, it is not terribly difficult to show, if instead of speaking abstractly of "religion" (which lumps in devil worshippers and God knows what) to speak of the major world religions that have a history of millenia, than it can be shown, by and large, that their tenets and teachings DO work to restrain evil more effectively than any society without them (living only on "humanistic rules"...). For every case where you can show a Christian or Jewish or Buddhist atrocity, I can show you a dozen where it was the lack of religious restraint that actually allowed the atrocity.

I actually doubt that, but of course we probably would disagree about what constitutes "evil". For instance, I hold that the recent declarations in Africa by the Catholic Pope against condoms is an intrinsically evil act. The news a couple of days ago that the Russian Duma, prompted by the Orthodox Church, is seeking to pass a law limiting "preaching" is also an evil act. Having said that, any discussion along these lines would lead to a "my religion is not as evil as yours because we killed less people than yours did" situation. I must prefer to put to you the view that a great many people live without religion, including myself. Saying that holding a religious belief renders a community less likely to commit evil (as I am understanding you to say) is tantamount to saying that communities without a religious belief are more likely to commit evil. This is clearly not the case of course.

By way of illustration: The two biggest "evils" of the recent past were, in my view anyway, the Nazi holocaust and the Stalinist cleansings. The former had, as you probably know, quite a bit of hidden, possibly unofficial and reluctant, support from the Catholic hierarchy. The later was not opposed by what constituted the Othodox Church at the time. Other cultures might well point to other evils as being "bigger". For instance, muslims would probably point to Iraq as a great evil. The religious connotations of that particular series of events are well documented.

Bels
05-12-2009, 20:03
I am going for simplicity. Religion has been shown as a great power in history up to today. It has been as I have said before money, power, and has caused many wars with millions of innocent human deaths, simply for a very few of some human individual thoughts and ideals.

Sorry But I doubt the human word in Religion, also the fabricated attempts in miracle that have been made from the time of our human history. If there is a one and only God or many he or they should prove themselves NOW! And inform us of all those pretenders in the world.

Yes I believe in a God, what I don't believe in is those religious freaks who proclaim violence, hatred etc to ther fellow human beings. Those who do scream such claims are freaks, and not human beings.

Yes Love thy neighbour, have no hatred to your fellow human being, Though shalt not kill! Thou shalt not be too greedy with money! Thou shalt love love all other humans, no matter what their weakneses might be. Now to me that is religion.

But when we have historical evidence of religous leaders not practicing what should be preached!! What on earth are we supposed to do. Have a Fourth World War? If it happens I am certain we will all blow ourselves up. In other words suicide to the Human race. Perhaps that is what God wnts to see happen?

rusmeister
05-12-2009, 20:22
By our standards yes, you are correct. However it is worth mentioning that neither sutee or thugee are actually part of hinduism, but are merely (and horribly) expressions of cultural interpretations. Equivalent, if you wish, to the shi'a muslims who beat themselves to a pulp on certain religious aniversaries and some christians in asia and the South of europe who practice self harm and in some cases actually crucify themselves on good friday. Neither are actually part of the religion beyond the cultural expression of the individuals' beliefs. As for the worship of Moloch, you must understand that that worship happens (happened?) in the context of a whole range of dieties, some good some bad, which collectively emphasised "positive" values. Whether a belief system is "good" or "bad" must be considered in the light of the cultural and developmental milieu.
It looks like we are agreeing here - which is my point. If we speak about the rule - which is the major mainstream religions (meaning the ones with serious longevity, measured in millenia), then BELS point falls apart - he is speaking about the exceptions, and taking them for the rule.



I actually doubt that, but of course we probably would disagree about what constitutes "evil". For instance, I hold that the recent declarations in Africa by the Catholic Pope against condoms is an intrinsically evil act. The news a couple of days ago that the Russian Duma, prompted by the Orthodox Church, is seeking to pass a law limiting "preaching" is also an evil act. Having said that, any discussion along these lines would lead to a "my religion is not as evil as yours because we killed less people than yours did" situation. I must prefer to put to you the view that a great many people live without religion, including myself. Saying that holding a religious belief renders a community less likely to commit evil (as I am understanding you to say) is tantamount to saying that communities without a religious belief are more likely to commit evil. This is clearly not the case of course.

By way of illustration: The two biggest "evils" of the recent past were, in my view anyway, the Nazi holocaust and the Stalinist cleansings. The former had, as you probably know, quite a bit of hidden, possibly unofficial and reluctant, support from the Catholic hierarchy. The later was not opposed by what constituted the Othodox Church at the time. Other cultures might well point to other evils as being "bigger". For instance, muslims would probably point to Iraq as a great evil. The religious connotations of that particular series of events are well documented.
Your choice of illustration supports my view more than yours. Yes, the Catholic Church had some culpability in Germany, but they certainly were NOT the driving force, which was decidedly non-religious. In Russia all the more so, and the Orthodox Church was entirely powerless. I don't even need to go into what the Church's actual mission here. Trying to say that the orthodox Church had any responsibility for Stalin's horrors is like saying that it was the Jews' fault that Hitler incinerated them.

One thing you are very right on is pointing to the need for an overarching standard of good and evil. if you don't have that, you can no more hold a people responsible for "evil" than you can for the color of their hair. (I hope you read Chesterton's "Orthodoxy" (http://www.cse.dmu.ac.uk/~mward/gkc/books/orthodoxy/) some day - at least the first 3-4 chapters. It would go a long way towards clearing up potential misunderstandings.)

As to the Pope in Africa - it was an unqualified good to speak as he spoke. Here we need to talk about free will and the lurking and unexamined assumption that people have no free will to respond to sexual desire with. ("I desire, therefore I MUST!") Celibates prove that assumption wrong. It IS possible to restrain one's sexual desires, and even for life. (Although mutual monogamy is really just as effective... which is what the Christian Church has always taught (even when the Orthodox and Catholic Churches were one.) Chastity is a powerful weapon against the spread of sexual diseases.

Bels
05-12-2009, 21:02
LOL :) So we get carried away again. It is so simple as I stated. And all the rest is garbage. Sorry! Just my opinion. Yes I have read everything that has been said. And I stay this. Every other post here is BLAH! BLAH! BLAH! with no meaning. You might as well be on of those religious freaks looking for money or power, and it is all Blah! Blah! Blah! Garbage!!!


It looks like we are agreeing here - which is my point. If we speak about the rule - which is the major mainstream religions (meaning the ones with serious longevity, measured in millenia), then BELS point falls apart - he is speaking about the exceptions, and taking them for the rule.



Your choice of illustration supports my view more than yours. Yes, the Catholic Church had some culpability in Germany, but they certainly were NOT the driving force, which was decidedly non-religious. In Russia all the more so, and the Orthodox Church was entirely powerless. I don't even need to go into what the Church's actual mission here. Trying to say that the orthodox Church had any responsibility for Stalin's horrors is like saying that it was the Jews' fault that Hitler incinerated them.

One thing you are very right on is pointing to the need for an overarching standard of good and evil. if you don't have that, you can no more hold a people responsible for "evil" than you can for the color of their hair. (I hope you read Chesterton's "Orthodoxy" (http://www.cse.dmu.ac.uk/~mward/gkc/books/orthodoxy/) some day - at least the first 3-4 chapters. It would go a long way towards clearing up potential misunderstandings.)

As to the Pope in Africa - it was an unqualified good to speak as he spoke. Here we need to talk about free will and the lurking and unexamined assumption that people have no free will to respond to sexual desire with. ("I desire, therefore I MUST!") Celibates prove that assumption wrong. It IS possible to restrain one's sexual desires, and even for life. (Although mutual monogamy is really just as effective... which is what the Christian Church has always taught (even when the Orthodox and Catholic Churches were one.) Chastity is a powerful weapon against the spread of sexual diseases.

rusmeister
06-12-2009, 07:13
LOL :) So we get carried away again. It is so simple as I stated. And all the rest is garbage. Sorry! Just my opinion. Yes I have read everything that has been said. And I stay this. Every other post here is BLAH! BLAH! BLAH! with no meaning. You might as well be on of those religious freaks looking for money or power, and it is all Blah! Blah! Blah! Garbage!!!

BELS, I have never before found you to be unreasonable, despite the odd style of your posts, and have always taken what you say as a teacher seriously. But this - this is simply a refusal to consider reasonable ideas that you happen to disagree with. If you want to convince others of anything you have to employ reason. Otherwise, it just looks like mental diarrhea.

is4fun
09-12-2009, 22:45
Even though Bels does not choose his words carefully in a grammatical sense his heart is in the right place and in this case wisdom does indeed protrude.

Bels
09-12-2009, 23:16
BELS, I have never before found you to be unreasonable, despite the odd style of your posts, and have always taken what you say as a teacher seriously. But this - this is simply a refusal to consider reasonable ideas that you happen to disagree with. If you want to convince others of anything you have to employ reason. Otherwise, it just looks like mental diarrhea.

LOL :) Who is diarrhea here. What a funny guy you are. And when do I state I am ateacher apart from teacher posts. How can we all declare you are, if you declare I am a teacher LOL!. What a very funny man you are. So are you our scientist? our lecturer? What are you as being such a clever man. Should I bow down to you? Hell NO!

