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Thread: Atheism vs. Religion

  1. #201
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    **** sapiens were around in Africa several millions of years ago. Assuming the 'creation' story is false, it makes sense our population was low. Several cataclysms have reduced the human population of the distant past to the tens of thousands.
    People weren't living in cities and lead hard nomadic lives with very short life expectancies. Most children didn't survive, and communities were made up of tiny groups. Populations started growing when people started growing crops and building cities, absolutely BOOMED with the Industrial age and over the last century largely to scientific advances in the field of medicine, and the availability of these technologies and practices in most parts of the world. There is a reason that less developed nations are the ones experiencing massive population growth as life expectancy is rising, and infant mortality is falling.

    I guess what I want to get at is sure, humans have come from relatively small numbers, but this is far further in the past than you are suggesting, and there is widespread proof to back this up.
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  2. #202

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent View Post
    The fact that mountains rose up out of the earth does not prove that there was no flood. Only by accurately dating those fossils can we see if they could have been brought up there by the flood, or if they were there before the flood.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burgess_Shale

    I do believe those fossils pre-date the supposed time of Noah's flood by a few hundred million years, give or take. Are you claiming that there is a similar deposit somewhere that coincides with Noah's flood? Or rather, that there is a series of them located around the entire globe that all do?

    Again, there is no archaeological or geological evidence that supports the events you claim to be supported: Exodus, Flood, parting of the Red Sea, the building of the tower of Babel. Or at least none that is in the slightest way credible. On the other hand, many if not most of the main concepts, stories and memes within the Bible are quite obviously derived from the mythology of previous religions, such as Judaism (obviously), Zoroastrianism, and numerous others.
    Notice that I never cited fossils as evidence of Noah's flood. I was responding to a post by MrOilers that said many people used to cite the fossils as evidence until it was discovered that the mountains grow up out of the ground.

    I only said that the growing mountains in no way disprove the flood story. I also said that the dating of the fossils would determine if they may be at all relevant to the flood story. Obviously if they are older than the flood then they are not relevant.

  3. #203

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    Marcel

    Dr. Ballard, of fame regarding the Titanic, has found some pretty significant evidence of a great flood creating the Black Sea. Which in the scale of the times would have been flooding the world.

    As I recall from the programs I watched it was found the timing and extent matched well the story of Noah's flood.

    So the case may be one of scale of context as opposed to discrediting.

    tom

  4. #204

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    Again, there is no archaeological or geological evidence that supports the events you claim to be supported: Exodus, Flood, parting of the Red Sea, the building of the tower of Babel. Or at least none that is in the slightest way credible. On the other hand, many if not most of the main concepts, stories and memes within the Bible are quite obviously derived from the mythology of previous religions, such as Judaism (obviously), Zoroastrianism, and numerous others.
    The beach where Moses and the Israelites were trapped by the approaching Egyptian army.


    The Wadi Watir valley through which the Israelites passed on their way to the Red Sea.


    One of the columns that King Solomon erected on either side of the crossing, with inscriptions, to commemorate the event. The Bible even mentions this column on the Egyptian side! Isaiah 19:19, "In that day there will be an altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to the Lord at its border."


    Image of underwater land bridge at the site of the crossing.


    Coral covered chariot wheels found at the bottom of the sea.







    Human bone (the one on the right) found at the bottom of the sea. There are also reports of horse bones found.


    Horse hoof found at the bottom of the sea.

  5. #205

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    Of course that means that everyone on earth is the product of incest. Sons & daughters of Noah and all that. Maybe there was a fleet of arks and we just have the story of one. Or perhaps they rescued strong swimemrs from other families.

  6. #206

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    Marcel

    Dr. Ballard, of fame regarding the Titanic, has found some pretty significant evidence of a great flood creating the Black Sea. Which in the scale of the times would have been flooding the world.

    As I recall from the programs I watched it was found the timing and extent matched well the story of Noah's flood.

    So the case may be one of scale of context as opposed to discrediting.

    tom
    But the bible is quite clear that the flood was world wide and that Noah and his family were the only survivors.

    Unless, of course, the bible isn't meant to be taken literally and is just a collection of morality stories inteneded to keep people in line.

  7. #207

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    Quote Originally Posted by kkozoriz View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    Marcel

    Dr. Ballard, of fame regarding the Titanic, has found some pretty significant evidence of a great flood creating the Black Sea. Which in the scale of the times would have been flooding the world.

    As I recall from the programs I watched it was found the timing and extent matched well the story of Noah's flood.

    So the case may be one of scale of context as opposed to discrediting.

    tom
    But the bible is quite clear that the flood was world wide and that Noah and his family were the only survivors.

    Unless, of course, the bible isn't meant to be taken literally and is just a collection of morality stories inteneded to keep people in line.
    Not to be labour the point but...

    As someone earlier pointed out with science..."best knowledge at that time".

    The recording of Noah's Flood was by man, not an entity, in the knowledge of man at that time it is entirely likely it was perceived "as the world".

    The point being if it applies to science (knowledge at that time) it applies to the recording of history (at that time), never mind the religious context.

    My opinion

    Tom

  8. #208

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    Yup, the "science of the day" in Biblical times wasn't very good compared to today's standards.

    As Galileo pointed out, the Bible only mentions the sun and moon a couple of times, and refers to the planet Venus as the "morning star" or "evening star". No mention of other planets and their moons, other stars, galaxies, nebulas, etc. If the Bible's purpose was to explain the natural world and the universe, it sure leaves out a lot of details.

  9. #209

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent View Post
    If a book (the Bible for example) has a hundred stories in it, and 50 of them have been proven to be true, does the lack of proof for the other 50 then invalidate the entire book? Of course not.
    You are right. Also, by using your example, if some of those stories are found to be 100% fiction, it still doesn't discredit the rest of the Bible or disprove the existence of God. Fictional stories also can have scholarly value, religious value, and ethical value as well.

  10. #210

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrOilers View Post
    Yup, the "science of the day" in Biblical times wasn't very good compared to today's standards.

    As Galileo pointed out, the Bible only mentions the sun and moon a couple of times, and refers to the planet Venus as the "morning star" or "evening star". No mention of other planets and their moons, other stars, galaxies, nebulas, etc. If the Bible's purpose was to explain the natural world and the universe, it sure leaves out a lot of details.
    Not being a "Bible" kinda guy, but having read it.

    The Bible, to me, was to be the "Word of the Lord" as written by man,
    not as an explanation of the natural world and Universe.

    I've never seen it as being the dictated word of "God".

    As such I have always viewed it in the context of the times it was written in, that being said it makes sense that it does not carry the "science" of today.

    Tom

  11. #211

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    But Noah built the ark because god told him to. If god's not calling ths shots was it jsut luck that Noah built an ark, gathered two of every animal (not that he'd have room for them and their feed but that's a different story) and saved his family but nobody else.

    You can't take the religious aspects of the bible out of the bible. If you do you're left with just a story book. And, as nice as it would be, the religious types wouldn't be trying to get everyone to live by a storybook.

  12. #212

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    Quote Originally Posted by kkozoriz View Post
    the religious types wouldn't be trying to get everyone to live by a storybook.
    That's ironic, considering Jesus used so many parables as a tool to teach.

    The Bible would not become any less important or authoritative if some of the books and stories contained within the Bible were not accepted as historically true.

    In fact, I think the Bible gains MORE credibility with a wider audience when some of the more "fantastic" stories like Noah's flood and the Tower of Babel are accepted as parables that teach important religious messages, instead of attempting to fit them into actual history.

  13. #213

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    Quote Originally Posted by kkozoriz View Post
    But Noah built the ark because god told him to. If god's not calling ths shots was it jsut luck that Noah built an ark, gathered two of every animal (not that he'd have room for them and their feed but that's a different story) and saved his family but nobody else.

    You can't take the religious aspects of the bible out of the bible. If you do you're left with just a story book. And, as nice as it would be, the religious types wouldn't be trying to get everyone to live by a storybook.
    I'm afraid you're missing my point...

    There are cases, such as are appearing with this one, where the bible is grounded in the history of the day.

    So for those that are not religious it is more than a story book, it is also an apparent diary of the times.

    Even the infamous Sodom and Gomorrah has evidence of it's validity as I watched on a Discovery Channel special a few years ago (about 2001 as I recall).

    A major archeological city site on the Arabian peninsula with evidence of a dramatic explosion with surrounding rock forming glass in some areas.

    Vincent has provided some rather interesting evidence on the parting of the waters in a post above.

    So as there is apparent evidence (especially when taken in context of the times it was written in) of historical fact and with that historical evidence...

    Who knows

    Tom

  14. #214

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    Vincent has provided some rather interesting evidence on the parting of the waters in a post above.
    I believe the Bible actually describes the water that Moses parted as the "sea of reeds" and not the "Red Sea".

  15. #215

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrOilers View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kkozoriz View Post
    the religious types wouldn't be trying to get everyone to live by a storybook.
    That's ironic, considering Jesus used so many parables as a tool to teach.

    The Bible would not become any less important or authoritative if some of the books and stories contained within the Bible were not accepted as historically true.

    In fact, I think the Bible gains MORE credibility with a wider audience when some of the more "fantastic" stories like Noah's flood and the Tower of Babel are accepted as parables that teach important religious messages, instead of attempting to fit them into actual history.
    Agree

    But this overall argument boils down to one side (pick one) trying to change the mind set and ideology of the other (pick one).

