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Posted: 25 March 2008 07:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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The Bible tells us god is omniscient. This means he knew everything that would happen before he began creating life, the universe and everything. So god created the universe (which in itself seems like a severe case of overkill considering the Bible does not mention god creating any other little children to fear and worship his holiness… ahem, I digress.) So god created the Heavens and the Earth knowing full well that he was condemning to eternal torment the majority of the people he was creating. This is unconscionable genocide, worse than anything man has unleashed on fellow man. At least when one man kills another the deceased is released from pain and suffering. The god of the Bible shows no such mercy.

Question 1: Why should a rational being such as myself worship a genocidal monster such as Yahweh?

Question 2: How can we have free will if god knew everything that would happen before he created us?

Question 3a & 3b: Why didn’t god create people with better social skills? Most of us love our children, so why didn’t god see to it that we love people from outside our tribes too? Seems to me that any being who could create the entire universe would find it trivial to endow his children with a bit of peace, love and understanding.

Question 4: Have you studied any religions that predate Judaism? You know, the ones where the Jewish religious leaders got all their ideas, from the Creation Myth to the Sermon on the Mount.

Question 5: In the Old Testament god says “I am a jealous god.” The New Testament tells us “Love is not jealous” and “God is love.” Which one of these three statements is false?

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Posted: 25 March 2008 08:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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George - 24 March 2008 06:33 PM

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.

It’s *only* going to get worse? I doubt that; at worst, it *may* get worse. Don’t be so down on dialogue.

Second, everybody is a mutant. The genes all never copy perfectly and therefore everybody is some kind of first “whatever.”

Off topic, but: I ken your meaning; however, you realize that ‘mutant’ connotes a departure from a real and normal type; and granting the evolutionary account of speciation, calling every living thing a ‘mutant’ is misleading. Since there are no real type-species in evolutionary theory, we can’t say that there are any ‘mutants’ - just a variety of organisms and species-for-now. This sounds like a quibble, I know, but it’s important to be precise in scientific matters, no?

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.

A primate called Homo sapiens sapiens isn’t the same as a full human being. Do you find it impossible that a thing can be mechanical and non-natural? That seems to describe every automobile: it’s made of perfectly natural materials, but was put together just as obviously by a ‘creative’ designer, and is obviously meant to be used in non-natural ways, and runs in a mechanical, reliable way exactly so that it can be well-used by its designers and their neighbors.

(Btw: both sides of the complexity/design debate bore me to tears. IMHO, the heavens *declare* their Maker, they don’t *suggest* it. So I’m very unmoved by someone proving to me God needn’t exist because something’s complexity can be well-explained - just as I’d be utterly unmoved if someone could thoroughly explain how my car works, and claimed that therefore the car wasn’t designed by a creative team. This isn’t quite Paley’s watch argument, you’ll notice.)

You’ll notice that I only gave an Adam-and-Eve story as a possibility - it’s not impossible to harmonize even some pretty old-fashioned parts of the Creation and Fall story with what little we know of our distant ancestors. I gave a speculation; please show a little charity, and don’t pretend I meant it as a fact or a necessary part of my way of looking at the world.

A note to mckenzie:

Yes, I pick and choose in religious stories. But I have two guides - my Church (specifically my bishops), what my ancestors believed (tradition), and common sense ideas about when someone is using a metaphor and when he’s not, and how much of his words are meant metaphorically or really. So for examples: Christ says he is the door - i have never asked if he’s the wooden or sliding glass type. Would it surprise people in the forum to discover that his original listeners didn’t ask that question either? Christ speaks of Heaven and Hell - I don’t worry when I dig a well that i’ll hit Hell, and I don’t worry when I launch a rocket that I’ll hit an angel. Maybe *some* of his original listeners thought that - yet his point wasn’t at all about the distance of Hell from jerusalem, and again, it’s just common sense that his listeners kenned that, too. However, it’s also obvious Christ meant them as real, and not mere metaphors - as states of mind at the least, and permanent ones. When I read about the Creation and the Fall the story is obviously about a (putatively to you, sir) real creating and a real fall from grace, but the author also just as obviously doesn’t care much of the mechanics of the Fall - he talks of fruit-trees and snakes, but the point of his story - the ‘gist’ as I called it earlier - isn’t about talking snakes or apples as bad for moral health.