Charles Dickens, Shakespeare! Puskin! and him who wrote Lord of The Rings were considered grammitacally incorrest. But they all changed the form of Grammar. And they all carefully edited all of their writings! I didn't! You stupid conceited idiot! Read again!

rusmeister
10-12-2009, 07:17
LOL :) Who is diarrhea here. What a funny guy you are. And when do I state I am ateacher apart from teacher posts. How can we all declare you are, if you declare I am a teacher LOL!. What a very funny man you are. So are you our scientist? our lecturer? What are you as being such a clever man. Should I bow down to you? Hell NO!

Charles Dickens, Shakespeare! Puskin! and him who wrote Lord of The Rings were considered grammitacally incorrest. But they all changed the form of Grammar. And they all carefully edited all of their writings! I didn't! You stupid conceited idiot! Read again!
I rest my case.

is4fun
10-12-2009, 22:38
How does Chesterson or Lewis play a part in this argument?


They never could, they can not and they will never!


BBC News - World News America - Matt Frei's diary: Evangelical and environmental? (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8405108.stm)

Bels
10-12-2009, 23:40
I rest my case.

And what a nice case you have. Keep it in rest :) As it is a lovely case you have:) LOL!

Academy
18-12-2009, 17:02
LOL :) Who is diarrhea here. What a funny guy you are. And when do I state I am ateacher apart from teacher posts. How can we all declare you are, if you declare I am a teacher LOL!. What a very funny man you are. So are you our scientist? our lecturer? What are you as being such a clever man. Should I bow down to you? Hell NO!

Charles Dickens, Shakespeare! Puskin! and him who wrote Lord of The Rings were considered grammitacally incorrest. But they all changed the form of Grammar. And they all carefully edited all of their writings! I didn't! You stupid conceited idiot! Read again!

This must be one of the all-time most entertaining posts I've read anywhere.:mml:

The fact that it takes place in the context of a religious 'debate' only enhances its appeal. Top stuff.

rusmeister
19-12-2009, 08:08
The fact that it takes place in the context of a religious 'debate' only enhances its appeal. Top stuff.

Hey, it reverses the stereotype that faith is unreasonable and shows that denial of faith can be equally unreasonable...

Benedikt
19-12-2009, 10:25
And what a nice case you have. Keep it in rest :) As it is a lovely case you have:) LOL!

:)

is4fun
09-01-2010, 21:02
This must be one of the all-time most entertaining posts I've read anywhere.:mml:

The fact that it takes place in the context of a religious 'debate' only enhances its appeal. Top stuff.

It only shows that the concept of faith is a precarious way to live one's life as fate would be determined by others'.

Anton S.
26-01-2010, 14:37
Here are a list of religions and spiritual traditions. Why is your religion greater than that of others'?

List of religions and spiritual traditions - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_religions_and_spiritual_traditions)

For me this was not an academic question. I was raised as an atheist and was subsequently exposed to a number of religious traditions. I used to have frequent and excruciating doubts about the choice of the true faith.

But all my life experience seemed to point out to me quite clearly that it is the moral teachings of the Orthodox Church and the theology underlying them that are really true and saving. It became totally clear to me after a pilgrimage to Athos - the Holy Mountain in Greece - which is the spiritual heart of the world's Orthodox Christianity.

Of course, I know that other religions contain some good and sound elements and I have encountered very good people of other faiths, so I have great respect for such people.

drwho
26-01-2010, 15:00
I believe that sausage and marmalade sandwiches are the best! Try it and let me know.

:11158:

is4fun
27-01-2010, 21:07
For me this was not an academic question. I was raised as an atheist and was subsequently exposed to a number of religious traditions. I used to have frequent and excruciating doubts about the choice of the true faith.

But all my life experience seemed to point out to me quite clearly that it is the moral teachings of the Orthodox Church and the theology underlying them that are really true and saving. It became totally clear to me after a pilgrimage to Athos - the Holy Mountain in Greece - which is the spiritual heart of the world's Orthodox Christianity.

Of course, I know that other religions contain some good and sound elements and I have encountered very good people of other faiths, so I have great respect for such people.

LOL. This is the most elusive quote I have ever read in this forum. Please Anton S, perhaps you wish to elaborate more on your life experience and the moral teachings you have come to discover oh so recently? Pilgrimage; interesting word. You actually went on a pilgrimage? What had inspired you to do so? We all await your response....

jackspelling
30-01-2010, 01:29
Mine's better because I have a rock/club/blade/gun/nuclear weapon that I will use on you if you don't agree.

jackspelling
30-01-2010, 01:31
Of course if you need excuses besides that, I will be happy to also tell you theologically why its better, but I usually don't feel the need.

is4fun
02-02-2010, 15:31
Of course if you need excuses besides that, I will be happy to also tell you theologically why its better, but I usually don't feel the need.

Yes, I agree, when theology is concerned it is always better to remain silent.

tvadim133
02-02-2010, 15:41
Mine's better because I have a rock/club/blade/gun/nuclear weapon that I will use on you if you don't agree.

I do not mean, mine is better or your is better:

1. It is funny to argue about what emotiongs and feeling people can and must have;

2. in theology and in traditional science there are lot "confirmations", which are used for and against each other;

But nevertheless a lot of scientists belong to religions without any hesitations.

And there are some "believers" who just go to the church because the members if their families do.

orlando771
02-02-2010, 16:23
religion,religion; biggest; issue, problem, happiness, lie, truth, advantage, disadvantage, reason to kill,reason to keep someone a life for human history. because of someone doesnt agree or agree about what you believe in. I believe there is a god and i dont believe there is a single human who can come betveen me and the god. and every human is responsable for their action. there for it is up to me to do good or bad, it is up to me to do what jesus or muhammed or mosses or pope or hodja says. i can not and should not blame or award them for my actions.

is4fun
02-02-2010, 22:23
religion,religion; biggest; issue, problem, happiness, lie, truth, advantage, disadvantage, reason to kill,reason to keep someone a life for human history. because of someone doesnt agree or agree about what you believe in. I believe there is a god and i dont believe there is a single human who can come betveen me and the god. and every human is responsable for their action. there for it is up to me to do good or bad, it is up to me to do what jesus or muhammed or mosses or pope or hodja says. i can not and should not blame or award them for my actions.

HUh?

is4fun
02-02-2010, 22:29
I do not mean, mine is better or your is better:

1. It is funny to argue about what emotiongs and feeling people can and must have;

2. in theology and in traditional science there are lot "confirmations", which are used for and against each other;

Please, I would welcome those arguments you have regarding "confirmations" in favor of religion.

But nevertheless a lot of scientists belong to religions without any hesitations.

Yes, even those doctors who have stated they personally seen miracles of people being cured by cancer or some dreadful diseases, however, none have admitted to those who had amputations which grew back. Good grief!

And there are some "believers" who just go to the church because the members if their families do.

Time to get those family members into reality. This has got to be the most lame excuse I have ever heard for those in favor of religion.

tvadim133
02-02-2010, 22:55
I will not give you any confirmations, proofs due to I am not a priest and theology is not within my main interests, besides I am not so strong even in my religion to talk "professionally" about it

What I wanted to share (emothinaly) is that there is not need to argue and to fight for (against);

to believe this or to be atheist is not so simple to decide at once due each person has a complex of different reasons to do or not to do:

1. culture of the society, family (very important, have pragmatic and emotional impact to the decision);
2. education ( can depend and can not);
3. experience (it is a very strong impacting part due during his/her life the person find "the base" he leans on when there are black days, first of all);
4. level of confidence (it is connected probably with previous 3 points, especially the3d, when it is possible to change the mind);
5. Needs (some people need some more hope, some more love, to rely upon which can be connected with point4)
6. may be smth els, I did not think even

You know, all these reasons impact the person's emotial level.

So do you like to love your idea or to understand your idea?

In case you want believers to understand your opinion, you need to offer something more then just facts, proofs, confirmations (to your mind) and opinions of genious people. :) :) :)

That is psycology!

2ndWind
03-02-2010, 03:31
Mine's better because I have a rock/club/blade/gun/nuclear weapon that I will use on you if you don't agree.

While visiting with a Catholic priest a few years ago, he mentioned that the number of Catholics as a percentage of the world population had not increased since the end of "conversion by the sword".

rusmeister
03-02-2010, 05:23
While visiting with a Catholic priest a few years ago, he mentioned that the number of Catholics as a percentage of the world population had not increased since the end of "conversion by the sword".
Don't know if that's true about Catholics, but it is certainly not true of the Orthodox Church - especially in America (and Russia).

andymackem
03-02-2010, 22:00
Sure the reason my beliefs are better than yours is because I believe in them. I wouldn't believe in them if didn't think they were valid (except possibly to play devil's advocate).

So for any individual, his beliefs are correct. And, by extension, contradictary beliefs or inconsistencies are incorrect. End of topic.

Question for Rusmeister, though. I'm an atheist, albeit one closer to the agnostic end of the spectrum. My instinct and experience leads me to conclude that if there is a creative intelligence in the universe it is not directly concerned with the fate of its creation. Does that mean that I'm incapable of forming a moral code, compatible with society at large? I feel I have a good idea of right and wrong (without always living up to my standards - I'm human, and thus fallible). Are you saying that without your faith you personally would be a slave to your every whim and desire, and would wreak havoc on all who crossed your path? I find that an alarming prospect!

