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Ask a Christian
Posted: 20 March 2008 11:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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psikeyhackr - 20 March 2008 11:17 AM

Bible translation isn’t the critical issue for Catholics that it is for Protestants.

Actually they are supposed to trust the clergy to explain everything to them in Latin.

psik

smile
Kind of.

They explain things (to whatever extent they’re explained) in the language of the parishioner but conduct services in Latin (to varying degrees).
The Church hierarchy is akin to a liberal supreme court.  It doesn’t matter quite so much what the Constitution says as how the Church (make that “court”) interprets it.

[ Edited: 20 March 2008 02:46 PM by Bryan ]
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Posted: 20 March 2008 12:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Kyu,
I understood that you’re not a Catholic/Christian/believer now.  Reading your post #5 it sounded like you were one at one time.  My mistake.

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Posted: 20 March 2008 01:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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the PC apeman - 20 March 2008 12:47 PM

I understood that you’re not a Catholic/Christian/believer now.  Reading your post #5 it sounded like you were one at one time.  My mistake.

Oh, OK ... I thought you thought I wasn’t. I was a believer but there was no before as far as I knew ... I was simply too young to have known anything else and was given no choice as to what I believed or did not. Unfortunately (for the gods of Cathol and my father) my parents also encouraged reading and education and I just loved science fiction, from there on in it was all downhill smile

Kyu

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(Insanity, the only answer in a world insane!)

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Posted: 21 March 2008 11:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Kyuuketsuki UK - 20 March 2008 01:17 PM

  Oh, OK ... I thought you thought I wasn’t. I was a believer but there was no before as far as I knew ... I was simply too young to have known anything else and was given no choice as to what I believed or did not.

this is how and what religion does to one, it takes one when they are vulnerable, not formed and confirmed as a thinking individual and molds them into what it thinks they should be.

 

Unfortunately (for the gods of Cathol and my father) my parents also encouraged reading and education and I just loved science fiction, from there on in it was all downhill smile

Kyu

goood parents smile .

 


To Kirk,


why does Christianity thinks that jesus died for my sins? I never asked to be born at the first place, next think I owe somebody from the first breath I took having not even been born christian but converted when adult.  If my parents did what everyone else is doing, how am I guilty for it?

why is eve guilty and not adam? since god is all knowning, all emcompassing and what not, why couldn’t he put a leach on his dumb snake and let adam and eve enjoy themselves since he is all good, love and this and that? what was that gonna cost him? nothing if he says he is who he is.

[ Edited: 21 March 2008 11:58 AM by Daisy ]
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Posted: 22 March 2008 11:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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kirk,


can you please answer my questions? I can reword them if you want but I would like you to answer them please. thank you.

I have another one, you said you are catholic, as catholic you must believe in the holy spirit, if the holy spirit is really holy, why do priests molest little children in churches being in alignement with this holy spirit? we know what jesus said about children. We also know that the holy spirit is one of the the three aspects of God. If priests do that being ordained people of god, does that mean that god condones child molestation? if he doesn’t, then what stops him from preventing it?

this is not directed at you, this is just to allow me to release what I usually repress. Please don’t take it personally. thank you again.

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Posted: 22 March 2008 11:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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inthegobi - 19 March 2008 03:21 PM

This is in response to George, and the arrival of another Catholic to the forum, Paul.

Please ask a serious question. I happen to be Catholic (and once was Lutheran). I can’t speak for others.

Please be careful about asking rhetorical questions: if you’ve phrased the question so that no-one can answer rationally other than your preferred answer, it’s not really a question.

‘How can X’s be so stupid as to believe B?’ is pretty sure to be starting on the wrong foot.

I myself will not promise to answer just any question put to me, nor even reply to every posting directed to me.

Well, let’s see what happens.

Sincerely,

Kirk

My question is, in your education in the Roman Catholic faith were you taught that Protestants {e.g. Lutherans} go to hell (or that only Roman Catholics go to heaven, which sounds more positive) .  If so—did you believe it, do you still believe it.
[Reference to other discussion of this particular point in another CFI discussion forum thread]

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Posted: 24 March 2008 06:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Bryan - 20 March 2008 09:34 AM

Bible translation isn’t the critical issue for Catholics that it is for Protestants.  I expect Kirk will deal with that point eventually.

There’s a special translation for the Bible and the liturgy - the ‘ICEL’ translation - the alphabet soup represents something like ‘International Committee on the English Liturgy.’ Lots of Catholics in other countries use English, like in India or the South Pacific.

Sure, Catholics want accurate translations. Most any translation you would bump into will be accurate enough for any non-Christian and for most any typical Bible-study among most Christians.

Kirk

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Posted: 24 March 2008 06:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Jackson - 22 March 2008 11:45 AM

In your education in the Roman Catholic faith were you taught that Protestants {e.g. Lutherans} go to hell (or that only Roman Catholics go to heaven, which sounds more positive) .  If so—did you believe it, do you still believe it.