Sheesh, you guys, some days, a man might think you all never read a book other than an encyclopedia, which tells no story, and makes no point at all, and every sentence is to be taken exactly as every other sentence. Not even scientific theories have all their parts equally believed in.

Kirk

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Posted: 25 March 2008 08:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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Kyuuketsuki UK - 25 March 2008 03:34 AM
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)?

Hi Kyu:

I’m concerned that you’re concentrating on minor things (was there a snake? Did he talk?) when you ought to be troubled by the less visually arresting but more important problems (did the first human beings live in some pre-fallen state? Did God create the World? Does he love us and care that we’re in a hole partly of our own digging?)

So sorting out if there was a snake in the Garden (and was it a *garden*?) and if it talked is grubbing for small potatoes. Tho’ I’m happy to give you one educated Christian’s opinion.

Kirk

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Posted: 25 March 2008 08:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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fotobits - 25 March 2008 07:15 AM

. . .[G]od created the Heavens and the Earth knowing full well that he was condemning to eternal torment the majority of the people he was creating. This is unconscionable genocide, worse than anything man has unleashed on fellow man. At least when one man kills another the deceased is released from pain and suffering. The god of the Bible shows no such mercy.

I happen to doubt that God has a knowledge-bank that He accesses. He knows me, for instance - he knows my character. Yet He hopes that I make the right decisions, even when I ‘chose poorly’ as the knight says archly in *Indiana Jones and the Holy Grail*. God can also just choose to not look at what I may decide to do in the future; He instead treats with me here and now, ‘just as I am’ as the hymn puts it. He doesn’t ‘count’ the future - that allows me to make my own mind up.

Suppose a woman has a little kid, and she lives in a depressed neighborhood. She knows her family and her neighborhood, and worse - she’s seen a certain hellish look in his eyes and manner. There’s a distinct possibility that the little nipper will grow up to be a thug, or a drug-runner perhaps. Yes indeed, why would she not just strangle the kid now - wouldn’t it be better? Is it automatically bad that she lets the kid grow up?

Question 1: Why should a rational being such as myself worship a genocidal monster such as Yahweh?
Answer: Straw Man fallacy. No-one’s asking you to worship a genocidal monster. No-one but some Jehovah’s Witnesses or Assembly of God folks - and not all of them - might require you to worship *Yahweh* just as it He seemed to the Jews of the old testament.

Question 2: How can we have free will if god knew everything that would happen before he created us?
Reply: I gave a possible answer above. I don’t believe the future exists (yet - and then it’s the present). So to me ‘god’s knowledge of the future’ is a little like saying ‘God’s knowlege of round squares.’ God doesn’t *lack* knowledge like you or I lack knowledge - he doesn’t need knowledge as a crutch when we can’t observe directly, as you and I need the crutch of knowledge: we generate artificial observations by ‘turning the crank’ of our knowledge-machines, since most things we cannot observe. To say I know the Sun will come up tomorrow is to speak a little falsely - i don’t know that by acquaintance, my knowledge machine spits out that belief. God in a way however is Wisdom, He’s not got wisdom in a box, or separate from Himself.

Question 3a & 3b: Why didn’t god create people with better social skills? Most of us love our children, so why didn’t god see to it that we love people from outside our tribes too? Seems to me that any being who could create the entire universe would find it trivial to endow his children with a bit of peace, love and understanding.
Answer: Alas, why didn’t He create *me* with better social skills? Yet I’m still a Christian. There’s that problem of our original fall, and - even if we reject that - there’s the obvious fact that we are rather selfish little SOB’s here and now, eh? In moral philosophy, I’m a ‘psychological egoist’  - we are in fact little SOBs - but not an ‘ethical egoist’ - morals are not a complicated way to satisfy my SOB desires without getting hurt by my SOB neighbors.