Another point, since I'm bored: we assume that animals do not have a concept of religion. However, several species do exist in some sort of social setting, which creates a hierarchy, a social orthodoxy, and which enforces these (often in a rather more crude way than human society). Logically, within these animal societies there is a clear notion of acceptable and unacceptable behaviour, which we might term 'good' and 'evil'. How is this social structure possible without a concept of religion to guide it?

Bels
03-02-2010, 22:43
Here are a list of religions and spiritual traditions. Why is your religion greater than that of others'?

List of religions and spiritual traditions - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_religions_and_spiritual_traditions)

Because my beliefs are all what I have got. So take it , or leave it . So britain had god on their side and that is why they won many wars, and Joan of Arc thought the same, but lost in the end. When you think about it , there have been millions of deaths in the belief of religion. What on earth happened to the law of Thou shalt not kill
It didn't happen , did it. And it is not happening now, as humans still choose to kill, and some of them think it is justified. LOL The death penalty. But humans are deciding. Not our God.!

And those creeps making the decisions of death to another are nothing special. In fact often wonder if they should be put on the death penalty, as they are worse.

As Jesus pointed ou he who casts the first stone. The trouble is that the creeps who have the power are probably the worst and more evil than the ones that were put to death.

rusmeister
04-02-2010, 06:43
Duplicate post

rusmeister
04-02-2010, 06:51
Sure the reason my beliefs are better than yours is because I believe in them. I wouldn't believe in them if didn't think they were valid (except possibly to play devil's advocate).

So for any individual, his beliefs are correct. And, by extension, contradictary beliefs or inconsistencies are incorrect. End of topic.

Question for Rusmeister, though. I'm an atheist, albeit one closer to the agnostic end of the spectrum. My instinct and experience leads me to conclude that if there is a creative intelligence in the universe it is not directly concerned with the fate of its creation. Does that mean that I'm incapable of forming a moral code, compatible with society at large? I feel I have a good idea of right and wrong (without always living up to my standards - I'm human, and thus fallible). Are you saying that without your faith you personally would be a slave to your every whim and desire, and would wreak havoc on all who crossed your path? I find that an alarming prospect!

Another point, since I'm bored: we assume that animals do not have a concept of religion. However, several species do exist in some sort of social setting, which creates a hierarchy, a social orthodoxy, and which enforces these (often in a rather more crude way than human society). Logically, within these animal societies there is a clear notion of acceptable and unacceptable behaviour, which we might term 'good' and 'evil'. How is this social structure possible without a concept of religion to guide it?

Hi Andy! (Making an anglo-centric assumption on your name...)

I really like your statement on belief! The only thing I would say differently is to change "valid" (a word I dislike for its imprecision of thought) to "true".

On your question:
Obviously, all human societies developed moral codes - or they didn't last at all, so I wouldn't defend the position that varying moral codes do not exist, or that they are impossible without a specific religion. But when you say
I'm incapable of forming a moral code you seem to be implying that you can invent one of your own. If that's the case, I'd disagree. My position is basically the same as Lewis's in "Mere Christianity", ch 1 - that there is an objective moral law that we all perceive - and if by "form" you mean "develop an understanding of" then perhaps we do not disagree. That people can vary in their understandings is given, but I'll deny the idea that they can "develop" (come up with, come to an understanding of) any morality at all. I think a 360 degree compass as an image might help - there is true north, and a range of 'magnetic norths' - which doesn't exceed something like 90 degrees. Thus, despite differences in morality across cultures, people tend to agree much more than disagree. We all agree that betrayal of one's friends is a bad thing - show me the society that thinks different and I show you a failed society. Ditto for the society that says that any man ought to be able to have any woman that he wants when he wants. Such "moralities" are extreme exceptions, and do not survive even one generation.

I don't think that people without faith are slaves to their whims, or that they must necessarily wreak havoc. It is completely possible for people to strive to be good and decent without any religion or faith at all. That their morality is going to inevitably mirror that of traditional religions to a great extent is more indicative of an objective moral standard than anything else.

As to animals, my own world view is that they are lesser creations - that while seeming like us and imitating us in some behaviors - biological necessity aside and admittedly having more primitive consciousness, the lack of reason - that which makes us homo sapiens - and the ways in which it is expressed, the ways in which man is totally unique when we attempt to see him as an animal, make nonsense of the attempts to say that man is merely an animal. But again, I don't say that "religion" as such, is essential as a guide to behavior. But contrary to the idea that religion IS deception, it certainly helps lay out objective standards that circumvent man's incredible capacity for self-deception.

is4fun
04-02-2010, 15:31
Sure the reason my beliefs are better than yours is because I believe in them. I wouldn't believe in them if didn't think they were valid (except possibly to play devil's advocate).

So for any individual, his beliefs are correct. And, by extension, contradictary beliefs or inconsistencies are incorrect. End of topic.

Question for Rusmeister, though. I'm an atheist, albeit one closer to the agnostic end of the spectrum. My instinct and experience leads me to conclude that if there is a creative intelligence in the universe it is not directly concerned with the fate of its creation. Does that mean that I'm incapable of forming a moral code, compatible with society at large? I feel I have a good idea of right and wrong (without always living up to my standards - I'm human, and thus fallible). Are you saying that without your faith you personally would be a slave to your every whim and desire, and would wreak havoc on all who crossed your path? I find that an alarming prospect!

Another point, since I'm bored: we assume that animals do not have a concept of religion. However, several species do exist in some sort of social setting, which creates a hierarchy, a social orthodoxy, and which enforces these (often in a rather more crude way than human society). Logically, within these animal societies there is a clear notion of acceptable and unacceptable behaviour, which we might term 'good' and 'evil'. How is this social structure possible without a concept of religion to guide it?

Good reasoning, however, your reality may not be shared in everyone else s survival. Thank you for your post.

Adding to your scenario...

What if one had the ability to create their own universe? Say, I am an individual working in a lab and trying to create a life form. After succeeding, I am able to grow this form into an intelligent being, however, my perception of intelligence is not that of my creation even though the creation was made in my likeness. As the creator, I would probably impose strict guidelines onto it so that my little creation would survive, thrive and act in a manner that prolonged its success that mirrored mine, as heartfelt attachment to the little life-form would be too great to let go in spite of continual disagreement and my absolute insolence to listen to views which are new, innovative and more-so understandable to everyone else except myself because I hadn't spent the time to learn more.

Religion's conception to life as known today is far outdated and just wrong; regardless of origin.

Willy
04-02-2010, 22:19
Here are a list of religions and spiritual traditions. Why is your religion greater than that of others'?

List of religions and spiritual traditions - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_religions_and_spiritual_traditions)



Because it's mine!

No more, no less.

2ndWind
04-02-2010, 23:03
Another point, since I'm bored: we assume that animals do not have a concept of religion. However, several species do exist in some sort of social setting, which creates a hierarchy, a social orthodoxy, and which enforces these (often in a rather more crude way than human society). Logically, within these animal societies there is a clear notion of acceptable and unacceptable behaviour, which we might term 'good' and 'evil'. How is this social structure possible without a concept of religion to guide it?

A social structure seems to be common in most, if not all, mammal species; as well as many species of insects, fish, birds, etc. The degree of sophistication of the social structure varies from some species which are solitary for most of their lives but come together in mating season to ant hills and elephant herds.

Why are there social structures and why are they different? Evolution!!!

Evolution operates in all living organisms, it is completely random and entirely pragmatic. It is not concerned with whether or not the result is more or less advanced in an ecclesiastical sense. It is simply a change.

The outcome of an evolutionary change in DNA may be positive, negative or neutral in regards to the organism's survival "in its environment".

DNA changes occur only in individuals.

If the change is positive (whatever the specific change) then that individual is more likely to reproduce and pass on the positive change to another generation. Depending on just how beneficial the change is, in some number of generations the revised version will overwhelm the members of the species which don't have the change.

If the change is negative (whatever the specific change) the resulting individual may not be viable at birth or may not be able to survive in its environment. For example, eggs may not hatch and typically, two-headed or albino individuals do not survive to reproduce.

Many, if not most, DNA changes are neutral and may not even be physically expressed.

The characteristics of a species which enables it to survive in its environment are quite varied. Some birds are essentially loners and others live in flocks. It seems to me that predators such as eagles are more likely to hunt alone while those basically defenseless species such as geese and ducks are more social. If a species is social then it must be because there is a survival benefit.

Humans, being the defenseless creatures that we are - can't run very fast, can't fly, no fangs or claws, have evolved a tendency to be social in order to survive. It may not seem important to be social now but having a friend who can recommend you to his employer for a good job at his company gives you a survival advantage. Friends who will donate blood when you are recovering from a terrible accident will certainly help you survive - and incidentally - pass on the "social" gene.

"Nature" or "Nurture". For years there has been an argument between some professionals concerning whether humans act the way they do because it is their nature (DNA) or because of the environment in which they were reared. As far as I am concerned, the answer is about 90% nature and 10% nurture. (Twin/triplet studies, etc. lean strongly toward nature. It seem that we have far less free will than we would like to believe.)

Religion plays little or no part in the social scenario except to confuse some people by insinuating/claiming that without their commandments human society would be totally chaotic.