[Reference to other discussion of this particular point in another CFI discussion forum thread]

No, not in my education as a Catholic - I was Lutheran at the time, my ‘informing’ advisor, a Columban priest, knew that - so even if he thought it, he would have been too polite to tell me so. As a young Lutheran, I was never taught that other Christians were going to Hell, just that they were a bit benighted. Catholics, for instance, were looked down on as ‘needing’ good works on top of ‘faith’ to be justified. Little did the Sunday school teach know what he was doing when he wrote that into the lesson plans.

I hear very little ‘brimstone’ actually, and I’ve been at least a year in several churches over my life, in several places of the US and a few abroad.

Kirk

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Posted: 24 March 2008 06:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Daisy - 21 March 2008 11:55 AM

(1) Why does Christianity thinks that jesus died for my sins? (2) I never asked to be born at the first place, next think I owe somebody from the first breath I took having not even been born christian but converted when adult.  (3) If my parents did what everyone else is doing, how am I guilty for it? (4) Why is eve guilty and not adam? (5) Since god is all knowning, all emcompassing and what not, why couldn’t he put a leash on his dumb snake and let adam and eve enjoy themselves since he is all good, love and this and that? (6) What was that gonna cost him? (7) Nothing if he says he is who he is.

(1) Christians say it because we were told by people who both knew Jesus well and were the eye-witnesses to it. We see these say-ings in long tradition and in early written accounts like the Gospels and the Epistles or letters - especially those Gospels which were also written by people with well-attested connections to the original disciples.

(2) Your related question is ‘Why did Jesus die for my sins?’. Don’t worry about the things you can’t help, think rather about the things you have control over. Well, why would anyone help you out of a hole; especially one you’ve dug for yourself?

(3) A rhetorical question. You’re not repsonsible for what others did to you. But you do have some capacity to think for yourself - and for that you are responsible. Stick to what is your fault, not the indefinite number of things you’re ‘good’ for.

(4) Adam is guilty too. Not even traditional literalist theologians say that Adam had no guilt.

(5) Why is there suffering at all in the world, if God is (i) all knowing, (ii) all loving and (iii) all powerful? What is the gist of the Genesis story, Daisy? Not your evaluation of it: what’s the point?

Don’t worry about a dumb snake - anyway, the snake would have a right to say ‘I got Eve to disobey her God by listening to a snake. Who’s the dumb one now?’

(6) You assume leashing the snake - or generally intervening directly and obviously in human affairs - is the only rational option.  Find a basic article on the problem of suffering or ‘the problem of evil’. Explaining suffering and evil in a world with a God is called ‘theodicy.’ Look up some stuff first, then i’ll have more to say.

(7) See, we’re back to a string of questions that are really your evidence for an argument, and this statement is the conclusion. I’ll look up a simple outline I made at some time about Augustine’s theodicy, which has all the virtues and weaknesses of any decent theodicy - but i’m sure his theodicy and summaries of it are online somewhere.

Kirk

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Posted: 24 March 2008 06:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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Jackson - 22 March 2008 11:45 AM

. . . (or that only Roman Catholics go to heaven, which sounds more positive) . . .
[Reference to other discussion of this particular point in another CFI discussion forum thread]

I should answer this part too.

It’s ‘easier’ to be a child of God in the right environment. The earthly Church just is fragmented, even though I firmly believe the Catholic Church is the core of that broken communio. I think people raised Lutherans, Baptists, COG-ers, Mormons, Hindus - lots of people from different religions will be in Heaven. But their religious beliefs and structures will not be decisive, and many of them will lack the advantages I have as a full member of the catholic church. There are catholic churches however that are just as toxic as any non-catholic community may be.

And I believe in something like ‘separation but not divorce’ religiously speaking. The Christian denominations, and inidividual christians, may well be separated from the Catholic Church, but they often come back to it to get things they lack in their own churches - moral explanations, cutting-edge theology (!) about modern issues, etc. The Pope has alot of theological and moral authority among non-catholic christian theolgians. I just saw one young guy from a local super-church called Mars HIll who was reading with relish Benedict’s essay on the Creation and Fall story in Genesis.

Kirk

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Posted: 24 March 2008 09:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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So the snake could talk then?

Kyu

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“Keye’ung lu nì‘aw tì‘eyng mìkìfkey lekye’ung”
(Insanity, the only answer in a world insane!)

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Posted: 24 March 2008 03:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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Kyuuketsuki UK - 24 March 2008 09:50 AM

So the snake could talk then?

Kyu

(shrugging) The author claims the snake ‘said’ this and that to Eve. Does it matter for our debate that a snake speaks, when there’s a paradise on Earth and a God walking in it daily? I suggest we leave the talking snakes lie.

There’s an old Abbot and Costello routine where Costello tries to tell a joke: ‘There was a whale in the middle of the ocean—’ Abbot interrupts ‘What ocean?’ ‘Well Costello says wearily, ‘what ocean do you want the whale to be in? Abbot says ‘That’s immaterial to me.’ ‘Okay’ Costello replies, ‘It was the Immaterial Ocean.’

Careful to discern what’s important - or immaterial - in an account of events.