Question 4: Have you studied any religions that predate Judaism? You know, the ones where the Jewish religious leaders got all their ideas, from the Creation Myth to the Sermon on the Mount.
Answer: Yes, I’m rather an amateur student of mythology - i got it from Tolkein. You might find his essay ‘On Fairy-Story’ interesting; it was an early influence on how i look at mythic stories. I’ve also taught college world mythology classes. So i’m at least familiar with them - especially Norse and South Pacific ones. Okay?

Question 5: In the Old Testament god says “I am a jealous god.” The New Testament tells us “Love is not jealous” and “God is love.” Which one of these three statements is false?
Reply: Hm. If ‘jealous’ means exactly the same thing in all three statements - which range over several centuries - then I’d be boned. Do you know that ‘jealous’ means exaclty the same thing in both statements?

You know the proverb ‘Spare the rod, spoil the child’, right? It’s an apt proverb without being intended as a universal prescription: it’s just false that every sparing of the rod is a spoiling of a child. No serious parent believes in the truth of the proverb while taking it so literally. ‘God is jealous’; what do you suppose a rational religious man *might* mean by that, while also believing the other two? Whose love was meant in ‘Love is not jealous;’ and what is the jealousy in reference to? Put yourself in an honest Christian’s shoes for a while, eh?

Kirk

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Posted: 25 March 2008 08:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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Kirk,

I think you’re missing my point, intentionally or not. I, of course, understand metaphor as an indirect way of making a point. What I don’t understand is why the particular point, which seems as unlikely as a talking snake to me, seems incontrovertably real to you even though you are just as capable of looking at reality in a logical and scientific way the rest of the time. Common sense is a cop out, since it means whatever anybody wants it to mean. It’s common sense that the supernatural doesn’t exist, to me, but clearly not to you. As for the Church and tradition, we can argue about why they are or are not reliable indicators of what is true. But my point is that you pick and choose what to view rationally and what to accept on faith, and that’s a process I have trouble understanding.

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Posted: 25 March 2008 10:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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inthegobi - 24 March 2008 06:43 AM

  (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.

you didn’t answer my question, what sins did I commit for him to decide to die for them without asking me first? 2000 years ago, I wasn’t even born yet. What if my parents decided they’d have an abortion, what would he have looked like? as a free human being, doesn’t my view count for something? the answer is yes. And since he is the alpha and the omega, why did he give me life? so he could accuse of being sinful and turn around and die for me LOL ? Oh Lord, this belongs in comedy central. ...and by the way, I have no respect for the “tradition” you mean here, tradition serves someone else’s interests not mine.

(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?

are you for real? what hole and when did I dig it? no offense, but you’re starting to sound like sylvia brown here.

(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.

again, you failed to answer my point here, I said from birth, we are supposed to owe him, you’re catholic, as such you know what supposedly happens to unbaptised children.

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

your snake went to the woman and succeeded in tempting her first. this is what your story says, I didn’t.

(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?

why is there suffering? ...if god is all this and all that? well, you tell me.

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?’


and I could say who created the snake along with the dumbest scenario a living being could come up with, let alone the almighty? I usually like to address the source of the problem or situation. ...Now who is really dumb, god, his creators or both?

(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.

why not, this is not my mess, but your god’s. I am personally well taken care of. I have a job, no children by choice, I help those who I can, I take responsibility for the things I believe I am responsible for, how about your god working to do the same thing. I mean I could do it and I am nobody.

(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


the evidence is your and his evidence, not mine, walk your talk.

[ Edited: 25 March 2008 10:53 AM by Daisy ]
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Posted: 25 March 2008 11:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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Kyuuketsuki UK - 25 March 2008 03:34 AM
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

the answer might be because that allows them to merrily wallow in their fantasy basin. we know snakes don’t talk any more than donkeys do. Also, it is tremendously painful for one to see that the castle they’be been told all their lives is real/theirs is actually nothing more than a mirage. The first time I’ve been through that the pain and emptiness was simply devastating, hence the relentless resistance to the facts. I sympathize with all those who will eventually have to confront this sometimes in their lives. One feels that that their whole being is under attack, and it is since the blue print of the person has to be redone according to what is and not what the bible wonderland sketches it is or will be.