    I prefer the attitude of live and let live, but exploring the history is tremendously interesting.

    As I said earlier...I have a particular set of beliefs, not based on religion, but I am perfectly happy to respect another's.

    The condition being...don't try and force any on me.

    Tom

  16. #216

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    And yet, we're expected to take the lessons that the bible offers as true and factual even though they're filtered through how many retellings over the ages and translations from many differnt languages. Somehow, the stories that survive to this point are somehow the true word of god. Nope, don't buy it.

    Was the bible a product of it's time? Certainly. Has it changed over the centuries? Yup. Are the stories still relavent now? Some are in the most general way. It's not like christians are the only ones to come up with thou shall not kill. Even that one is rendered as thou shall not commit murder by some believers. So, which is it?

    Using a series of unrelated stories that have been smushed together over time into a sinle narrative and claiming that it's the only true way to live is more than a little silly, at least to me. The problem is when someone who believes it decides that they must ensure that everyone else has to live by those rules too.

  17. #217
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    Quote Originally Posted by vincent View Post

    before the flood men had long life spans (up to 900 years) and after the flood the life spans decreased dramatically.

    qft

  18. #218

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    Quote Originally Posted by kkozoriz View Post
    And yet, we're expected to take the lessons that the bible offers as true and factual even though they're filtered through how many retellings over the ages and translations from many differnt languages. Somehow, the stories that survive to this point are somehow the true word of god. Nope, don't buy it.

    Was the bible a product of it's time? Certainly. Has it changed over the centuries? Yup. Are the stories still relavent now? Some are in the most general way. It's not like christians are the only ones to come up with thou shall not kill. Even that one is rendered as thou shall not commit murder by some believers. So, which is it?

    Using a series of unrelated stories that have been smushed together over time into a sinle narrative and claiming that it's the only true way to live is more than a little silly, at least to me. The problem is when someone who believes it decides that they must ensure that everyone else has to live by those rules too.
    Well we view things much differently...
    I have read and researched many religions over the years, partly looking for answers, partly of interest. Christianity in it's various forms, Buddhism, read part of the Koran and have tried to understand Islam, plus a few others.

    They all carry, as I read them, the same essential message...
    Live a good, ethical life, be fair to others and try to hurt none. Respect there may be more.

    I see the Bible carrying that same basic message, whats wrong with that?
    Religious or Atheist it seems like a pretty good way to live your life to me.

    And I have found it is the small minority of all religions that try to force their view on others, definitely not the majority and even then it is typically done as a presentation you can walk away from...take it or leave it.

    On the other hand I find a larger number Atheists (still by no means the majority of Atheists, but a minority) take great glee in attacking the details (not necessarily the message) of the various religions in what amounts to attempting to discredit others faith, beliefs and what gives them hope.

    Most of both live their lives quite happily, keeping their particular belief structure to themselves, pushing it on no one.

    So whats worse...
    Having someone attempt to have you listen to what they believe will give you hope, or picking at the details of their belief in what will destroy their belief and in the end their hope?

    Personally...I've chosen to follow no organized religion and have my own belief system. But I also don't attack the beliefs of others, but try to understand them.

    Tom
    Last edited by Thomas Hinderks; 07-02-2012 at 05:44 PM.

  19. #219

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    I give believers about as much attention as they deserve, right up there with people who believe in alien abductions, past life regression and other manifestions of the mind. Some get more, others get less depending on their words and actions.

    Try to be nice to people, don't eat too much fat and get some exercise once in a while.

    Perhaps I see the religious types as more of a threat to freedom due to having lived in the states for 10 years. Trust me, Canada has nothing on the states when it comes to religious inmates running the asylum. I'd just hate to see it happen here.

  20. #220

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roquentin View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by vincent View Post

    before the flood men had long life spans (up to 900 years) and after the flood the life spans decreased dramatically.
    qft
    qft?

    EDIT: Never mind. I think I got it.
    Last edited by Vincent; 07-02-2012 at 09:05 PM.

  21. #221

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    Quote Originally Posted by kkozoriz View Post
    I give believers about as much attention as they deserve, right up there with people who believe in alien abductions, past life regression and other manifestions of the mind. Some get more, others get less depending on their words and actions.

    Try to be nice to people, don't eat too much fat and get some exercise once in a while.

    Perhaps I see the religious types as more of a threat to freedom due to having lived in the states for 10 years. Trust me, Canada has nothing on the states when it comes to religious inmates running the asylum. I'd just hate to see it happen here.
    Difference between our views...

    I see Extremists of any kind as a threat to my freedom, religious, political, economic, social engineers, yes corporations as well as most other forms of Extremists.

    Extremists by nature only care for their goal, not respect of others in any way.

    My opinion

    Tom

  22. #222

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    Quote Originally Posted by kkozoriz View Post
    I give believers about as much attention as they deserve, right up there with people who believe in alien abductions, past life regression and other manifestions of the mind. Some get more, others get less depending on their words and actions.

    Try to be nice to people, don't eat too much fat and get some exercise once in a while.

    Perhaps I see the religious types as more of a threat to freedom due to having lived in the states for 10 years. Trust me, Canada has nothing on the states when it comes to religious inmates running the asylum. I'd just hate to see it happen here.
    Do you not believe that there is any type of supernatural world out there?

  23. #223

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    Supernatural, meaning outside of the natural world? Nope.

    Spent 12 years in religious school, went to church, church camp. Came to the realization one day that it was all pretty much a fairytale

    If there's an all loving god then how can he allow babies to be born so terribly deforemed that they die within minutes? Or, using a recent case, allows a father to strike his two young sons across the neck with a hatchet and then set fire to the house? Or permit a country that claims to be a leader in the world to drop napalm on civilians as America did during Vietnam? There was a plane crash off Africa a few years ago where one person survived and they thanked god for saving them. Was everyone else on that plane so evil that they didn't deserve to be saved as well or was it just random chance that this one person survived?

    Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum recently claimed that if a girl or woman get's pregnant from a rape that it's a gift from god. If that's how your god hands out gifts I'll pass, thanks.

  24. #224
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kkozoriz View Post
    I give believers about as much attention as they deserve, right up there with people who believe in alien abductions, past life regression and other manifestions of the mind. Some get more, others get less depending on their words and actions.

    Try to be nice to people, don't eat too much fat and get some exercise once in a while.

    Perhaps I see the religious types as more of a threat to freedom due to having lived in the states for 10 years. Trust me, Canada has nothing on the states when it comes to religious inmates running the asylum. I'd just hate to see it happen here.
    Do you not believe that there is any type of supernatural world out there?
    if anything is "out there", would it not then be natural - and not supernatural - even if it cannot be seen or understood?
    "If you did not want much, there was plenty." Harper Lee

  25. #225

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    Technically Ken, I suppose everything that exists is "natural". But you know what I meant.

  26. #226

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    Quote Originally Posted by kkozoriz View Post
    Supernatural, meaning outside of the natural world? Nope.

    Spent 12 years in religious school, went to church, church camp. Came to the realization one day that it was all pretty much a fairytale

    If there's an all loving god then how can he allow babies to be born so terribly deforemed that they die within minutes? Or, using a recent case, allows a father to strike his two young sons across the neck with a hatchet and then set fire to the house? Or permit a country that claims to be a leader in the world to drop napalm on civilians as America did during Vietnam? There was a plane crash off Africa a few years ago where one person survived and they thanked god for saving them. Was everyone else on that plane so evil that they didn't deserve to be saved as well or was it just random chance that this one person survived?

    Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum recently claimed that if a girl or woman get's pregnant from a rape that it's a gift from god. If that's how your god hands out gifts I'll pass, thanks.
    Ah, yes. The classic reason for denying God.

    Let me explain this to you. God did not design the world to be what it is today. You may be familiar with the story of the Garden of Eden. The garden of Eden was not just a place on earth, it was the entire earth. It was created perfect, without fear, pain or sorrow.

    When Adam and Eve ate of the fruit (which is probably symbolic for forbidden knowledge) God cursed the ground (the reason you have weeds in your garden) and punished Eve with pain during childbirth, and Adam with the requirement to work for his food. Everything that is not perfect about this world is a result of sin that was allowed to come in. Every disease and deformity. Every pain and heartache. Even physical death is a result of sin.

    But God has promised that he will restore Earth to perfection the way it was, and allow us to live there in "God's rest". The term "God's rest" is what we long for. That will be a time when we no longer have to work in the fields to grow our food and we will no longer have to suffer under the burdens of this cursed earth. There will be no more tears, no more pain and no more suffering of any kind.

    So yes, the current earth is not perfect. But it's not the way God designed it. It is a result of sin. So if you want to be bitter about the world we live in, don't blame God. Blame sin. And remember that this is all just temporary because there is a much better world in our future.

  27. #227

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    It's sin, as you call it, to give people free will and then put something desireable within their reach and punish them when they try to get it. If you were doing this to a small child, offering them a cookie and then spanking them when they try to get it I'd think you had a sadistic streak to you.

    Besides, if god is all powerful how did the serpent get into the garden in the first place? If god let him in to tempt Eve then he's doubly sadistic. If she ahd turned down the serpent would god have upped the ante again? It sounds to me like your god just likes to see his creations fail.

  28. #228

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kkozoriz View Post
    Supernatural, meaning outside of the natural world? Nope.