Traditional Cherokee Indian law was based on "clan" membership. If a person from Clan A killed someone from Clan B then the entire Clan B was obligated to kill the culprit or at least someone from Clan A. This had the effect of putting pressure on each clan to police its own. It worked and did not rely on a religious order of "Thou shalt not kill". In fact, if a Cherokee encountered someone who was not of any clan, he was free to take that person as a slave, kill him or whatever. This helped to keep their country free of interlopers. OTOH they were very liberal in allowing outsiders to marry or be adopted into a clan. Christians called them savages and heathens but they had a social structure which had worked successfully for them for thousands of years.

Disclaimer: I am neither an evolutionary biologist nor an expert in Native American law.

is4fun
04-02-2010, 23:14
Disclaimer: I am neither an evolutionary biologist nor an expert in Native American law.

A disclaimer is never required when acting on common sense.

2ndWind
05-02-2010, 00:05
A disclaimer is never required when acting on common sense.

Perhaps "common sense" to you and I but I'm afraid there are legions who would rather fight than accept anything to do with evolution.

rusmeister
05-02-2010, 07:43
Some people who believe in evolution - something no one has ever seen - have a great deal of reason on their side. Some people who believe in it are complete nitwits, but that should never be used to discount intelligent arguments in favor of evolution.

Some people who believe in the Christian God - something no one has ever seen - have a great deal of reason on their side. Some people who believe in it are complete nitwits, but that should never be used to discount intelligent arguments in favor of faith in the Christian God.

Common sense does not mean that which has been taught by the propaganda of media and public education, but precisely that common knowledge which is not so taught, and is common across all times. Thus, evolution has nothing to do with common sense. Evolution is something that appeals to the popular imagination. Coming in out of the rain when it is raining IS an example of common sense.

I'd strongly recommend CS Lewis's essay "The Funeral of a Great Myth" to people who are intelligent enough to recognize the necessity of considering intelligent arguments opposed to what they assume to be common sense in evolution. (Lewis, btw, does not oppose evolution - he opposes evolutionism; the first is a scientific theory (but not proven fact), the latter is a popular myth that is completely unscientific.
It's not in the public domain, but here's a good overview:
The Funeral of a Great Myth - Reformation21 (http://www.reformation21.org/articles/the-funeral-of-a-great-myth.php)

is4fun
08-02-2010, 22:54
Those critical of Evolution.

I don't have the time to write so I will accommodate those who have not the time to read. For those who feel there is no evidence of evolution please sit back and enjoy...

YouTube- Evolution - Evidence and "Gaps"

2ndWind
18-02-2010, 05:44
Some people who believe in evolution - something no one has ever seen -
Although I feel sure that nothing I might write will have the least effect on your beliefs, I am responding to your post of 4 Feb 2010.

In that post you write, “. . .evolution - something no one has ever seen . . .”
My response - "There are none so blind as those who will not see" .

When I Google “theory of gravity” I get 2,040,000 hits. Yet, I don’t recall hearing of Christians claiming that “gravity is only a theory”. Gravity can’t be “seen” any more than evolution can be “seen”. The “results” of each of these phenomenon is “seen” and theories have been proposed which seem to explain how these natural phenomena work.

Christians have a problem with one of these theories and not the other because there is no obvious conflict between the Bible and the theory of gravity as there is between the Biblical stories of creation and the theory of evolution.

There is an old saying that goes something like, “He who says that a thing cannot be done should not get in the way of him who is doing it.” While Christians rant and rave about the “theory of evolution”, thousands of scientists continue to use the principals of that theory in their work to improve the condition of mankind in the fields of medicine, biology, etc.

In 1898, a two volume work by Andrew Dickson White was published under the title of “ A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom”. A paragraph of the introduction reads: “_In all modern history, interference with science in the supposed interest of religion, no matter how conscientious such interference may have been, has resulted in the direst evils both to religion and science, and invariably; and, on the other hand, all untrammeled scientific investigation, no matter how dangerous to religion some of its stages may have seemed for the time to be, has invariably resulted in the highest good both of religion and science._”

In my opinion, the reason that Christians have a problem with the “theory of evolution” and many other things is that they have “painted themselves into a corner” and have no way out. The phrase “Faith vs. Reason” is the key to understanding this.

Of your religious affiliation/beliefs, I know only that you are not either Baptist or Catholic. From your writing, I would say that you hold very fundamentalist beliefs whatever your specific denomination. Although you may argue that you are not a “fundamentalists”, as that is not the currently accepted term in the fundamentalist community, I believe that you are.

According to a Wikipedia entry, the basic beliefs of Christian fundamentalism are:
the Biblical inerrancy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia@@AMEPARAM@@/wiki/File:Bible.malmesbury.arp.jpg" class="image"><img alt="Bible.malmesbury.arp.jpg" src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/01/Bible.malmesbury.arp.jpg/80px-Bible.malmesbury.arp.jpg"@@AMEPARAM@@commons/thumb/0/01/Bible.malmesbury.arp.jpg/80px-Bible.malmesbury.arp.jpg of the Bible - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia@@AMEPARAM@@/wiki/File:Bible.malmesbury.arp.jpg" class="image"><img alt="Bible.malmesbury.arp.jpg" src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/01/Bible.malmesbury.arp.jpg/80px-Bible.malmesbury.arp.jpg"@@AMEPARAM@@commons/thumb/0/01/Bible.malmesbury.arp.jpg/80px-Bible.malmesbury.arp.jpg,
Sola scriptura - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia@@AMEPARAM@@/wiki/File:95Thesen.jpg" class="image"><img alt="95Thesen.jpg" src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/81/95Thesen.jpg/150px-95Thesen.jpg"@@AMEPARAM@@commons/thumb/8/81/95Thesen.jpg/150px-95Thesen.jpg,
the Virgin birth of Jesus - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia@@AMEPARAM@@/wiki/File:JesusYeshua.svg" class="image" title="Jesus"><img alt="Jesus" src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/1a/JesusYeshua.svg/150px-JesusYeshua.svg.png"@@AMEPARAM@@commons/thumb/1/1a/JesusYeshua.svg/150px-JesusYeshua.svg.png of Jesus - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia@@AMEPARAM@@/wiki/File:Christus_Ravenna_Mosaic.jpg" class="image"><img alt="Half-length portrait of younger man with shoulder-length hair and beard, with right hand raised over what appears to be a red flame. The upper background is gold. Around his head is a golden halo containing an equal-armed cross with three arms visible; the arms are decorated with ovals and squares." src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c9/Christus_Ravenna_Mosaic.jpg/225px-Christus_Ravenna_Mosaic.jpg"@@AMEPARAM@@commons/thumb/c/c9/Christus_Ravenna_Mosaic.jpg/225px-Christus_Ravenna_Mosaic.jpg,
the doctrine of Atonement (substitutionary view) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia@@AMEPARAM@@/wiki/File:Christ_Carrying_the_Cross_1580.jpg" class="image"><img alt="" src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/97/Christ_Carrying_the_Cross_1580.jpg/120px-Christ_Carrying_the_Cross_1580.jpg"@@AMEPARAM@@commons/thumb/9/97/Christ_Carrying_the_Cross_1580.jpg/120px-Christ_Carrying_the_Cross_1580.jpg,
the bodily Resurrection - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia@@AMEPARAM@@/wiki/File:Signorelli_Resurrection.jpg" class="image"><img alt="" src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/35/Signorelli_Resurrection.jpg/258px-Signorelli_Resurrection.jpg"@@AMEPARAM@@commons/thumb/3/35/Signorelli_Resurrection.jpg/258px-Signorelli_Resurrection.jpg of Jesus,
and the imminent personal return of Jesus Christ.

The Bible lays out a creation scenario that made sense 2,500 years ago but is ludicrous today. The “theory of evolution”, OTOH, provides a logical framework for understanding how life on earth has developed over billions of years.

The problem is that fundamentalist Christians believe that the Bible is inerrant and therefore its stories are true no matter how silly they seem in the modern world. They could wakeup and admit the truth but their commitment to fundamentalist principals and the belief that salvation comes by faith alone means that either you , by faith, defend the Bible story to the bitter end or go to Hell. You and the millions of Christians who hold to the fundamentalist platform give yourselves no choice. You must reject reason if reason appears to conflict with the Bible or accept that the Devil, through his use of reason has weakened your faith.

Christians are not required to commit to fundamentalism. Over 50 years ago I asked the professor in a Baptist College Bible class what he thought about Evolution. He said simply: “Who are we to tell God how he can create things or how long he should take to do it.”

On another point you wrote: “Some people who believe in the Christian God - something no one has ever seen - have a great deal of reason on their side.”

I believe that you are aware that there is not a single contemporaneous record indicating that the Biblical “Jesus Christ” ever even existed. The Gospels, whose true authors are not known, were written long after JC was supposed to have lived. To a true Christian it doesn’t matter since the entire religion is based on faith alone. I'm not aware that fundamentalists give any consideration to "reason".

Concerning your comments relating to “common sense” - if your religious beliefs told you that rain wasn’t really rain then you would refuse to come in out of it.

Concerning your paragraph relating to the writings of CS Lewis. He seems to have been a very intelligent man so, if he does indeed consider evolution to be just a “popular myth” then I must assume that he was hanging on to his faith by rejecting reason.

Thanks to the conflict between faith and reason, millions of otherwise intelligent people are compelled by their incredible beliefs to act against their own best interests.

Anyone reading this who is not afraid of reason may want to search YouTube where you will find more than 30 videos concerning “Faith vs. Reason”.