@ Fotobits, in reference to post # 31, thank you. Little me finds it to be very grounded.

[ Edited: 25 March 2008 11:33 AM by Daisy ]
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Posted: 25 March 2008 12:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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inthegobi - 25 March 2008 08:50 AM

Suppose a woman has a little kid, and she lives in a depressed neighborhood. She knows her family and her neighborhood, and worse - she’s seen a certain hellish look in his eyes and manner. There’s a distinct possibility that the little nipper will grow up to be a thug, or a drug-runner perhaps. Yes indeed, why would she not just strangle the kid now - wouldn’t it be better? Is it automatically bad that she lets the kid grow up?

So your god is no more prescient than a woman living in a ghetto, despite all the Biblical passages extolling his exalted holiness, omniscience and universe-building capabilities.

Question 1: Why should a rational being such as myself worship a genocidal monster such as Yahweh?
Answer: Straw Man fallacy. No-one’s asking you to worship a genocidal monster. No-one but some Jehovah’s Witnesses or Assembly of God folks - and not all of them - might require you to worship *Yahweh* just as it He seemed to the Jews of the old testament.

Do ever bother reading the Bible you supposedly believe in? Your alleged god is a mass-murderer, ordered the Jews to commit genocide because people he hadn’t chosen did not believe in him, ordered stoning children for talking back to their parents, and threatens everyone on this planet with eternal damnation if we don’t bow down before him and admit how unworthy we are of his love.

Question 2: How can we have free will if god knew everything that would happen before he created us?
Reply: I gave a possible answer above. I don’t believe the future exists (yet - and then it’s the present). So to me ‘god’s knowledge of the future’ is a little like saying ‘God’s knowlege of round squares.’ God doesn’t *lack* knowledge like you or I lack knowledge - he doesn’t need knowledge as a crutch when we can’t observe directly, as you and I need the crutch of knowledge: we generate artificial observations by ‘turning the crank’ of our knowledge-machines, since most things we cannot observe. To say I know the Sun will come up tomorrow is to speak a little falsely - i don’t know that by acquaintance, my knowledge machine spits out that belief. God in a way however is Wisdom, He’s not got wisdom in a box, or separate from Himself.

I cannot make any sense at all of that argument.

Question 3a & 3b: Why didn’t god create people with better social skills? Most of us love our children, so why didn’t god see to it that we love people from outside our tribes too? Seems to me that any being who could create the entire universe would find it trivial to endow his children with a bit of peace, love and understanding.
Answer: Alas, why didn’t He create *me* with better social skills? Yet I’m still a Christian. There’s that problem of our original fall, and - even if we reject that - there’s the obvious fact that we are rather selfish little SOB’s here and now, eh? In moral philosophy, I’m a ‘psychological egoist’  - we are in fact little SOBs - but not an ‘ethical egoist’ - morals are not a complicated way to satisfy my SOB desires without getting hurt by my SOB neighbors.

Question 4: Have you studied any religions that predate Judaism? You know, the ones where the Jewish religious leaders got all their ideas, from the Creation Myth to the Sermon on the Mount.
Answer: Yes, I’m rather an amateur student of mythology - i got it from Tolkein. You might find his essay ‘On Fairy-Story’ interesting; it was an early influence on how i look at mythic stories. I’ve also taught college world mythology classes. So i’m at least familiar with them - especially Norse and South Pacific ones. Okay?

OK. Then why do you choose to believe the Bible instead of the earlier religions from which is sprang?

Question 5: In the Old Testament god says “I am a jealous god.” The New Testament tells us “Love is not jealous” and “God is love.” Which one of these three statements is false?
Reply: Hm. If ‘jealous’ means exactly the same thing in all three statements - which range over several centuries - then I’d be boned. Do you know that ‘jealous’ means exaclty the same thing in both statements?