    Spent 12 years in religious school, went to church, church camp. Came to the realization one day that it was all pretty much a fairytale

    If there's an all loving god then how can he allow babies to be born so terribly deforemed that they die within minutes? Or, using a recent case, allows a father to strike his two young sons across the neck with a hatchet and then set fire to the house? Or permit a country that claims to be a leader in the world to drop napalm on civilians as America did during Vietnam? There was a plane crash off Africa a few years ago where one person survived and they thanked god for saving them. Was everyone else on that plane so evil that they didn't deserve to be saved as well or was it just random chance that this one person survived?

    Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum recently claimed that if a girl or woman get's pregnant from a rape that it's a gift from god. If that's how your god hands out gifts I'll pass, thanks.
    Ah, yes. The classic reason for denying God.

    Let me explain this to you. God did not design the world to be what it is today. You may be familiar with the story of the Garden of Eden. The garden of Eden was not just a place on earth, it was the entire earth. It was created perfect, without fear, pain or sorrow.

    When Adam and Eve ate of the fruit (which is probably symbolic for forbidden knowledge) God cursed the ground (the reason you have weeds in your garden) and punished Eve with pain during childbirth, and Adam with the requirement to work for his food. Everything that is not perfect about this world is a result of sin that was allowed to come in. Every disease and deformity. Every pain and heartache. Even physical death is a result of sin.

    But God has promised that he will restore Earth to perfection the way it was, and allow us to live there in "God's rest". The term "God's rest" is what we long for. That will be a time when we no longer have to work in the fields to grow our food and we will no longer have to suffer under the burdens of this cursed earth. There will be no more tears, no more pain and no more suffering of any kind.

    So yes, the current earth is not perfect. But it's not the way God designed it. It is a result of sin. So if you want to be bitter about the world we live in, don't blame God. Blame sin. And remember that this is all just temporary because there is a much better world in our future.
    oh, well... since you say so...

  29. #229

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    Wow
    It's sin, as you call it, to give people free will and then put something desireable within their reach and punish them when they try to get it. If you were doing this to a small child, offering them a cookie and then spanking them when they try to get it
    Sorry but as I read your comment it seems you are comparing a cookie to dropping napalm on civilians and atrocities far greater.

    When the conversation gets out of the Extreme ends of the pool maybe I'll rejoin the conversation.

    Tom

  30. #230

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    Quote Originally Posted by lat View Post
    oh, well... since you say so...
    Obviously I'm giving you the Biblical perspective. I'm not pulling this stuff out of thin air or my own imagination. If you don't understand the world you live in then the Bible can explain it to you. Whether you choose to accept that explanation is entirely up to you.

  31. #231

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    Quote Originally Posted by kkozoriz View Post
    It's sin, as you call it, to give people free will and then put something desireable within their reach and punish them when they try to get it. If you were doing this to a small child, offering them a cookie and then spanking them when they try to get it I'd think you had a sadistic streak to you.

    Besides, if god is all powerful how did the serpent get into the garden in the first place? If god let him in to tempt Eve then he's doubly sadistic. If she ahd turned down the serpent would god have upped the ante again? It sounds to me like your god just likes to see his creations fail.
    It's all part of God's plan. Create a people with free will. Allow sin to tempt them away. If there is no temptation away from God, then there is no choice. In this way God will know that those he ends up with will be those who chose Him and truly love Him.

    If you are choosing a girlfriend, don't you also want her to choose you back?

  32. #232

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    Quote Originally Posted by kkozoriz View Post
    Supernatural, meaning outside of the natural world? Nope.

    Spent 12 years in religious school, went to church, church camp. Came to the realization one day that it was all pretty much a fairytale
    Sounds like you had a Roman Catholic experience. Am I right?

  33. #233

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by lat View Post
    oh, well... since you say so...
    Obviously I'm giving you the Biblical perspective. I'm not pulling this stuff out of thin air or my own imagination. If you don't understand the world you live in then the Bible can explain it to you. Whether you choose to accept that explanation is entirely up to you.
    You can read the collective 'you' in my statement... My point remains the same.

    "The bible can explain it to you" ...

    I am perfectly content knowing that some things are yet to be discovered and understood ... scientifically.

    I don't need an invisible sky being, or the people that have (mis)interpreted his 'teachings', to explain it to me.

    ... and here we agree to disagree ...
    Last edited by lat; 07-02-2012 at 10:47 PM.

  34. #234

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kkozoriz View Post
    It's sin, as you call it, to give people free will and then put something desireable within their reach and punish them when they try to get it. If you were doing this to a small child, offering them a cookie and then spanking them when they try to get it I'd think you had a sadistic streak to you.

    Besides, if god is all powerful how did the serpent get into the garden in the first place? If god let him in to tempt Eve then he's doubly sadistic. If she ahd turned down the serpent would god have upped the ante again? It sounds to me like your god just likes to see his creations fail.
    It's all part of God's plan. Create a people with free will. Allow sin to tempt them away. If there is no temptation away from God, then there is no choice. In this way God will know that those he ends up with will be those who chose Him and truly love Him.

    If you are choosing a girlfriend, don't you also want her to choose you back?
    So I should set up my girlfriend with temptation? Hire someone to flirt with her, attempt to seduce her, tell her lies about me in an attempt to see if she'll stray? How about you try that with your wife and let me know how that turns out.

  35. #235

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kkozoriz View Post
    Supernatural, meaning outside of the natural world? Nope.

    Spent 12 years in religious school, went to church, church camp. Came to the realization one day that it was all pretty much a fairytale
    Sounds like you had a Roman Catholic experience. Am I right?
    Among others. Dad was catholic, mom was united, sister was baptist. Attended services with all of them at different times. Other than the window dressing they're all pretty much the same.

    Ever see Red Dwarf, the British comedy series?

    "The character has no name other than "The Cat" or simply "Cat". He is the humanoid descendant of a modern domestic cat called Frankenstein who had been Dave Lister's pregnant pet cat. He may be the last remaining member of his species, Felis sapiens. His species expanded and evolved into a humanoid form over 3,000,000 years while sealed in the cargo hold of Red Dwarf while Dave Lister was in suspended animation. They formed a religion based on the saviour of Frankenstein: "Cloister the Stupid", the father of their race according to their legends (actually Lister), and "Fuchal", their promised land (actually the Fiji Islands, a place Lister held in high regard and planned to retire to). The race eventually splits and descends into civil war, over what colour the hats at the hot dog and doughnut stand Lister planned to open on Fiji were going to be Ironically the two factions claimed they were going to be red or blue, whilst Lister had wanted them to be green."

  36. #236

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    Jeremy, you made some interesting points. So I have to note the irony in your glasses half empty comment.

    The glass is neither half empty nor half full for it is topped off with another moment of optimism.

    Begin with invalid questions and what do we gain?

    Jeremy...
    "Some people's glasses are not only half-empty, but also cracked and leaking.
    Just remember, they're not happy until you're not happy!" [<-- per Jeremy's footer].
    And here I thought it was simply too big. . .
    Yes... It's all too big. Proving evolution, extreme age for he earth, earth going around the sun, the Bible as human thought and stories, or whatever other religious representations made by anyang very religion, proves only failings in human representations of messages from above. None of it disproves the possibility of a god or gods.
    Last edited by KC; 07-02-2012 at 11:01 PM.

  37. #237

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roquentin View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by vincent View Post

    before the flood men had long life spans (up to 900 years) and after the flood the life spans decreased dramatically.

    qft
    900 years in ancient Babylon aren't the same as 900 years today. The ancient Babylonians used a different math approach for calculating years, specifically multiples of 12 and 60, which were considered "sacred" numbers. These ancient Babylonian conventions still influence us to this day (12 months in a year, 12 hours on the face of a clock, 60 minutes in an hour, 60 seconds in a minute, etc.)


    900 "Babylonian years" divided by 12is equal to 75 "today" years (which makes sense, considering human lifespans seldom exceed 100 years).

  38. #238

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    Quote Originally Posted by kkozoriz View Post
    So I should set up my girlfriend with temptation? Hire someone to flirt with her, attempt to seduce her, tell her lies about me in an attempt to see if she'll stray?
    There's no need for that. There are already other options out there for her. But she's seen those options and still chose you. So you know she's with you because she wants to be, not because you're forcing her to be. Doesn't that make you feel good? God wants that same feeling.

    In God's case he had to put those options/temptations in place because they didn't exist before. Without those temptations there is no choice, and no true love.
    Last edited by Vincent; 08-02-2012 at 10:48 AM.

  39. #239

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrOilers View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Roquentin View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by vincent View Post

    before the flood men had long life spans (up to 900 years) and after the flood the life spans decreased dramatically.

    qft
    900 years in ancient Babylon aren't the same as 900 years today. The ancient Babylonians used a different math approach for calculating years, specifically multiples of 12 and 60, which were considered "sacred" numbers. These ancient Babylonian conventions still influence us to this day (12 months in a year, 12 hours on the face of a clock, 60 minutes in an hour, 60 seconds in a minute, etc.)


    900 "Babylonian years" divided by 12is equal to 75 "today" years (which makes sense, considering human lifespans seldom exceed 100 years).

  40. #240

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrOilers View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Roquentin View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by vincent View Post

    before the flood men had long life spans (up to 900 years) and after the flood the life spans decreased dramatically.

    qft
    900 years in ancient Babylon aren't the same as 900 years today. The ancient Babylonians used a different math approach for calculating years, specifically multiples of 12 and 60, which were considered "sacred" numbers. These ancient Babylonian conventions still influence us to this day (12 months in a year, 12 hours on the face of a clock, 60 minutes in an hour, 60 seconds in a minute, etc.)