For additional reading, a Google search finds 570,000 pages related to “Faith vs. Reason.”

In my opinion, if fundamentalism wins this war then societies, other than perhaps the Chinese, will be returned to the “Dark Ages”.

Several years ago I had a client in the Oil & Gas business. It was operated by a father and his 20 something year old son. The father was a Christian Science Practitioner. The son got sick and refused medical treatment while his father and church tied to heal him. The son died of a ruptured appendix. The father lost a son and I lost a client.

nbogaard
18-02-2010, 08:24
On the subject of creationism, I have always enjoyed Clarence Darrow's questioning of William Jennings Bryan in the Dayton, Tennessee in the Scopes trial in 1925. Bryan was arguing that the book of Genesis had to be read literally and Darrow asked if the three days before the creation of the sun were normal days. Bryan asked what he meant and Darrow asked if they were 24 hour days? If there was no sun and no moon, how long was the day? Could it have been 25 hours? 100? 1000? A year? 1000 years? Great stuff!

rusmeister
19-02-2010, 05:33
On the subject of creationism, I have always enjoyed Clarence Darrow's questioning of William Jennings Bryan in the Dayton, Tennessee in the Scopes trial in 1925. Bryan was arguing that the book of Genesis had to be read literally and Darrow asked if the three days before the creation of the sun were normal days. Bryan asked what he meant and Darrow asked if they were 24 hour days? If there was no sun and no moon, how long was the day? Could it have been 25 hours? 100? 1000? A year? 1000 years? Great stuff!
The work about the Scopes trial I enjoy the most is this:

http://www.cse.dmu.ac.uk/~mward/gkc/books/Compulsory_Education.html


But the real problem that remains has nothing necessarily to do with either Dayton or Darwin. It is a real problem because it has to do with the real world of existing education and politics. It is not concerned with professors of fifty years ago, but with the schoolmasters of to-day. It is a problem of the schools; a problem of education; it is not concerned with monkeys, but with men. And if "Monkeyville" did not exactly solve it, most of those who make fun of "Monkeyville" do not seem even to know that it exists to be solved. So far from having discovered the solution, they have not yet discovered the problem. And in that respect , all enlightened Evolutionists who have smiled over the affair are really much less advanced, much less in touch with the time, much less aware of the new world of the twentieth century, than the wild Fundamentalists of Tennessee.

The problem arises out of compulsory education. It is the great paradox of the modern world. It is the fact that at the very time when the world decided that people should not be coerced about their form of religion, it also decided that they should be coerced about their education. Queen Elizabeth made an Act of Conformity by which all populace had to go to church; Queen Victoria saw the making of another Act of Conformity by which all the populace had to go to school. Now in pure reason it is quite clear and quite certain that both were in the same sense persecution. Both assumed certain things to be true, and punished anybody who acted as if they were false.

rusmeister
19-02-2010, 06:25
Although I feel sure that nothing I might write will have the least effect on your beliefs, I am responding to your post of 4 Feb 2010.

In that post you write, “. . .evolution - something no one has ever seen . . .”
My response - "There are none so blind as those who will not see" .

When I Google “theory of gravity” I get 2,040,000 hits. Yet, I don’t recall hearing of Christians claiming that “gravity is only a theory”. Gravity can’t be “seen” any more than evolution can be “seen”. The “results” of each of these phenomenon is “seen” and theories have been proposed which seem to explain how these natural phenomena work.

Christians have a problem with one of these theories and not the other because there is no obvious conflict between the Bible and the theory of gravity as there is between the Biblical stories of creation and the theory of evolution.

There is an old saying that goes something like, “He who says that a thing cannot be done should not get in the way of him who is doing it.” While Christians rant and rave about the “theory of evolution”, thousands of scientists continue to use the principals of that theory in their work to improve the condition of mankind in the fields of medicine, biology, etc.

In 1898, a two volume work by Andrew Dickson White was published under the title of “ A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom”. A paragraph of the introduction reads: “_In all modern history, interference with science in the supposed interest of religion, no matter how conscientious such interference may have been, has resulted in the direst evils both to religion and science, and invariably; and, on the other hand, all untrammeled scientific investigation, no matter how dangerous to religion some of its stages may have seemed for the time to be, has invariably resulted in the highest good both of religion and science._”

In my opinion, the reason that Christians have a problem with the “theory of evolution” and many other things is that they have “painted themselves into a corner” and have no way out. The phrase “Faith vs. Reason” is the key to understanding this.

Of your religious affiliation/beliefs, I know only that you are not either Baptist or Catholic. From your writing, I would say that you hold very fundamentalist beliefs whatever your specific denomination. Although you may argue that you are not a “fundamentalists”, as that is not the currently accepted term in the fundamentalist community, I believe that you are.

According to a Wikipedia entry, the basic beliefs of Christian fundamentalism are:
the inerrancy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_inerrancy) of the Bible (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bible),
Sola Scriptura (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sola_Scriptura),
the virgin birth (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virgin_Birth_%28Christian_doctrine%29) of Christ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus),
the doctrine of substitutionary atonement (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Substitutionary_atonement),
the bodily resurrection (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resurrection) of Jesus,
and the imminent personal return of Jesus Christ.

The Bible lays out a creation scenario that made sense 2,500 years ago but is ludicrous today. The “theory of evolution”, OTOH, provides a logical framework for understanding how life on earth has developed over billions of years.

The problem is that fundamentalist Christians believe that the Bible is inerrant and therefore its stories are true no matter how silly they seem in the modern world. They could wakeup and admit the truth but their commitment to fundamentalist principals and the belief that salvation comes by faith alone means that either you , by faith, defend the Bible story to the bitter end or go to Hell. You and the millions of Christians who hold to the fundamentalist platform give yourselves no choice. You must reject reason if reason appears to conflict with the Bible or accept that the Devil, through his use of reason has weakened your faith.

Christians are not required to commit to fundamentalism. Over 50 years ago I asked the professor in a Baptist College Bible class what he thought about Evolution. He said simply: “Who are we to tell God how he can create things or how long he should take to do it.”

On another point you wrote: “Some people who believe in the Christian God - something no one has ever seen - have a great deal of reason on their side.”

I believe that you are aware that there is not a single contemporaneous record indicating that the Biblical “Jesus Christ” ever even existed. The Gospels, whose true authors are not known, were written long after JC was supposed to have lived. To a true Christian it doesn’t matter since the entire religion is based on faith alone. I'm not aware that fundamentalists give any consideration to "reason".

Concerning your comments relating to “common sense” - if your religious beliefs told you that rain wasn’t really rain then you would refuse to come in out of it.

Concerning your paragraph relating to the writings of CS Lewis. He seems to have been a very intelligent man so, if he does indeed consider evolution to be just a “popular myth” then I must assume that he was hanging on to his faith by rejecting reason.

Thanks to the conflict between faith and reason, millions of otherwise intelligent people are compelled by their incredible beliefs to act against their own best interests.

Anyone reading this who is not afraid of reason may want to search YouTube where you will find more than 30 videos concerning “Faith vs. Reason”.

For additional reading, a Google search finds 570,000 pages related to “Faith vs. Reason.”

In my opinion, if fundamentalism wins this war then societies, other than perhaps the Chinese, will be returned to the “Dark Ages”.

Several years ago I had a client in the Oil & Gas business. It was operated by a father and his 20 something year old son. The father was a Christian Science Practitioner. The son got sick and refused medical treatment while his father and church tied to heal him. The son died of a ruptured appendix. The father lost a son and I lost a client.


Hi 2nd Wind!
I should state first of all that I am trying to limit my computer time right now, and for this reason I will be brief, and secondly that I hope that we can maintain a courteous attitude in discussions.

What we call gravity is seen, not as a theory, but as a law, properly known as Newton’s law of universal gravitation. Laws of science - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia@@AMEPARAM@@/wiki/File:Question_book-new.svg" class="image"><img alt="Question book-new.svg" src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/9/99/Question_book-new.svg/50px-Question_book-new.svg.png"@@AMEPARAM@@en/thumb/9/99/Question_book-new.svg/50px-Question_book-new.svg.png This is something on a different plane from evolutionary theory.
Secondly, it is one thing to observe change here and now, and quite another to assume constant change from the beginnings of the universe, but the scientific aspects of the argument are huge, and there are many that I will not dispute. What I meant was that no one has seen human evolution; they have only seen differences between living humans, records of them, and bone/fossil evidence, which like evidence in court, is not final proof - it is something a person may make a decision on. But this is something too big to dispute now given my prefatory statement.

You seem to be thinking of certain Christians and not others when you say "rant and rave" (such characterizations, which belittle those we disagree with, work against us when dealing with intelligent thinkers - they imply a necessity of belittling due to lack of other argument), and seem to not notice that some scientists actually ARE Christians, and those are on both sides of the fence; some support it, and some oppose it. My (possibly mistaken) impression in general is that you treat evolution as a fact as proven as your own existence. It may be to your satisfaction, but that depends on your standards of what final truth and what can be proven are.

Since there are a great many people who throughout history have held faith and reason to not only not be mutually exclusive, but to be quite compatible, you have quite a historical company to work against if you mean to claim that faith and reason must contradict each other. And if I am showing myself to be reasonable, then surely the idea of their incompatibility can be questioned.