You know the proverb ‘Spare the rod, spoil the child’, right? It’s an apt proverb without being intended as a universal prescription: it’s just false that every sparing of the rod is a spoiling of a child. No serious parent believes in the truth of the proverb while taking it so literally. ‘God is jealous’; what do you suppose a rational religious man *might* mean by that, while also believing the other two? Whose love was meant in ‘Love is not jealous;’ and what is the jealousy in reference to?

Nice try on the spin, but arguing semantics doesn’t change the blindingly obvious logical contradiction.

Put yourself in an honest Christian’s shoes for a while, eh?

Been there, done that. Rejected it after studying the Bible intensely and finding not answers but contradictions, and a god that was evil, not loving.

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Posted: 25 March 2008 12:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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Daisy:

I don’t know you personally, at all. I cannot know what you’ve done or failed to do. I’m a little surprised at how confident you are in your goodness - but (shrugs) if you’re that good, then I guess you go to heaven automatically, just as Jesus told the scribe - ‘well, be perfect’. And the scribe eagerly said ‘Yep, that’s me!’ Well, that’s not me. And this is a thread about asking the Christian, isn’t it? Not ‘what does a Christian think goes on in the minds of others.’

Thus in answer to this:

Daisy - 25 March 2008 10:47 AM

you didn’t answer my question, what sins did I commit for him to decide to die for them without asking me first?

The only answer I can give is ‘I don’t know, and I’m not a good person to explore that with, since I’m not an intimate of yours.’

As a free human being, doesn’t my view count for something? the answer is yes.

See - this is a rhetorical question. I’m sorry you don’t get what I mean by that, and why it’s not a good way to discuss things like this ‘in a friendly manner’ as Socrates says to Meno.

And since he is the alpha and the omega, why did he give me life? so he could accuse of being sinful and turn around and die for me LOL ? Oh Lord, this belongs in comedy central.

By ‘this’ you mean your own way of stating what I might believe. I’m sorry Daisy, you have a lot of concerns, but you’re ot asking me real questions - you keep asking questions which are really your thought, not questions for me about what I believe as a christian. Start your own thread ‘What Daisy thinks is On the Minds of Those Damn Christians.’

...and by the way, I have no respect for the “tradition” you mean here, tradition serves someone else’s interests not mine.

Well, that’s pretty blazingly obvious. You don’t like christianity. and you think Christians are stupid or benighted or even wicked. Duh. This is ‘fundamentalist secularism’ in a nutshell. Next comes the pogrom where you deny me a teaching position?

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

your snake went to the woman and succeeded in tempting her first. this is what your story says, I didn’t.

Look, you rob a liquor store; I knowing you robbed the store, take your liquor and fence the goods. Of course we’re both guilty, even if you started the chain. Gosh, get a grip.

Daisy, like I said at the beginning, I won’t answer every question put to me - that’s a right I have. It’s not charitable for you to ignore my very first post, and then complain I’m not doing something I clearly stated I wouldn’t do. Why won’t I answer every question? You’re free to pretend it’s because I’m tricky, or don’t like you or George or Brennan, or I’m ‘intentionally’ (thanks Brennan) trying to trap you all. Really think hard why any rational person might refrain from answering every question put to me here so far.

Thanks though for your interest Daisy; however, I feel you just won’t like any answer I give. If you cannot conceive of any possibility that I might possibly have a possible decent half-reason to believe what *I* believe - rather than the toy christian you keep assuming - then you just don’t want to discuss - you want to ‘tell’ me What Is. I’m sure you move through life with great, striding confidence.

Kirk

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Posted: 25 March 2008 01:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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(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?

This reminds me of something Augustine said when asked what god was doing before he created the earth and heavens, “Creating Hell for people who ask questions like that” Why would someone not ask the question why Jesus has to die for MY sins. The whole idea that I am in a hole isn’t proven, nor is it necessitated that I be brought out of it. And what’s more, why does god require ANYTHING to save me? Is god insufficient to save me from myself on his own? He requires blood? And if he doesn’t require the blood, what kind of god could save someone without blood, but deem it arbitrarily necessary to have blood?