    900 "Babylonian years" divided by 12is equal to 75 "today" years (which makes sense, considering human lifespans seldom exceed 100 years).
    That's not correct. The Babylonian calendar had 12 months and 354 days in a year. They also had leap years where they would insert an extra month to account for the misalignment of days.

    But more importantly, it is irrelevant, because Babylon did not exist until after the flood which was when lifespans began to decrease.

  41. #241

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    What isn't correct?

    Obviously time has been recorded differently throughout history. For example, calendars back then went by lunar months (whereas we go by solar months).

    People in the Old Testament reportedly lived for hundreds of years, but
    the Sumerians lived for thousands (sometimes tens of thousands) of years.

    It is most probable that what was reported as a "year" in ancient history is much, MUCH different than what we call a "year" today. And this doesn't make any of these crazy (up to 900 year) ages in the Bible untrue.

  42. #242

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    You said that 900 Babylonian years is approximately equal to 75 modern years. That's not correct. Even in Babylon a year was a solar year, just as it is today. Their calendar was slightly different but they still considered one circle around the sun to be one year, just like we do.

    And as I said, Babylon did not exist before the flood, when people lived for hundreds of years. So it is irrelevant anyway. But it's still not correct.

  43. #243

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    But it's the Babylonian written numerical system that gives us conflicting numbers using today's numerical system.

    See this:http://www.basic-mathematics.com/bab...on-system.html

    and this:http://www.gap-system.org/~history/HistTopics/Babylonian_numerals.html

    for some explanations how the Babylonian's ancient base 60 numerical system (and the Sumerian's base 12 system) can mess things up when we try to interpret their written numbers.

    When they wrote "1 year" or "1 month", it could just as easily mean "60 years" or "60 months".

  44. #244

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    That is interesting and funny. They forgot to define a way to write 60. lol. I guess they weren't so smart after all those Babylonians.

    Either way, since the Babylonian system of numbering was not used to record the ages of men who lived before Babylon it is irrelevant in respect to this conversation. The book of Genesis was most likely written by the original eyewitnesses of the events or through a holy revelation to Moses during his forty days on Mount Sinai with God.

  45. #245
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    Turn your back for a week and the conversation jumps down too many rabbit holes to manage. A lot of it looks like nitpicking over bible history that I don't think has any relevance to atheism and religion. Historical information from these time periods is too sketchy to be relied upon.

    For my own beliefs, I don't have proof that a god does not exist, nor do I have proof that a god does exist. All that I can be confidant of is what the universe presents to me directly and nothing we have encountered yet requires more than what we can see. Further, the pattern of history is the use of 'supernatural' explanations for things we do not understand followed by 'natural' explanations as our knowledge increased. Thus willow-wisps are swamp gas, strokes are not caused by elves, and the sun is not a flaming chariot.

    Rather than live ambiguously I have chosen to be atheist but, as it should be with all things, I am open to any evidence that can change that. The thing is, I haven't yet read or heard a convincing argument for the existence of a god. Nor I have ever been presented with incontrovertible evidence of a god. God is presented as being in the narrowing gaps of our knowledge.

    The premise that things must have been designed because everything fits together so well falls on two separate counts. First, everything has to work no matter how it came about because if it didn't work it wouldn't exist. Second, there are plenty of examples in nature of what would be very poor design. A classic is the recurrent laryngeal nerve in a giraffe. This is a 20' loop of nerve whose beginning and end are inches apart.

    An interesting one in our own anatomy is the ulnar neurovascular bundle. This bundle of nerves and blood vessels comes out of our neck through a very tight space in the shoulder and into our arms. Thing is, that tight space is only tight because we walk upright. The same space in ape species is very open. In humans the tightness of that space can lead to a variety of problems some requiring surgery to correct.

    But these are just my reasons for my beliefs, what do they have to do with anybody else's beliefs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    They all carry, as I read them, the same essential message...
    Live a good, ethical life, be fair to others and try to hurt none. Respect there may be more.

    I see the Bible carrying that same basic message, whats wrong with that?
    Religious or Atheist it seems like a pretty good way to live your life to me.
    Thomas is right but, and there's always a but, all of us have to function as a society. That means there will be conflicts between what I believe and what others believe. How we as a society balance that is the source of the friction. I don't think these debates would be nearly as well attended if they didn't have impacts on our daily lives.

    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

  46. #246

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    Highly Religious People Are Less Motivated by Compassion Than Are Non-Believers

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0430140035.htm

    "ScienceDaily (Apr. 30, 2012) — "Love thy neighbor" is preached from many a pulpit. But new research from the University of California, Berkeley, suggests that the highly religious are less motivated by compassion when helping a stranger than are atheists, agnostics and less religious people."

    "In three experiments, social scientists found that compassion consistently drove less religious people to be more generous. For highly religious people, however, compassion was largely unrelated to how generous they were, according to the findings which are published in the most recent online issue of the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science."

    "The results challenge a widespread assumption that acts of generosity and charity are largely driven by feelings of empathy and compassion, researchers said. In the study, the link between compassion and generosity was found to be stronger for those who identified as being non-religious or less religious..."

    .

  47. #247

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    ^I have long believed that, most religious charities aren't doing their deeds because they care about the people they are "helping" (sadly by often perpetuating and feeding destructive lifestyles), but rather, because the "believers" want to win favors from their god / gods (to go to heaven or similar).

  48. #248

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    In most religions that's true. They believe they can earn salvation through works. Christianity is the only religion that does not follow this concept, but instead believes that salvation is a gift, not a reward.

  49. #249

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    I find religious charities, missions, etc. are just a way to recruit members to keep the money rolling in. Sad part is, the regular volunteers are just puppets to the men in stupid hats that live in big castles made of gold.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

  50. #250

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    Christians believe that being kind to the less fortunate is akin to being kind to Jesus himself. Jesus said "when you do these things to the least of these, you do them to me". So to take the attitude that religious charities are only fronts for greedy entrepreneurs shows your ignorance.

  51. #251
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    An important point here is that they're referring not to religious people in general but to 'Highly Religious' people. If I read it right they're talking about the fundamentalists and people who are locked to the dogma of their beliefs.

    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

  52. #252

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    ^Yup. There's two kinds of religious people: fundies, and those that pretend they're religious but follow their religions' teachings so loosely it's an insult. If you pick and choose which parts of your religion you plan to follow, just give up and go atheist/agnostic - you're not fooling anyone except yourself.

    Eg. If you believe in the Christian version of god, but you also have premarital sex, you're supposedly going to Hell. It's not a grey area. The god you supposedly believe in doesn't change his mind just for you. So either you're in or you're out. I'd argue 98% of all "religious" people are out.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

  53. #253

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    Again, you clearly have no idea what Christianity is. Christianity is not about following rules or you go to hell. Christianity, as I said earlier, is the belief that God gives us salvation despite our sin. It is a free gift that you can not earn. All you have to do is accept it.

    In other words, if you believe in Jesus and you commit a sin, you are forgiven, and you do not go to hell. If you are forgiven God does not even remember the sin and sees you as perfect and without blemish (even though you're not).

    Nobody is perfect. No matter what you believe or what religion you follow, you are still a mere mortal human being who is guilty of sin. Whether you are atheist, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh or Christian. You are a sinner. That's why religion (and good deeds) can not save you. Only forgiveness can save you.

    If you believe in Jesus then your sins are forgiven. Whether you commit adultery or homosexuality or murder or fraud or any other sin you can imagine. You are forgiven. That's Christianity.

    Of course Jesus taught us how to live and how to behave, and we try our best. But most importantly he taught us that no matter how hard we try, we can not enter into heaven by our own efforts. We can not be perfect. That's why we need Jesus.

    So it's not about following rules. It's about forgiveness for breaking those rules. Without forgiveness you will go to hell for your sin. But if you accept forgiveness by accepting Jesus Christ and his sacrifice, then you are saved. It's simple.

  54. #254

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent View Post
    So it's not about following rules. It's about forgiveness for breaking those rules. Without forgiveness you will go to hell for your sin. But if you accept forgiveness by accepting Jesus Christ and his sacrifice, then you are saved. It's simple.
    Isn't there also a quote in Christianity, something to the effect, that it is easier for a poor man to go to hevean than a rich man? I think that is part of the drive of Christians to set up charities and similar, its like an attempt at atoning for their sucess relative to others in society, with the view to maybe getting rewarded with a nice afterlife.

  55. #255

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    I'm confused. Why is the book so big and full of rules then? It should read: do whatever, is cool w/God.

    Typical narcissistic Christian. Despite a Bible full of rules and teachings about what's right and wrong and how you're supposed to live to get into heaven, you make it about you, and how as long as you believe you will be forgiven, you can rape and murder and still get into your heaven, while someone who lives a life of good and does not believe in your god is to spend eternity in some type of hell?
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

  56. #256

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    http://www.reddit.com/r/atheism/

    Be open-minded. Check out the competition.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

  57. #257

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    Isn't there also a quote in Christianity, something to the effect, that it is easier for a poor man to go to hevean than a rich man?
    Yes. Jesus said it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven. What that means is that as long as the rich man loves his money he can not love God. He needs to spiritually lose his life in order to gain life in heaven.