I am an Orthodox Christian, something that westerners generally know next to nothing about. Nearly all of their objections tend to be based on paradigms of western Christianity, which effectively broke with eastern Christianity a thousand years ago, making most of those objections inapplicable. The idea of "fundamentalist", therefore must be approached with caution. What I would say we do hold in common with the common understanding of that word as applied to Christians (generally US evangelicals of the Baptist, etc variety) is a belief that truth is knowable, and that the physical sciences are not the only way of discovering and teaching truth. A major difference is that for the Orthodox Christian, truth is not something he makes up or decides for himself. It is discovered or revealed, and is external to him, and can get along just fine without him. Even what the Bible says may not be interpreted as the individual sees fit. Thus, the fundamentalist idea that a person can come along and read the Bible and understand its significance and teachings for himself, without reference to authority, is alien to Orthodoxy, and so, the Bible itself cannot be the final authority, anymore than a legal document can make decisions about disputes about the meaning of itself, although it holds the most honored place in Church Tradition. It is the Church, which is not a bunch of of "power-hungry" men in cassocks, but is an institution spread through space and time, including both the living and the dead, and neither may make up merely what they please. They must accept the authority of the Church as a whole (and accept that the living (and dead) members are liable to screw up periodically, which is why we trust no individual. It is that which is agreed on and is common to the whole Church which we call dogma - things that you have to accept, and can't "hold a personal opinion on" if you wish to be part of the Church.

The question of the manner of the Creation of the world happens to fall outside of Church dogma. It is possible to believe in special creation or in Theistic evolution and be Orthodox. I favor special creation (for philosophical reasons), but cheerfully admit that I wasn't there and didn't see it, and don't have as robust a faith in science as you do.

Your idea that there is no evidence that a man named Jesus existed, and that the authors of the gospels are not known, etc, I meet with at least as much amazement as you do my ideas. I am aware of no such thing. If we apply that level of skepticism to all history, then we must question the existence of Socrates, Plato, Herodotus, the venerable Bede, King Alfred, and anyone whose prime evidence is via the literature and primary sources of writing of historical times. In short, we can know essentially no history at all.

Your comment on my comment on common sense does nothing to refute my point. Scientific theories are not common sense, and common sense is not a scientific theory. They are different animals.

On your Christian Science experience, I quite agree that there are completely irrational and actually wrong forms of faith, and can only sympathize with your experience. That says nothing about my faith, though.

I posted a link to Lewis's overview. if you look it up, you will find that the very first thing stated is that Lewis has no beef with evolution, but with evolutionism. I generally post links for a reason. A mark of an intelligent and challenging thinker (which I believe you to ultimately be) is that he seeks to understand his opponent's argument rather than assume it.

But if all you want is to offer assertions that faith and reason are opposed, without putting the shoe on the other foot and looking to see if there could be such a thing as intelligent people who actually hold faith and do so rationally, then I guess there's not much to talk about.

Thanks for taking the time to respond, though!

nbogaard
19-02-2010, 09:36
I have to tell both of you, 2ndwind and rusmeister, that the posts that the two of you have made have provided me such pleasure. I can't tell you the last time I read such articulate, interesting, respectful and compelling arguments written. I applaud you both. I hardly expected such thoughtful and well-reasoned discussions in such a forum.

I have a hard time with religion as a vehicle for salvation. I find it difficult to conceive of a supreme being who cares very much where we spend our sabbath 0or even if we believe in that supreme being. I find it much more plausible to believe in a supreme being who cares how we live our lives. I am aware of how simplistic it sounds but don't you think the so-called golden rule is sort of the beginning and the end of behavioral rules?

rusmeister
20-02-2010, 08:24
I have to tell both of you, 2ndwind and rusmeister, that the posts that the two of you have made have provided me such pleasure. I can't tell you the last time I read such articulate, interesting, respectful and compelling arguments written. I applaud you both. I hardly expected such thoughtful and well-reasoned discussions in such a forum.

I have a hard time with religion as a vehicle for salvation. I find it difficult to conceive of a supreme being who cares very much where we spend our sabbath 0or even if we believe in that supreme being. I find it much more plausible to believe in a supreme being who cares how we live our lives. I am aware of how simplistic it sounds but don't you think the so-called golden rule is sort of the beginning and the end of behavioral rules?

Hi, nbogaard, and thanks!
It might be drawn from your statement that you see religion as a set of rules to live our lives by. It is true that religions do offer that, but the ones to be taken more seriously generally do much more. The one I defend goes a good deal further. If rules were all we needed, then we would be in heaven, or whatever you care to call the ideal paradise. But obviously we have the mess we have, and no set of rules clearly helps mankind, or even any given religion. Certain it is that Orthodox Christians, Catholics, Methodists or whatever are as fully capable of going wrong as the adherents of other religions as well as those who accept no religion. Religions offer varying explanations of the nature of man and of the universe. I think mine the most cheerful. It holds that everything was created good, that everything is good in its beginnings (wine, sex, music, stories, food...) and that it is in a Fallen state; that it FELL through the consequences of this thing called "sin". The rules show us the impossibility of really being able to keep them. Worse, the worse a man is the less he is able to see this. A moderately bad man knows that he is not very good. A thoroughly bad man thinks he is fine; that there is nothing wrong with him. Thus, we have a sort of blindness, in varying degrees, about our ability to see and assess good, which only actual striving to be good - which proves a to be a struggle; the odds are not stacked evenly; it is easy to be bad/selfish - actually reveals. Finally, a way has been offered to completely redeem that un-Fallen state. From this view, the fairy tale proves to be, not merely nonsense and wishful thinking, but a mirror, or parable, of what can, and will be. But that's a long "C.S. Lewisian" kind of conversation. (Heck, Lewis was my first teacher in my adult awakening into real thinking, instead of the cant, terms and formulae in the media and public life that passes itself off as thinking.)

nbogaard
20-02-2010, 08:37
Finally, a way has been offered to completely redeem that un-Fallen state.

Now, you have lost me. I was understanding, sort of, what you were trying to say until this statement. Why is redemption needed for an un-fallen state? You've lost me.

rusmeister
20-02-2010, 14:19
Now, you have lost me. I was understanding, sort of, what you were trying to say until this statement. Why is redemption needed for an un-fallen state? You've lost me.
No, no, sorry. I meant to restore that un-Fallen state.
Hope that helps!

is4fun
20-02-2010, 23:08
I should state first of all that I am trying to limit my computer time right now, and for this reason I will be brief, and secondly that I hope that we can maintain a courteous attitude in discussions.

As with all religious fantasists the term brevity always tends to be a misnomer. Given the length of this post and the fact that there is never anything that can prove their fantasies, would I be wrong?

What we call gravity is seen, not as a theory, but as a law, properly known as Newton’s law of universal gravitation. Laws of science - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia@@AMEPARAM@@/wiki/File:Question_book-new.svg" class="image"><img alt="Question book-new.svg" src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/9/99/Question_book-new.svg/50px-Question_book-new.svg.png"@@AMEPARAM@@en/thumb/9/99/Question_book-new.svg/50px-Question_book-new.svg.png This is something on a different plane from evolutionary theory.

You can see gravity? Perhaps an observation based on principals that are evident to everyone as the laws of physics are universal to everyone and anywhere in the universe. Special relativity comes to mind... Look it up. Are they universal to your imaginary friend? Given your bias to the orthodoxy christian faith, some religions are more equal than others.

Secondly, it is one thing to observe change here and now, and quite another to assume constant change from the beginnings of the universe, but the scientific aspects of the argument are huge, and there are many that I will not dispute. What I meant was that no one has seen human evolution; they have only seen differences between living humans, records of them, and bone/fossil evidence, which like evidence in court, is not final proof - it is something a person may make a decision on. But this is something too big to dispute now given my prefatory statement.

As observed by Newton and Galileo before him, our universe does not keep still. It keeps moving. Why would it be that humans are so special? We are part of the universe, composed of the materials released by the stars.

This argument about no evidence about evolutionary change is quite boring now. Go to a museum. The Darwin Museum on Akedemichaskaya would be a good one if in Moscow or in every other country in the world. Religious people do not like going to museums I reckon. My observations regarding people who are religious like to read a single book from which they gain all their knowledge. Pathetic, really.

You seem to be thinking of certain Christians and not others when you say "rant and rave" (such characterizations, which belittle those we disagree with, work against us when dealing with intelligent thinkers - they imply a necessity of belittling due to lack of other argument), and seem to not notice that some scientists actually ARE Christians, and those are on both sides of the fence; some support it, and some oppose it. My (possibly mistaken) impression in general is that you treat evolution as a fact as proven as your own existence. It may be to your satisfaction, but that depends on your standards of what final truth and what can be proven are.

There was never any real argument. People who believe in these fantasies simply are losing out to the wonders of reality and are simply unable to take responsibility in their own hands. They feel they need to be taken care of much as it was like when they were infants and had their mother and father looking after them. There are pseudo-scientists that believe in a creator.

Since there are a great many people who throughout history have held faith and reason to not only not be mutually exclusive, but to be quite compatible, you have quite a historical company to work against if you mean to claim that faith and reason must contradict each other. And if I am showing myself to be reasonable, then surely the idea of their incompatibility can be questioned.