(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.

Funny thing is, apparently I AM responsible for Adam’s sin, and god likes to punish people 7 generations AFTER the fact. I don’t see every man being born into Eden and given free choice, only Adam. So anyway you cut it, every man was condemned by one.

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?’

Wasn’t a snake. It was a serpent. And the serpent wasn’t stupid, it could talk and make arguments! And the serpent told Eve the truth and god outright lied then punished man not for the ‘sin’ but because man, apparently, was competition.

Kirk, I have to question why you think complexity makes any statement as to a creator. We see complex systems rise all the time without creators, they just are. Would you say there is some economic god who creates the principals of economies? Or would you just accept that something as simple as supply and demand moves markets? More to the point, we’ve recreated complex systems in computer generated worlds where the very little input is generated. You’ve presented a tautological argument and I don’t think it is a very good one when we have natural explanations that actually offer us something - explanatory power and understanding.

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Posted: 25 March 2008 02:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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[quote author=“inthegobi”]I’m concerned that you’re concentrating on minor things (was there a snake? Did he talk?) when you ought to be troubled by the less visually arresting but more important problems (did the first human beings live in some pre-fallen state? Did God create the World? Does he love us and care that we’re in a hole partly of our own digging?)

And I believe you have just dodged the question ... I said a whole lot more than that which expanded on why I consider it important.

What’s the point of asking questions when the recipient simply dodges? Why did you even offer this “service” if all you are going to do is avoid those questions you can’t answer or consider irrelevant?

Kyu

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Posted: 25 March 2008 09:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
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Kyuuketsuki UK - 25 March 2008 02:05 PM

And I believe you have just dodged the question ... I said a whole lot more than that which expanded on why I consider it important.

What’s the point of asking questions when the recipient simply dodges? Why did you even offer this “service” if all you are going to do is avoid those questions you can’t answer or consider irrelevant?

Kyu

Just speaking as one Christian, I believe the issue of some things - such as the ‘smaller’ miracles - are trivial, unimportant and boring. It’s boring because there’s a thousand like the snake allegedly talking - and a thousand little true miracles are, to me, no more unlikely than one. That’s the only sensible way to think of miracles, whether or not they exist. And if you’re granting only naturalistic assumption, then of course there is no metric necessary for things impossible or extremely unlikely. So to me, it just doesn’t matter which miracle you pick: if certain key ones aren’t true, then the little ones wouldn’t do us any good even if true; and if those certain crucial ones are true, then the little ones are ‘no sweat’ - they weren’t necessary in the first place, and they have a varying degree of truth or proof to them.

Further, it’s just not very *useful* to me in my religious life. I need to relate to my god, as bizarre as that might well appear. What did you expect Christians do with all this belief lying about? As a christian, I have religious priorities as well as personal (un)interests. The problem of the small miracles for instance - well, it’s not liturgy, it’s not worship, it’s not prayer, it’s not working for the community, it’s not contemplation of God, it’s not a clear way to holiness. And on the side of the natural world, it’s not investigation into His creation, since it’s exactly the non-natural. It just doesn’t get much air either way on my radar. What less can I say about the ‘small’ miracles alleged in the Bible or tradition. and the problem of their truth and the bearing it might make on the Christian or Catholic faith?


Since you needed to be harsh to me, allow me a little of the same, and truer: the mere fact that you’re unhappy with me isn’t a question, it’s a complaint. Further, I promised to answer respectful questions. I get to decide in part when it’s respectful. I’m not entirely convinced you respect me much.

But please, shake hands? And in return I promise to be more diligent in answering questions.

Kirk

[ Edited: 25 March 2008 10:08 PM by inthegobi ]
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Posted: 26 March 2008 02:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
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[quote author=“inthegobi”]Since you needed to be harsh to me, allow me a little of the same, and truer: the mere fact that you’re unhappy with me isn’t a question, it’s a complaint.

From my previous post, “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?

[quote author=“inthegobi”]Further, I promised to answer respectful questions. I get to decide in part when it’s respectful. I’m not entirely convinced you respect me much.