    This does not mean he has to give away all his money and take a vow of poverty. That is a common misconception since this is what monks and nuns do. What it means is that he has to stop loving his money and his life style. He has to be prepared to give it all up for Jesus. Jesus said "If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it."

    This is also why Paul said "The love of money is the root of all evil". Note, it is not money that is the root of all evil, but the love of money.

    James 4:4 says "You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God."

    This means there are only two roads. You either turn your back on the world (and your worldly possessions) and love God. Or you turn your back on God and love the world. Your choice.

  58. #258

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    ^^lol, some of that site is pretty neat. Like this one:


  59. #259

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent View Post
    Jesus said "If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it."
    And Richard Dawkins said (paraphrasing from memory) "If life is but a gateway to heaven, why do the devout cling to it so readily?"

    When someone is sick or on their deathbed, why do the religious pray for them to get better? Shouldn't they be praying for them to die so they can go to heaven? Why do the elderly toss aside all care for religion when they're dying, and try so desperately to cling to life, shouldn't they be dying as fast as possible to get to heaven?

    It's because when the time comes, all but the most fundamentalist nutjobs know they're worm food when they die, and backpedal as if their lives depend on it, and it does.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

  60. #260

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    I'm confused. Why is the book so big and full of rules then? It should read: do whatever, is cool w/God.

    Typical narcissistic Christian. Despite a Bible full of rules and teachings about what's right and wrong and how you're supposed to live to get into heaven, you make it about you, and how as long as you believe you will be forgiven, you can rape and murder and still get into your heaven, while someone who lives a life of good and does not believe in your god is to spend eternity in some type of hell?
    Most of the Bible is an account of historical events. Relatively speaking, very little of it actually tells us how we should live. Most of it simply helps us to get to know God and understand his character.

    It's true that you can rape and murder and still get into heaven, technically. Although of course that doesn't mean it's o.k. to do those things. If you purposely commit sin, thinking that you don't have to worry about consequences because you are forgiven then clearly you do not have God's spirit in your heart, so you are lost anyway.

    If you do believe in Jesus and his teachings then your outlook on life changes and your character will not allow you to willfully disobey. You will falter and you will make mistakes and you will be weak to temptation, but if you truly believe then you will be remorseful and you are forgiven. If you are not remorseful then you do not truly believe.

    If you live a good life and help those in need but still reject God, then you have made your choice. Better to live a good life, help those in need, and accept God.

  61. #261

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    Most of the Bible is an account of historical events.
    Yeah, if the Earth was 6000 years old. Too bad the Japanese have been making pottery for over 10,000 years, not to mention the billions of years of history that science has proven...

    Oddly enough, Ricky Gervais sums this up nicely: http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2010/...our-questions/

    Fave quote from that:
    In your piece you write, that “Science is humble. It knows what it knows and it knows what it doesn’t know.” In fact, mainstream scientific thought has sometimes been wrong, and it is constantly changing and revising itself. So how can you be so sure that science supports your belief that God does not exist?

    Ricky Gervais: Science doesn’t concern itself with the non-existence of something. The periodic table of imaginary things would be too big for a classroom- infinitely big in fact, and rather pointless. It’s not trying to prove the non-existence of anything supernatural. All it knows is there is no scientific proof of anything supernatural so far. When someone presents a jar of God it will test it. If it finds some evidence of “godness” it will follow the evidence till it knows everything it can.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

  62. #262

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent View Post
    Jesus said "If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it."
    And Richard Dawkins said (paraphrasing from memory) "If life is but a gateway to heaven, why do the devout cling to it so readily?"

    When someone is sick or on their deathbed, why do the religious pray for them to get better? Shouldn't they be praying for them to die so they can go to heaven? Why do the elderly toss aside all care for religion when they're dying, and try so desperately to cling to life, shouldn't they be dying as fast as possible to get to heaven?

    It's because when the time comes, all but the most fundamentalist nutjobs know they're worm food when they die, and backpedal as if their lives depend on it, and it does.
    The reason people pray for the health and lives of their loved ones is not because they're afraid of the after life, but because they would miss them if they were gone.

    Personally I would love to leave here and go to heaven, but I would rather let it wait until I've had the chance to raise my kids and teach them what they need to know.

  63. #263

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    Most of the Bible is an account of historical events.
    Yeah, if the Earth was 6000 years old. Too bad the Japanese have been making pottery for over 10,000 years, not to mention the billions of years of history that science has proven...
    The accuracy of Biblical events does not depend on a 6,000 year old earth. Many Christians in fact believe the earth is much older. What is agreed on within Christian circles however is that humanity began approximately 6,000 years ago.

    And the Japanese have not been making pottery for over 10,000 years.

  64. #264

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    ^^lol, some of that site is pretty neat. Like this one:

    That's funny, but not accurate. God did not create the earth with sin. God made the earth perfect. You might have heard of the "Garden of Eden". That was the entire earth by the way.

    Sin came into the world through disobedience to God. Ever since the earth has been far from perfect, but God promises to renew the earth and make it perfect again. But first humanity will have to choose between the current sinful earth and the promise of a perfect earth.

  65. #265

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    Most of the Bible is an account of historical events.
    Yeah, if the Earth was 6000 years old. Too bad the Japanese have been making pottery for over 10,000 years, not to mention the billions of years of history that science has proven...
    The accuracy of Biblical events does not depend on a 6,000 year old earth. Many Christians in fact believe the earth is much older. What is agreed on within Christian circles however is that humanity began approximately 6,000 years ago.

    And the Japanese have not been making pottery for over 10,000 years.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanes..._and_porcelain

    Japanese pottery and porcelain (陶磁器, Jp. tojiki; also 焼きもの, Jp. yakimono; 陶芸, Jp. tōgei), one of the country's oldest art forms, dates back to the Neolithic period.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neolithic
    New Stone era, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 10,200 cal
    Sorry, but this is proven, much like the fact that humans have existed for far more than 6000 years.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

  66. #266

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    If you think that's proof you have far too much faith in science.

  67. #267

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent View Post
    That's funny, but not accurate. God did not create the earth with sin. God made the earth perfect. You might have heard of the "Garden of Eden". That was the entire earth by the way.

    Sin came into the world through disobedience to God. Ever since the earth has been far from perfect, but God promises to renew the earth and make it perfect again. But first humanity will have to choose between the current sinful earth and the promise of a perfect earth.
    I struggle with this conceptually. How can something that is perfect, do something that is imperfect? It can't have been perfect in the first place then. Whether it be Adam and Even being corrupted, or the original corruption of Satan (who supposedly was also perfect before somehow becoming imperfect). They can't have been designed perfect if they ended up flawed, should have designed them more perfect so this wouldn't happen.

  68. #268

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    They can if they've been designed with a free will.

  69. #269

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent View Post
    If you think that's proof you have far too much faith in science.

    No one can prove or disprove whether there's a god or not. The entire debate is a ridiculous time killer.

    1/2 you guys ripping on Vincent for his beliefs should realize that Atheists don't exactly have solid proof to justify their statements.

    I only say this before this turns into the typical god vs Dawkins fight.

    Shut up, respect other's beliefs unless they're getting in your face. Otherwise, you're just a knowitall douche.

  70. #270

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent View Post
    If you think that's proof you have far too much faith in science.
    I can go to a museum and put 10,000 years of human history in my hands. No faith required, in science, god, or otherwise.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

  71. #271
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    Most of the Bible is an account of historical events.
    Yeah, if the Earth was 6000 years old. Too bad the Japanese have been making pottery for over 10,000 years, not to mention the billions of years of history that science has proven...
    The accuracy of Biblical events does not depend on a 6,000 year old earth. Many Christians in fact believe the earth is much older. What is agreed on within Christian circles however is that humanity began approximately 6,000 years ago.

    And the Japanese have not been making pottery for over 10,000 years.
    Correct. The archeological evidence places the first Jōmon potter at 14,000 BC or 16,000 years ago, not 10,000.

    I know a great many Christians I don't think I've heard any of them claim humanity is only 6,000 years old. To claim that is to deny huge amounts of evidence to the contrary.

    One issue here is that there really is no unified Christian faith. There are a large number faiths who have their roots in the original Christian church that began in the Roman era but originate with the splintering of the Catholic Church during the Reformation. While they come from the same source their views are disparate enough that they aren't easily lumped together.

    For example the statement that within Christian circles it is agreed that humanity began 6000 years ago means leaving out the Roman Catholic Church who acknowledge the evolutionary origins of humanity. The Catholic Church represents close half of all Christians.

    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

  72. #272

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent View Post
    If you think that's proof you have far too much faith in science.
    I can go to a museum and put 10,000 years of human history in my hands. No faith required, in science, god, or otherwise.
    You can put some old pottery in your hands but you can't prove that it's 10,000 years old. Just because some scientist said he "tested" it proves nothing when the method of testing is inaccurate and unreliable.

    First prove to me that carbon dating is infallible then you can prove to me the age of pottery.

  73. #273

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    It is infallible. I could link you to the proof of that, but you'd just keep arguing for more proof, down to the very atoms that make up everything, but you'd still ask for more proof. All this from a person who believes in all kinds of things that contradict the proof I've shown, with only a hackjob text from a couple thousand years ago.