I am an Orthodox Christian, something that westerners generally know next to nothing about. Nearly all of their objections tend to be based on paradigms of western Christianity, which effectively broke with eastern Christianity a thousand years ago, making most of those objections inapplicable. The idea of "fundamentalist", therefore must be approached with caution. What I would say we do hold in common with the common understanding of that word as applied to Christians (generally US evangelicals of the Baptist, etc variety) is a belief that truth is knowable, and that the physical sciences are not the only way of discovering and teaching truth. A major difference is that for the Orthodox Christian, truth is not something he makes up or decides for himself. It is discovered or revealed, and is external to him, and can get along just fine without him. Even what the Bible says may not be interpreted as the individual sees fit. Thus, the fundamentalist idea that a person can come along and read the Bible and understand its significance and teachings for himself, without reference to authority, is alien to Orthodoxy, and so, the Bible itself cannot be the final authority, anymore than a legal document can make decisions about disputes about the meaning of itself, although it holds the most honored place in Church Tradition. It is the Church, which is not a bunch of of "power-hungry" men in cassocks, but is an institution spread through space and time, including both the living and the dead, and neither may make up merely what they please. They must accept the authority of the Church as a whole (and accept that the living (and dead) members are liable to screw up periodically, which is why we trust no individual. It is that which is agreed on and is common to the whole Church which we call dogma - things that you have to accept, and can't "hold a personal opinion on" if you wish to be part of the Church.

This is not writing but absolute pure religious fanaticism. This passage can be compared to the Talibans form of control of their disciples. Anyone got an extra belt?


The question of the manner of the Creation of the world happens to fall outside of Church dogma. It is possible to believe in special creation or in Theistic evolution and be Orthodox. I favor special creation (for philosophical reasons), but cheerfully admit that I wasn't there and didn't see it, and don't have as robust a faith in science as you do.

If anyone had been created on this earth it would certainly not mean that they would be worthy of worship! Again, take some responsibility.

Your idea that there is no evidence that a man named Jesus existed, and that the authors of the gospels are not known, etc, I meet with at least as much amazement as you do my ideas. I am aware of no such thing. If we apply that level of skepticism to all history, then we must question the existence of Socrates, Plato, Herodotus, the venerable Bede, King Alfred, and anyone whose prime evidence is via the literature and primary sources of writing of historical times. In short, we can know essentially no history at all.

Had there really been a man names Jesus, which there may have been (a man) Why is the evidence contrary to what is written been sequestered throughout the ages? Why had so much been secluded from the bible that is now historically evident? Perhaps he was just another Joe who who went against the flow. A revolutionary of the time. No need to worship a man.


Your comment on my comment on common sense does nothing to refute my point. Scientific theories are not common sense, and common sense is not a scientific theory. They are different animals.


I absolutely love this aforementioned quote. I think it speaks for itself... It will be cherished and used in future quotes.

On your Christian Science experience, I quite agree that there are completely irrational and actually wrong forms of faith, and can only sympathize with your experience. That says nothing about my faith, though.

I posted a link to Lewis's overview. if you look it up, you will find that the very first thing stated is that Lewis has no beef with evolution, but with evolutionism. I generally post links for a reason. A mark of an intelligent and challenging thinker (which I believe you to ultimately be) is that he seeks to understand his opponent's argument rather than assume it.

Too funny. Who could possibly believe in this drivel but only those who are weak and dependent on someone's manipulations.

But if all you want is to offer assertions that faith and reason are opposed, without putting the shoe on the other foot and looking to see if there could be such a thing as intelligent people who actually hold faith and do so rationally, then I guess there's not much to talk about.

Intelligence and rationality are hardly evident in this post.

Thanks for taking the time to respond, though![/QUOTE]

objective
21-02-2010, 01:05
Those critical of Evolution.

I don't have the time to write so I will accommodate those who have not the time to read. For those who feel there is no evidence of evolution please sit back and enjoy...


Wow! I really like all that girl has to say! thank a bunch for bringing that!!

objective
21-02-2010, 01:10
I once read somewhere...
"A man without 'religion', is like a fish without a bicycle"
you can take that as you will...
considering all these various philosophies... what is your take on 'superstring theories'? :11721:

nbogaard
21-02-2010, 08:57
No, no, sorry. I meant to restore that un-Fallen state.
Hope that helps!

Yes, it does. Thanks.

Voodoo
21-02-2010, 15:25
Interesting discussion going on here, especially those who claim evolution is just bunkum because it cannot be directly observed. Actually that is not true. You have to find organisms who's reproductive cycle is fast enough for us to be able to observe generational change. Obviously bacteria and viruses are evolving in real time right before our eyes so there's no argument there (the argument seems then to be that yes, such tiny organisms can evolve but not larger ones). There is also undisputed evidence of insects evolving rapidly too - most commonly the humble fruit fly, but that's only because they're the most commonly used subjects in labs.

There is also good evidence of directly observable evolution in complex creatures too. Here's just one article I found:


Feeding birds 'changes evolution'
By Victoria Gill
Science reporter, BBC News
http: // news bbc co uk / 2 / hi / science / nature / 8393443


Bird-feeders, hung in many a garden, can affect the way our feathered friends evolve, say scientists.

European birds called blackcaps follow a different "evolutionary path" if they spend the winter eating food put out for them in UK gardens.

The birds' natural wintering ground is southern Spain, where they feed on the fruits that grow there.

Researchers describe the impact this well-intentioned activity has had on the birds in Current Biology journal.

Dr Martin Schaefer from the University of Freiburg in Germany led the research.

He and his team found that blackcaps that migrated to the UK for the winter were in the very earliest stages of forming a new species.

He explained that some blackcaps (Sylvia atricapilla) would always have migrated "a little further north" than others and eventually "ended up in Britain in the winter".

It's positive news for us, because it means not all the changes [humans] produce are necessarily bad
Martin Schaefer, University of Freiburg

"But those birds would have had nothing to eat," he said.

It was when garden bird feeders became more popular in the UK, that an evolutionary division began to emerge.

"As soon as the British provided a lot of bird food, those birds would have had a much higher probability of surviving the winter."

And because the UK is closer to their breeding ground, those birds would also have returned earlier to claim the best territory.

The researchers, from Germany and Canada, set out to discover if the birds that spent the winter availing themselves of garden bird-feeders were in fact a distinct group.

To do this, they studied the blackcaps at a breeding ground in Germany.

The team were able to use a chemical "signature" from the birds' claws to identify where they spent the winter, and what food they ate.

"Then we took blood samples and analysed those to assess whether... we had two distinct populations. And that's exactly what we found," said Dr Schaefer.

"To a very large extent the birds only mate [with] birds with the same overwintering grounds as them."

This initial "reproductive isolation", Dr Schaefer explained, is the very first step in the evolution of a new species.

"This tells us that by feeding birds in winter we... produce an evolutionary split. And we have produced these initial steps in as little as 50 years."

The team also observed differences in the birds' beaks, wings and plumage.

Blackcaps that migrated along the shorter route to the UK had rounder wings, and longer, narrower beaks.

The scientists said these differences were evidence that the birds had adapted to their shorter journey, and to eating seeds and fat from bird-feeders, rather than fruit from shrubs and trees.

But, Dr Schaefer pointed out that the evolution of a new bird species "could take 100,000 to a million years".

"At this stage this is reversible," he added. "And it's hard to envision a species change, because if there's another economic crisis and people stop feeding the birds, the whole system might just collapse."

Man-made change

In this case, Dr Schaefer thinks the human impact on blackcaps has been a positive thing.

"[The birds have] found a better overwintering area that is closer to the breeding ground, where they can obtain food easily.

"And I also think its positive news for us, because it means not all the changes we produce are necessarily bad, and that some species have the potential to adapt quickly to the changes."

Grahame Madge from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) said that this was "a fascinating piece of research" and that it fitted in with the birds adapting to a changing climate.

"Blackcaps have been able to start this behaviour because of the milder winter we've experienced in the last few decades," he said.

"And because they're getting food, this reinforces the behaviour and will enable them to survive a colder winter [in the UK]."

Joseph Tobias, a biologist from the Oxford University in the UK, agreed that the UK climate may have been a more important factor contributing to the changes observed in the blackcaps.

"The study clearly demonstrates that a new lineage has arisen... [but] it doesn't actually demonstrate that food hand-outs by humans are the root cause," Dr Tobias said.

"It is possible that the main reason for the switch in migratory behaviour was a warming winter climate in the UK. The best we can say on the basis of the evidence is that the increase in bird-feeding in the UK may have contributed to the switch in behaviour."

Mr Madge added that putting food out for birds in the winter was "very important" and that many birds "need the energy boost at this time of year".

rusmeister
22-02-2010, 20:36
Hi Voodoo!
Purely as a clarification, it is one thing to observe change in SOME organisms happening now. That is not disputed. It is another thing to transfer that to a belief (evidence or not, the question of what is proof to whom remains) that ALL organisms are a result of this change - and to apply/extend it to all of history. THAT is faith. If a superior scientific theory is released fifty years from now (or 15) that turns current evidence on its head and in another direction, that will be abundantly clear. If you think it impossible for science to overturn a theory, that is also a faith, although it is no longer a faith in science, which when translated, simply means "knowledge" (what we know, or believe we know), at this time.

When I said that no one has ever seen evolution, I meant largely that no man has seen apes gradually become men. The inference from what we observe that they did is only an inference - a far cry from a fact.