Not sure what you want here ... I respect your right to hold whatever belief you wish, but I am incapable of respecting any belief or claim unless it is supported by validatable evidence or has a reasonable degree of fit with our current understanding of the observable universe.

[quote author=“inthegobi”]But please, shake hands? And in return I promise to be more diligent in answering questions.

Sure ... I’m not your enemy but neither do I hold with the idea of NOMA.

Kyu

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Posted: 26 March 2008 10:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
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Kirk,

Thank you for taking the time to put your self on the chopping block and let everyone inquire about your Catholic Faith.  I am glad you recognize the importance of inquiry and I value your participation on this forum.

Rather than add to the number of questions by adding my own version, I would like to request another look and possibly a more focused look at some of the questions already asked.

I think Fotobits did a good job of asking the questions that cut right to the issues many on this forum take with Christianity and specifically Catholicism.  I was not satisfied with the responses you gave to these questions, for the same reasons Brennen made in this response afterward:

mckenzievmd - 25 March 2008 08:56 AM

Kirk,

I think you’re missing my point, intentionally or not. I, of course, understand metaphor as an indirect way of making a point. What I don’t understand is why the particular point, which seems as unlikely as a talking snake to me, seems incontrovertably real to you even though you are just as capable of looking at reality in a logical and scientific way the rest of the time. Common sense is a cop out, since it means whatever anybody wants it to mean. It’s common sense that the supernatural doesn’t exist, to me, but clearly not to you. As for the Church and tradition, we can argue about why they are or are not reliable indicators of what is true. But my point is that you pick and choose what to view rationally and what to accept on faith, and that’s a process I have trouble understanding.

This concept of common sense has been taken for granted in most if not all of your responses.  If you wouldn’t mind I would like to know your responses to Brennen’s above post and hopefully take another look at Fotobits and others questions without evoking your own common sense.  Don’t you think we could all benefit from an analytical approach?  If I remember correctly, your background more than equips you to communicate using this kind of language.

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Posted: 26 March 2008 11:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
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inthegobi - 25 March 2008 12:30 PM

Daisy:

I don’t know you personally, at all. I cannot know what you’ve done or failed to do.


of course you don’t, and I am starting to believe any more than you do yourself or the ground you stand.

 

I’m a little surprised at how confident you are in your goodness -

but beneath, you’d rather me hopelessly feel shame and guilt as your bible is desperate for me to, so it can use that to ‘milk me’ like a cow as a restitution for my innate “bad-hood”  LOL  ?

but (shrugs) if you’re that good,

... to put your honesty where your mouth is, I’d ask where did I ever say “I am that good”? or was that a “rhetorical” comment?

then I guess you go to heaven automatically,

heaven and hell have been both created by mankind, we know that one can create either right here on earth (just take a look around), they don’t need to die for that.

just as Jesus told the scribe - ‘well, be perfect’. And the scribe eagerly said ‘Yep, that’s me!’ Well, that’s not me. And this is a thread about asking the Christian, isn’t it? Not ‘what does a Christian think goes on in the minds of others.’

if you be honest like jesus commands you to, you’d just answer the qestions point blank. But I guess one thing this thread is not about is honesty.

inthegobi - 25 March 2008 12:30 PM

Thus in answer to this:

Daisy - 25 March 2008 10:47 AM

you didn’t answer my question, what sins did I commit for him to decide to die for them without asking me first?The only answer I can give is ‘I don’t know, and I’m not a good person to explore that with, since I’m not an intimate of yours.’

you are mis-quoting me here, the following is added by you:

The only answer I can give is ‘I don’t know, and I’m not a good person to explore that with, since I’m not an intimate of yours.’


and once more, you, did, not, answer, my, question! I repeat the question:

what sins did I commit for him to decide to die for them without asking me first?


this thread is about asking questions to a christian, please answer this question. I’ll address the rest when you do this one. ...Unless of course the real intent of starting it is to expand your marshmallowy ego.

[ Edited: 26 March 2008 11:46 AM by Daisy ]
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