    It's ok that you're ignorant, I'll forgive you.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

  74. #274

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    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    Highly Religious People Are Less Motivated by Compassion Than Are Non-Believers

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0430140035.htm

    "ScienceDaily (Apr. 30, 2012) "Love thy neighbor" is preached from many a pulpit. But new research from the University of California, Berkeley, suggests that the highly religious are less motivated by compassion when helping a stranger than are atheists, agnostics and less religious people."

    "In three experiments, social scientists found that compassion consistently drove less religious people to be more generous. For highly religious people, however, compassion was largely unrelated to how generous they were, according to the findings which are published in the most recent online issue of the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science."

    "The results challenge a widespread assumption that acts of generosity and charity are largely driven by feelings of empathy and compassion, researchers said. In the study, the link between compassion and generosity was found to be stronger for those who identified as being non-religious or less religious..."

    .
    Why is this the case? Why aren't the two equal? Flawed testing? Religious tribalism? Any guesses?

  75. #275

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    One issue here is that there really is no unified Christian faith. There are a large number faiths who have their roots in the original Christian church that began in the Roman era but originate with the splintering of the Catholic Church during the Reformation. While they come from the same source their views are disparate enough that they aren't easily lumped together.

    For example the statement that within Christian circles it is agreed that humanity began 6000 years ago means leaving out the Roman Catholic Church who acknowledge the evolutionary origins of humanity. The Catholic Church represents close half of all Christians.
    You're right. There is a lot of disagreement among Christians on pretty much everything.

    The Roman Catholic church however I do not consider a Christian church and anything they espouse is highly suspect. I know they consider themselves Christian and I'm sure there are many good Christians within that church, but as a whole it is a pagan church. It's roots come from the worship of Nimrod (aka Osiris, and the builder of the tower of babel) and his wife (mother) Semiramis. The image of "Mary" with child is not Mary with Jesus. It is actually an image of Semiramis with her son Nimrod, who she would later marry. Yes, it's disgusting.

    Nimrod's religion involved sacrificing children to himself (the sun God) and made "Sunday" the official holy day of the week, even though it is the first day, not the seventh as God had commanded that the seventh day be kept holy.

    When Nimrod was killed his wife/mother told his followers that he was now officially a god dwelling in the sun and she the moon goddess, who would dwell in the moon after her death. She proclaimed herself to be "The Queen of Heaven" (note that this is how Catholics refer to Mary).

    Anyway, to make a long story short, the Roman Catholic church is actually a merger between the worship of the sun god and moon goddess with Christianity. This is why there was a reformation in the first place. After the dark ages people started to realize that the Catholic church was an abomination and wanted out. It was not Christianity at all, but pagan.

    If you research the Catholic church even a little you will find many symbols of the sun and the moon just for starters. Just google "catholic sun worship" or something similar.

    In Egypt, Semiramis and Nimrod became known as "Isis" and "Osiris". In Phoenicia, they became known as Ashterath and Tammuz; in Greece, Aphrodite and Eros; in Rome, Venus and Cupid, and in China, Mother Shing Moo and her child.

    December 25th is actually the date that Nimrod worshipers believed their sun god was coming back to them because they noticed the days were getting longer. So this is the day they celebrated the birth of Nimrod. Easter is so called after "Ishtar", another form of the name Isis/Semiramis. The use of eggs and rabbits on Easter are symbols of fertility which she symbolized.

    All of this was brought to us courtesy of the Roman Catholic church. That is not a Christian institution.
    Last edited by Vincent; 01-05-2012 at 02:15 PM.

  76. #276

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    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    Why is this the case? Why aren't the two equal? Flawed testing? Religious tribalism? Any guesses?
    At the risk of being misunderstood, I can guess.

    I guess that those who do not believe, or choose not to believe in a higher power, can only justify their own lives through their own works. It is their only measure of self worth so how they relate to others becomes very important to them.

    It's almost ironic. But this is not to say that good works are not important to religious people, but they do have something else also to put stock into and to measure their own lives by.

  77. #277

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    It is infallible. I could link you to the proof of that, but you'd just keep arguing for more proof, down to the very atoms that make up everything, but you'd still ask for more proof. All this from a person who believes in all kinds of things that contradict the proof I've shown, with only a hackjob text from a couple thousand years ago.

    It's ok that you're ignorant, I'll forgive you.
    As I forgive you.

  78. #278

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    [QUOTE=Chmilz;439357]It is infallible. I could link you to the proof of that, QUOTE]

    Ok, I'll play. post the links.
    Remember, you said 'carbon dating is infallible'. I want unequivocal, indisputable, undeniable, universally agreed to, proof from reputable and recognizable sources that carbon dating is infallible and unquestionably accurate. shouldnt' be too hard. Google's your friend.
    He who posteth too much, should moveth out of his parents basement and get a life.

  79. #279
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent
    The Roman Catholic church however I do not consider a Christian church and anything they espouse is highly suspect. I know they consider themselves Christian and I'm sure there are many good Christians within that church, but as a whole it is a pagan church. It's roots come from the worship of Nimrod (aka Osiris, and the builder of the tower of babel) and his wife (mother) Semiramis. The image of "Mary" with child is not Mary with Jesus. It is actually an image of Semiramis with her son Nimrod, who she would later marry. Yes, it's disgusting.

    ...

    Anyway, to make a long story short, the Roman Catholic church is actually a merger between the worship of the sun god and moon goddess with Christianity. This is why there was a reformation in the first place. After the dark ages people started to realize that the Catholic church was an abomination and wanted out. It was not Christianity at all, but pagan.

    If you research the Catholic church even a little you will find many symbols of the sun and the moon just for starters. Just google "catholic sun worship" or something similar.

    ...

    All of this was brought to us courtesy of the Roman Catholic church. That is not a Christian institution.
    You don't get to tell someone whether they're Christian or not. By definition, Catholics believe in the divinity of Jesus, therefore they are Christians. Just because you don't agree with their specific theology doesn't mean you get to disqualify them from Christianity any more than they can give you the boot. Protestantism doesn't have a patent on the term "Christianity".

    I was born and raised a Catholic, and I can assure you there was never anything taught to me about Nimrod or any of the other junk you referenced. However I have no doubt that Catholic beliefs are rooted in pagan beliefs that came before it, however the exact same thing can be said of every other religion. Every major religious holiday in Christianity has clear roots in previous pagan ones. Every. Single. One.

    And really, this highlights how ridiculous organized religious belief truly is. Here was have someone whose belief system is about 98% the same as Catholicism, and he's saying that Catholics aren't true Christians because of some extremely minor theological details.

    It would be hilarious, if such petty disagreements didn't often result in oh I don't know, genocide and war.

    While we're at it, let's examine some of the more uh, shall we say subtle parts of the Bible: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/...20&version=NIV

    19 Yet she became more and more promiscuous as she recalled the days of her youth, when she was a prostitute in Egypt. 20 There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses.
    Kind of odd that the Word of God felt the need to talk about donkey balls and horse semen, but okay!
    Last edited by Marcel Petrin; 01-05-2012 at 05:15 PM.

  80. #280

  81. #281

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    You don't get to tell someone whether they're Christian or not. By definition, Catholics believe in the divinity of Jesus, therefore they are Christians. Just because you don't agree with their specific theology doesn't mean you get to disqualify them from Christianity any more than they can give you the boot. Protestantism doesn't have a patent on the term "Christianity".

    And really, this highlights how ridiculous organized religious belief truly is. Here was have someone whose belief system is about 98% the same as Catholicism, and he's saying that Catholics aren't true Christians because of some extremely minor theological details.
    First of all I was speaking of the church as an institution, not any particular individual. Secondly, I most certainly am allowed to determine whether or not that church fits my definition of Christianity. This is a free country after all.

    And lastly, as I thought I made clear, the Catholic church doctrine is about as far removed from my beliefs as a Christian as is Islam, so for you to call these differences "minor theological details" is laughable at best and ignorant at worst.

    Frankly, I would consider Mormons to be more Christian than Catholics, despite the fact that they believe the words of an admitted fraud and liar. At least they don't worship the "sun god" or his mother.

    I will however agree with your assessment about organized religion. I've never been a fan of "the church" as I don't believe the church as we know it today is what God had envisioned for us. People tend to believe more in the church than they do in God and that is true of the Catholic church probably more than any other church.

  82. #282

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    While we're at it, let's examine some of the more uh, shall we say subtle parts of the Bible: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/...20&version=NIV

    19 Yet she became more and more promiscuous as she recalled the days of her youth, when she was a prostitute in Egypt. 20 There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses.
    Kind of odd that the Word of God felt the need to talk about donkey balls and horse semen, but okay!
    What is your point exactly?

  83. #283

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    I was born and raised a Catholic, and I can assure you there was never anything taught to me about Nimrod or any of the other junk you referenced.
    Of course not. That would be too obvious. Better to blind people before you lead them astray.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    However I have no doubt that Catholic beliefs are rooted in pagan beliefs that came before it, however the exact same thing can be said of every other religion.
    Except Christianity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    Every major religious holiday in Christianity has clear roots in previous pagan ones. Every. Single. One.
    That is attributable to the Catholic church, as I said. That church essentially hijacked Christianity, even slaughtered Christians in the name of Christianity and "intoxicated the inhabitants of the earth with her adulteries" Rev 17:2.

    There actually aren't any true Christian holidays.

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    Wait, aren't Christmas and Easter Christian holidays? Funny, because they were created by the Catholic church to woo pagans. They were pagan celebrations of Winter solstice and Spring equinox, and the only way to convince pagans to give up their drinking and partying was to slowly introduce a different meaning into the celebrations they already did.