Few things reveal this more clearly than the necessary admission of "missing links", which, because that accurate and descriptive term is so damning to the Darwinists (something distinct from what even Darwin himself believed) that they have simply stopped talking about them and have even found a euphemism to replace the term. It was sadly amusing to go to Wikipedia and find that "missing links" redirects to "transitional fossils", and see the enormous effort put into stamping out the term "missing link".

MickeyTong
22-02-2010, 22:05
http://i46.tinypic.com/2dw6xhh.jpg

is4fun
23-02-2010, 01:24
http://i46.tinypic.com/2dw6xhh.jpg

Too funny. Where do you find this stuff! :)

rusmeister
23-02-2010, 08:17
http://i46.tinypic.com/2dw6xhh.jpgYou're disappointing me again, Mickey. I thought someone of your apparent intelligence understood that there are far more intelligent views of both the Bible and the Christian faith. Or were you simply tortured by fundamental literalists in childhood? I'll bet we could find a Freudian explanation for an obsessive inability to see anything else...

MickeyTong
23-02-2010, 16:58
You're disappointing me again, Mickey. I thought someone of your apparent intelligence understood that there are far more intelligent views of both the Bible and the Christian faith. Or were you simply tortured by fundamental literalists in childhood? I'll bet we could find a Freudian explanation for an obsessive inability to see anything else...

Sorry to disappoint you, Rus: perhaps my intelligence is merely apparent and I lack the capacity to willingly suspend my disbelief and see things from a perspective other than my own.

Fortunately I was spared any exposure to God's People until I migrated to South Africa at the age of 12 and encountered Calvinism in the form of The Last Bastion of Christian Government In The World (self-styled).

There are Freudian explanations for everything, very plausible for those of a doctrinaire disposition. And Jungian. And cognitive-behavioural. And sociological. And biological. Having only apparent intelligence I am like the philosophical zombies postulated by David Chalmers, and capable only of dilettante mental pursuits.....


How many Inerrantists does it take to change a light bulb?
Actually, the bulb is not really broken. If we could see it through 1st century eyes and worldview, we would see that the bulb is perfectly fine.

rusmeister
23-02-2010, 19:10
Sorry to disappoint you, Rus: perhaps my intelligence is merely apparent and I lack the capacity to willingly suspend my disbelief and see things from a perspective other than my own.

Fortunately I was spared any exposure to God's People until I migrated to South Africa at the age of 12 and encountered Calvinism in the form of The Last Bastion of Christian Government In The World (self-styled).

There are Freudian explanations for everything, very plausible for those of a doctrinaire disposition. And Jungian. And cognitive-behavioural. And sociological. And biological. Having only apparent intelligence I am like the philosophical zombies postulated by David Chalmers, and capable only of dilettante mental pursuits.....


How many Inerrantists does it take to change a light bulb?
Actually, the bulb is not really broken. If we could see it through 1st century eyes and worldview, we would see that the bulb is perfectly fine.

It's fine to see things from your own perspective; in fact, that's how we all generally see them. But if your intelligence grasps that intelligent Catholicism or Orthodoxy is far more sophisticated than the Calvinism of your experience, then that will be part of your perspective. When you find the Christians that say that they are not worthy to be called the sons of God, or even His hired servants, or any kind of people of God, then your perspective will reveal to you that that kind of arrogant protestantism is not the be-all and end-all of the Christian faith. No suspension of disbelief on things like that required.

MickeyTong
23-02-2010, 22:15
It's fine to see things from your own perspective; in fact, that's how we all generally see them. But if your intelligence grasps that intelligent Catholicism or Orthodoxy is far more sophisticated than the Calvinism of your experience, then that will be part of your perspective. When you find the Christians that say that they are not worthy to be called the sons of God, or even His hired servants, or any kind of people of God, then your perspective will reveal to you that that kind of arrogant protestantism is not the be-all and end-all of the Christian faith. No suspension of disbelief on things like that required.

I didn't experience SA's Calvinism from the inside, since I was congenitally unsuitable for their brand of Christian Nationalism. But they aren't the yardstick by which I assess Christianity. And not all Protestants are arrogant: I have met people of several faiths who appeared (and behaved) as if they were fully cognizant of the fact that their personal faith was a gift and a privilege, not something earned by their own virtue. They were religious rather than religiose: not at all pharisaic.

I've also met others who were crippled by a sense of worthlessness.

Not all non-Catholics and non-Orthodox people are lacking in sophistication, Rus.

OlgaT
23-02-2010, 22:18
Why is your religion greater than that of others'?


Because it is mine.

MickeyTong
23-02-2010, 22:34
Too funny. Where do you find this stuff! :)

The Truth is out there.....

...waaaaay out there.

rusmeister
24-02-2010, 06:03
I didn't experience SA's Calvinism from the inside, since I was congenitally unsuitable for their brand of Christian Nationalism. But they aren't the yardstick by which I assess Christianity. And not all Protestants are arrogant: I have met people of several faiths who appeared (and behaved) as if they were fully cognizant of the fact that their personal faith was a gift and a privilege, not something earned by their own virtue. They were religious rather than religiose: not at all pharisaic.

I've also met others who were crippled by a sense of worthlessness.

Not all non-Catholics and non-Orthodox people are lacking in sophistication, Rus.
I didn't mean to imply that, Mickey - I was offering counter to your own expression of (experience of) Christian arrogance.

But I DO get a strong sense that your yardstick does NOT take into account things that I know from the inside of where I'm at; that your knowledge of Christianity is therefore not complete enough to assess fairly. I'll agree with you in condemning some of the things you do; I reject Sola Scriptura and Scriptural literalism (although I'll bet more of it is more literal than some of us would like to think); I reject a thousand ideas born in traditions hardly a century or two old that you also do, and I'll say 'You're right, there." But when it looks like you're painting that as the picture of all that Christianity boils down to, it looks like the wide-spread ignorance that has me using the "ignore" option. I've just appreciated a lot of what you've said and think that some of your objections do merit deeper response and wouldn't want to think that you had descended to that level.

tasel
24-02-2010, 10:36
I do not think my beliefs are better than others. I was brought up as a protestant, but strange as it might seem, I grew up questioning what I was taught at church and school. No black and white for me. Sorry. Especially when we were talking about another land in Jerusalem. WHY? I asked myself then. Why there? Why not here? Isn't our God everywhere? Why just there. So! Although I believe in some priciple of the bible, I think it is ful of garbage. I think it as useful as the Hans Chrirstian Anderson Fairy tale. And to be honest with you I beieve all books written by God about are full of fabricated nonsence, usefull only for those who want to overpower and make wealth for us weaker people. And they have succeeded. They have also succeeded in causing a lot of and deaths in this world. Whether it be for Christian or Islamics for Example. I am sorry but a real good God wouldn't that, but it has has already happened over the past two thousand years up to the present.

So what is religion? Money, land, power. wealth. greed. for humans.

But yes I do believe in a God, but not what humans have written about him, and he has not likely to have had anything to do with Jerusalem or ananywhere in Africa.

I agree with you 100%

MickeyTong
24-02-2010, 21:04
But I DO get a strong sense that your yardstick does NOT take into account things that I know from the inside of where I'm at; that your knowledge of Christianity is therefore not complete enough to assess fairly. I'll agree with you in condemning some of the things you do; I reject Sola Scriptura and Scriptural literalism (although I'll bet more of it is more literal than some of us would like to think); I reject a thousand ideas born in traditions hardly a century or two old that you also do, and I'll say 'You're right, there." But when it looks like you're painting that as the picture of all that Christianity boils down to, it looks like the wide-spread ignorance that has me using the "ignore" option. I've just appreciated a lot of what you've said and think that some of your objections do merit deeper response and wouldn't want to think that you had descended to that level.

Of course my yardstick doesn't take into account what an insider knows (other than what they tell me), be it from inside Orthodoxy, Mormonism, or New! Improved! Trademarked! Spirituality a la Californienne. Neither is my yardstick based on the utterances of the latest arriviste who claims to have The Truth which everyone else has got wrong for 2000 years.

But I am a non-supernaturalist. I neither assume nor seek supernatural explanations or causative agents.

rusmeister
25-02-2010, 07:03
Of course my yardstick doesn't take into account what an insider knows (other than what they tell me), be it from inside Orthodoxy, Mormonism, or New! Improved! Trademarked! Spirituality a la Californienne. Neither is my yardstick based on the utterances of the latest arriviste who claims to have The Truth which everyone else has got wrong for 2000 years.

But I am a non-supernaturalist. I neither assume nor seek supernatural explanations or causative agents.

Thanks. I understand.
But in previous discussions I've already offered refutations to some of your objections (ie, I've given you a little of that insider information). An intelligent person who sees (agree or not) that said objections do have refutations will stop using said objections as general argument (ie, you should be past the stage of posting things saying that those Christians are just crazy loons - even if there are crazy loons among them). I have a few people on my ignore list because they are obviously unreasonable and unable to see anything other. You, however, are on my friend list. It is the intelligent and polite discussions that are the real spice, not brainless mudslinging, and that (the former) is what I hope for.

is4fun
27-02-2010, 22:53
The Truth is out there.....

...waaaaay out there.

You've been delving into the verboten area of extraterrestrial existence.

Not as far as we all think actually... :)

is4fun
28-02-2010, 00:26
Because it is mine.

So why push it?