For myself, I don’t know how literally to take there being exactly one man and one woman beginning the human race. Even granting evolutionary theory, it just may have been one male and one female anthropoid who were awakened to humanity at first. I believe in the ‘gist’ of the story; something terrible happened, and it was the ultimate fault of human beings, no-one else. So far as it goes, sure, there were pre-human populations, and maybe ‘Adam and Eve’ were an early population, not single people. We still understand quite poorly what makes humans uniquely advanced in the animal kingdom.

Benedict as I’ve mentioned has a good essay on the preferred way Catholics (at least) are supposed to think of the Creation and Fall. It’s doubtless online at the Vatican website.

Kirk

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Posted: 24 March 2008 06:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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Kirk,

This is only going to get worse. There were surely never “one male and one female anthropoid who were awakened to humanity.” First, nobody was “awakened.” Rather, all animals (and plants, fungi, etc.) alive today have evolved. Second, everybody is a mutant. The genes all never copy perfectly and therefore everybody is some kind of first “whatever.” You could go back in time as far as you like, and find that your parent, and her parent and her parent (you get the idea) could have sex and produce an offspring with an individual from the previous generation. It is silly to speculate there were ever first humans, or anthropoids, or anything of that sort. And we do understand what makes humans uniquely advanced in the animal kingdom: it is the size of our brain and its complexity as a result of the brain’s size.

[ Edited: 24 March 2008 06:51 PM by George ]
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Posted: 24 March 2008 07:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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Kirk,

Why do you believe in the “gist” of stories for which feel comfortable ignoring most of the details, or which you view only as metaphors? I mean, I suspect it is the same reason as you give above for beling a Christian at all-namely a personal conviction, which I take it stems from faith, but I don’t want to answer for you. The core message just “feels right,” even if the details seem inconsistent with how reality is now, so the details become poetry, metaphor, or code through which the truth is revealed. Is this close?

One of the things that puzzles me about religious belief among smart, well-informed folks such as yourself is the apparent conviction that the types and standards of rational analysis you apply skillfully, and with apparent belief in their value, to other areas feel irrelevant or inappropriate when applied to your religious beliefs. You understand, and to a certain extent accept, that there are no talking snakes, that two individual humans could not biolgically be the literal parents of all humanity, and so on. Yet the underlying message you perceive in the stories still seems to be one of fundamental, transcendant truth that supercedes such quotidian details of reality. So reason, science, methodological naturalism and all that have their place, and may even be invaluable in daily life, but they are irrelevant to understanding the most important issue of all, the fundamental nature and purpose of our existence.

For me personally, I’ve never been able to reconcile this conflict. Sure, one can say that the rules which clearly apply to everything we experience need not apply to God, and that instead God must be understood through personal or scriptural revelation, but how come? And what if my intuition, feeling, inner voice, personal revelation gives me a different answer from yours? I’m happy to agree to disagree about what, if anything, has been “revealed” to each of us, of course. But in practice, we’re both still mostly convinced we’re right and the other person is wrong. For me, the methods of science and logic seem like a way out of this. Provisional truth pending further evidence, agnosticism about that which is claimed to be exempt from science and logic, these seem like a better way to go than faith. Of course, you feel differently, and I’m not really asking you to justify yourself. I just find it hard to understand how faith and a strong rational intellect don’t trip over each other in your brain. I can understand those who are mystics or fundamentalist literalists not having this problem, and of course I guess I really believe that feeling and intuition ultimately always trumps reason, in the secular-minded nearly as much as the religious. But it still is hard for me to figure out how you do it! grin

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Posted: 25 March 2008 03:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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inthegobi - 24 March 2008 03:48 PM
Kyuuketsuki UK - 24 March 2008 09:50 AM

So the snake could talk then?

Kyu

(shrugging) The author claims the snake ‘said’ this and that to Eve. Does it matter for our debate that a snake speaks, when there’s a paradise on Earth and a God walking in it daily? I suggest we leave the talking snakes lie.

I don’t think so no because I think this kind of question goes to the very heart of religious belief ... if you do believe it I am forced to ask why (why believe in something so ludicrous)? If you don’t believe it I am forced to ask why (why is this particular piece of biblical scripture unbelievable whilst others are not)? Obviously I could have chosen any one of a thousand or more other questions (was the universe created in 6 days as is stated in the bible? Are there windows in the sky as stated in the bible?) but a talking snake is a good as any.

The underlying questions are why do you NOT believe this thing (and others) and why do you believe others? What rationale/reasoning do you use to establish what is and what is not true in your bible? Why are the biblical scriptures correct and others not?

Questioning the existence of talking animals in a set of scriptures that will supposedly save us from eternal damnation is neither foolish nor pointless. Of course there’s always the Dawkinsian approach ... why should the issue of talking animals be bypassed? Why should your belief system get a get-out-of-jail-free pass on this?

Kyu

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“Keye’ung lu nì‘aw tì‘eyng mìkìfkey lekye’ung”
(Insanity, the only answer in a world insane!)

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