    A complete scam. But hey, no point telling you that. You're so invested in the Kool-Aid you won't even consider investigating the alternatives.

    I want unequivocal, indisputable, undeniable, universally agreed to, proof from reputable and recognizable sources that carbon dating is infallible and unquestionably accurate.
    I could, but even if I do, would you believe it, or just dismiss it as not good enough like religious fundies do with all proven science? I'd ask you to do the same about god - bring me that unequivocal, indisputable, undeniable, universally agree to, proof from reputable and recognized sources that god exists. You can't. You won't. There's no "proof" other than a book. But even though there's an insurmountable amount of proof that science has answered many things, the devout will dismiss it entirely.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

  85. #285

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent View Post
    table to the Catholic church, as I said. That church essentially hijacked Christianity, even slaughtered Christians in the name of Christianity and "intoxicated the inhabitants of the earth with her adulteries" Rev 17:2.

    There actually aren't any true Christian holidays.
    I disagree, the Catholic church didn't hijake Christianity. What they did was take a small cult with a devout following and a new message, and improve it to turn it into the most powerful belief in the western world. If that hadn't happened, none of us would be discussing Christianity today, it would have died like most cults die.

    I'm no huge fan of the Catholic church, I dislike the impact of their teachings in the developing world (lack of birth control for example, resulting in terrible poverty and misery). But, of all the Christian religions, I have always personally found Catholics themselves, despite the rigid dogma of their belief's leaders, to be very liberal, open, less judgmental and more welcoming than most Christians. Just IMO.
    Last edited by moahunter; 01-05-2012 at 08:25 PM.

  86. #286

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    Why is this the case? Why aren't the two equal? Flawed testing? Religious tribalism? Any guesses?
    At the risk of being misunderstood, I can guess.

    I guess that those who do not believe, or choose not to believe in a higher power, can only justify their own lives through their own works. It is their only measure of self worth so how they relate to others becomes very important to them.

    It's almost ironic. But this is not to say that good works are not important to religious people, but they do have something else also to put stock into and to measure their own lives by.


    Maybe atheists are more generous in compassionate situations than religious people because of the vested/competing interests religious people face.

    One possibility is that the religious peoples' unassigned disposable income is less and so they choose to keep their money or whatever over compassion because of their obligation to give to their own church (to fix roofs, aid a project, general revenues...).

  87. #287
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent
    First of all I was speaking of the church as an institution, not any particular individual. Secondly, I most certainly am allowed to determine whether or not that church fits my definition of Christianity. This is a free country after all.
    Whether this is a free country is irrelevant as to whether or not you get to re-define well defined words. You're entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts.

    A Christian person or religion is one that believes in the divinity and teachings of Jesus Christ, as recounted in the New Testament.

    Every mainstream definition of Christianity includes Catholicism as the largest Christian denomination.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent
    What is your point exactly?
    Quite honestly I posted it mainly because I thought it was hilarious.

    If there was a point in there, it's that I find it ridiculous that people in the year 2012 still consider a bunch of bronze age myths and the 2,000-3,000 year old books they are based on to be The Truth and Word of God, when it's incredibly clear they were written by man, and they have been repeatedly been changed and re-arranged by the powers that presided over them to suit their needs.

    A sub point would be that I also find it strange that so many believers can say with a straight face that they base their beliefs on the Bible, yet their beliefs are obviously only based on the portions of the Bible they find suitable while they ignore the rest. There's a lot of crazy stuff in there that few modern Christians would agree with, yet here we are.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent
    Of course not. That would be too obvious. Better to blind people before you lead them astray.
    Listen, your thinly veiled bigotry about Catholicism being a pagan religion that worships the Sun God is a century our two out of date: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Two_Babylons

    The Two Babylons is an anti-Catholic religious pamphlet produced initially by the Scottish theologian and Presbyterian Alexander Hislop in 1853. It was later expanded in 1858 and finally published as a book in 1919. Its central theme is its allegation that the Catholic Church is a veiled continuation of the pagan religion of Babylon, the veiled paganism being the product of a millennia-old conspiracy.[1][2] It has been recognized by scholars as discredited and has been called a "tribute to historical inaccuracy and know-nothing religious bigotry" with "shoddy scholarship, blatant dishonesty" and a "nonsensical thesis".[3][4]

    Although scholarship has shown the picture presented by Hislop to be based on a misunderstanding of historical Babylon and its religion, his book remains popular among some fundamentalist Protestant Christians.[1]


    The book's thesis has also featured prominently in the conspiracy theories of racist groups such as The Covenant, The Sword, and the Arm of the Lord[5] and other conspiracy theorists.[6]


    Although extensively footnoted, giving the impression of reliability, commentators (in particular Ralph Woodrow) have stated that there are numerous misconceptions, fabrications and grave factual errors in the document.
    Bolding of the second paragraph is mine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent
    Except Christianity.
    Completely false. Christianity grew out of a combination of Judaism and Paganism, and the signs of that are absolutely everywhere.

    http://pocm.info/

    This is well established scholarship, whether you accept it or not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent
    There actually aren't any true Christian holidays.
    Christmas? Easter? Passover? Virgin birth? All based upon previous pagan beliefs.
    Last edited by Marcel Petrin; 02-05-2012 at 09:26 AM. Reason: Fixed quote tags

  88. #288

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    Whether this is a free country is irrelevant as to whether or not you get to re-define well defined words. You're entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts.

    A Christian person or religion is one that believes in the divinity and teachings of Jesus Christ, as recounted in the New Testament.

    Every mainstream definition of Christianity includes Catholicism as the largest Christian denomination.
    I am aware of the link between Catholicism and Christianity within mainstream society. However, labelling yourself or your institution as "Christian" does not necessarily make it so. For example, you can't say that you believe that Jesus died for your sins and then bow down to the sun god and still claim to be Christian.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent
    What is your point exactly?
    Quite honestly I posted it mainly because I thought it was hilarious.

    If there was a point in there, it's that I find it ridiculous that people in the year 2012 still consider a bunch of bronze age myths and the 2,000-3,000 year old books they are based on to be The Truth and Word of God, when it's incredibly clear they were written by man, and they have been repeatedly been changed and re-arranged by the powers that presided over them to suit their needs.

    A sub point would be that I also find it strange that so many believers can say with a straight face that they base their beliefs on the Bible, yet their beliefs are obviously only based on the portions of the Bible they find suitable while they ignore the rest. There's a lot of crazy stuff in there that few modern Christians would agree with, yet here we are.
    I think you've been reading too many Dan Brown novels.

    The Bible was written by men but inspired by God. If you had spent years studying it as I have then you would come to the inevitable conclusion that man is not capable of such authorship. Imagine many different books written by many different men over the span of many years all perfectly in sync without a single contradiction and all telling the same story. It's nothing short of incredible.

    And I didn't even mention all the historical and archeological evidence that supports the Biblical accounts of kings and nations as we discussed earlier in this thread.

    If you don't want to read the Bible that's your prerogative but then you can't pretend you know what it says and chastise me for believing it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent
    Of course not. That would be too obvious. Better to blind people before you lead them astray.
    Listen, your thinly veiled bigotry about Catholicism being a pagan religion that worships the Sun God is a century our two out of date: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Two_Babylons

    Although scholarship has shown the picture presented by Hislop to be based on a misunderstanding of historical Babylon and its religion, his book remains popular among some fundamentalist Protestant Christians.[1]
    There will always be dissenting opinions on any topic, but that doesn't change the facts. You only have to look at the modern Roman Catholic church and compare it to what Jesus taught and it becomes quite obvious that they are practicing a lot of the things that Jesus warned against.

    And if you don't want to get into an argument about bigotry please refrain from using that word against me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent
    Except Christianity.
    Completely false. Christianity grew out of a combination of Judaism and Paganism, and the signs of that are absolutely everywhere.

    http://pocm.info/

    This is well established scholarship, whether you accept it or not.
    Obviously I don't accept it. Christianity is a belief that Jesus is the Christ. Nothing more, nothing less. As I told you, it is the Catholic church that brought paganism and Christianity together. Of course if you consider the Catholic church to be "Christian" then I can see why you would make that point. This is also exactly the reason why I prefer to distinguish Catholicism from Christianity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent
    There actually aren't any true Christian holidays.
    Christmas? Easter? Passover? Virgin birth? All based upon previous pagan beliefs.
    So we agree that those are pagan holidays with Christian names. (virgin birth? Is that a holiday now?)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent
    I am aware of the link between Catholicism and Christianity within mainstream society. However, labelling yourself or your institution as "Christian" does not necessarily make it so. For example, you can't say that you believe that Jesus died for your sins and then bow down to the sun god and still claim to be Christian.
    Again, you can have your own opinions, but you can't have your own facts. Catholics do not "bow down to the sun god". Catholics bow down to the Holy Trinity.

    Claiming that Catholics worship the "sun god" is a statement of fact, and one that is flat out false. Strange conspiracy theories aside.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent
    I think you've been reading too many Dan Brown novels.
    I read the Da Vinci Code, thought it was an okay ready but fairly silly plot wise. Perhaps some of the worst writing and dialogue I've ever come across.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent
    The Bible was written by men but inspired by God. If you had spent years studying it as I have then you would come to the inevitable conclusion that man is not capable of such authorship.
    Only God is capable of writing about donkey balls and horse ejaculate? Gotcha.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent
    Imagine many different books written by many different men over the span of many years all perfectly in sync without a single contradiction and all telling the same story.
    Yeah.... no. There are a huge number of contradictions in the Bible. Even if we narrow it down to the 4 gospels of Jesus' life, they all contradict each other in numerous ways. They're by no means "perfectly in sync", and no Biblical scholars would ever claim as such.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interna...le#The_Gospels

    If the Bible was divinely inspired, God is a bit of a scatterbrain.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent
    And I didn't even mention all the historical and archeological evidence that supports the Biblical accounts of kings and nations as we discussed earlier in this thread.
    Some of the Bible is based upon real history and has archaeological evidence to back it up. Much of it does not. There is absolutely zero archaeological evidence of Jewish slavery in Egypt or the Exodus, for example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Exodus#Archaeology

    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent
    If you don't want to read the Bible that's your prerogative but then you can't pretend you know what it says and chastise me for believing it.
    I've read the Bible as well, and take away a completely different view of it than you do. You may want to look at the actual history of the Bible and Gospels, and see how many times man has screwed with it through translation and selective exclusion of dozens of Gospels that didn't fit their theology.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent
    And if you don't want to get into an argument about bigotry please refrain from using that word against me.
    I never said I didn't want to get in to an argument about bigotry. I did however say that your wildly inaccurate claims about Catholics worshiping the "sun god" and not being Christians was bigoted. Because it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dictionary
    adjective utterly intolerant of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one's own.
    Sounds about right.

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    What the hell, let's try this. Vincent, please explain to me how the following Biblical passages should currently be interpreted, given the fact that they are the inerrant word of God:

    Quote Originally Posted by 1 Timothy 6:1-2 NLT
    Christians who are slaves should give their masters full respect so that the name of God and his teaching will not be shamed. If your master is a Christian, that is no excuse for being disrespectful. You should work all the harder because you are helping another believer by your efforts. Teach these truths, Timothy, and encourage everyone to obey them.
    Quote Originally Posted by Exodus 21:7-11 NLT
    When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her. And if the slave girl's owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter. If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife. If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment.
    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew 18:25
    But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.
    Quote Originally Posted by Luke 12:45-48
    The lord [owner] of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.
    That last quote is Jesus himself being kind of a dick, really. Saying that a slave owner should still whip the hell out of one of his slaves, even if the slave didn't know any better.

    Three of the four quotes above are from the New Testament, and all condone slavery. The single, simplest issue for the Bible to address, it got completely and utterly wrong. Yet it is supposedly a perfect creation, guided by God's own hand.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    I could, but even if I do, would you believe it, or just dismiss it as not good enough like religious fundies do with all proven science?
    Who you calling a fundie? I didn't say anything about religion. You wrote you could post proof that carbon dating is infallible, not once but twice. so post.
    He who posteth too much, should moveth out of his parents basement and get a life.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    Some of the Bible is based upon real history and has archaeological evidence to back it up. Much of it does not. There is absolutely zero archaeological evidence of Jewish slavery in Egypt or the Exodus, for example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Exodus#Archaeology
    If you'll just scroll up to post #204 you'll see that I already presented archeological evidence of the Exodus. It was in fact a response to one of your earlier posts. Remember?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent
    First of all I was speaking of the church as an institution, not any particular individual. Secondly, I most certainly am allowed to determine whether or not that church fits my definition of Christianity. This is a free country after all.
    Whether this is a free country is irrelevant as to whether or not you get to re-define well defined words. You're entitled to your own opinions, but not your own
    Well defined words get their meanings changed all the time. For example 'gay' and 'marriage'. These changes in definition start somewhere. Are you the one who gets to decide who changes definitions, or is there a committee?

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    ^I think there sort of is a comittee isn't there, as in, dictionary publishers? They try to keep up with how words are used in the real world, modifying their meanings as the meanings change. But yeah, its a bit silly debating if something is Christian or not, or a religion or not (e.g. the religion Scientology), I guess. At the end of the day comon usage will be the definition, and that will be refelcted in dictionaries, regardless of whether some people do or don't agree.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    Some of the Bible is based upon real history and has archaeological evidence to back it up. Much of it does not. There is absolutely zero archaeological evidence of Jewish slavery in Egypt or the Exodus, for example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Exodus#Archaeology
    If you'll just scroll up to post #204 you'll see that I already presented archeological evidence of the Exodus. It was in fact a response to one of your earlier posts. Remember?
    Hmm, I must have missed that back then.

    Looking at your post, all you have is links to images. That's not sufficient. Please point me to qualified archaeologists who support the assertion that tens of thousands of Jews were held in captive slavery in Egypt and then escaped in Biblical times.

    The reality is that as per that Wikipedia link and the numerous academics it references in the Bibliography, archaeologists and Egyptologists have long abandoned that line of thinking and it's quite apparent that Jewish ancestry is Caanite. Meaning they were always living in Israel, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria. Not Egypt.

    As far as specific myths in the Bible, such as the Flood and others, you'll find that many of them are common through numerous other religions and belief systems. You may want to read about Meme Theory, which while controversial also makes a lot of sense: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meme

    Quote Originally Posted by SP59
    Well defined words get their meanings changed all the time. For example 'gay' and 'marriage'. These changes in definition start somewhere. Are you the one who gets to decide who changes definitions, or is there a committee?
    This is a ridiculous argument, frankly. Catholics believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ. Therefore they are Christian. The very definition of Christian is whether or not they believe that Christ was the son of God. Despite Vincent's bizarre claims about Catholics worshiping the Sun God that have no basis in reality, Catholics are the very definition of Christian and there is no popular movement amongst theologians saying otherwise. It's essentially a conspiracy theory held by some fundamentalist Protestant Christians.
    Last edited by Marcel Petrin; 03-05-2012 at 02:15 PM.

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    Vincent appears to be a follower of Restorationism (sometimes called Christian Primitivism). I doubt any form of debate is going to change his mind.

    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    Looking at your post, all you have is links to images. That's not sufficient. Please point me to qualified archaeologists who support the assertion that tens of thousands of Jews were held in captive slavery in Egypt and then escaped in Biblical times.
    If you are really interested in the red sea crossing evidence then this is a good place to start reading.

    As for slaves in Egypt there is plenty of evidence to support it if you are looking in the right time period. This page summarizes thing nicely if you'd care to read it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    As far as specific myths in the Bible, such as the Flood and others, you'll find that many of them are common through numerous other religions and belief systems. You may want to read about Meme Theory, which while controversial also makes a lot of sense: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meme
    Of course the flood story is found in the histories of different civilizations. They are all descended from the same group that survived the flood. Historical records are always passed onto the next generation. At some point they split off into unique civilizations but carried the same ancestral records with them wherever they went. If anything this makes the story all the more credible.

  98. #298

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Turnbull View Post
    Vincent appears to be a follower of Restorationism (sometimes called Christian Primitivism). I doubt any form of debate is going to change his mind.
    Not sure about that "Restorationism" but you're right in that I believe mainstream Christianity has become more like churchianity and needs to get back to understanding the roots of the faith.

    You're also right that no form of debate is going to change my mind. But I do appreciate the debate because it challenges me to support my views and that leads to even more understanding.

  99. #299
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent
    You're also right that no form of debate is going to change my mind. But I do appreciate the debate because it challenges me to support my views and that leads to even more understanding.
    That "challenge" you feel? It's called Cognitive Dissonance: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance

    The human mind is an interesting thing, to say the least.

    As far as your links go, sorry, those are not credible given the source. That group is well known for hoaxes. Peer reviewed or published original research please.

    http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Globa...ound-in-Turkey

    Dr. Price, who is director of the Center for Judaic Studies at the conservative Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., was the archaeologist on the Chinese-led team in 2008 when this alleged discovery was first made. He says he has “difficulties with a number of issues related to the evidence at hand.”

    Price declined to elaborate. However, a leaked email from Price – which he confirms that he wrote – shows that he has reason to believe that a group of local Kurdish men trucked wood up to the mountain and staged an elaborate hoax for the Chinese team.
    I mean really, Noah's Ark of all things?

  100. #300

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    What the hell, let's try this. Vincent, please explain to me how the following Biblical passages should currently be interpreted, given the fact that they are the inerrant word of God:
    I can't resist a challenge.

    Quote Originally Posted by 1 Timothy 6:1-2 NLT
    Christians who are slaves should give their masters full respect so that the name of God and his teaching will not be shamed. If your master is a Christian, that is no excuse for being disrespectful. You should work all the harder because you are helping another believer by your efforts. Teach these truths, Timothy, and encourage everyone to obey them.
    Slavery was a fact of life in those days. It was lawful and common. Although these words in no way endorse slavery, Paul was instructing believers to not rebel against their masters because it would sullen the Christian faith and the principles of love that Jesus taught. It coincides with the teaching of "turn the other cheek". It does not mean to let people walk all over you, but it means that we should not be evil people simply because other people are evil. We are to set an example of Godliness.

    1 Peter says "Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good."

    Proverbs says "If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. 22 In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you"

    In other words, showing kindness to those who oppress you is a much more effective response to those who wish to see you suffer. If on the other hand you rebel and fight against your master then you are not exemplifying the principles of Godliness that Jesus taught.

    Quote Originally Posted by Exodus 21:7-11 NLT
    When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her. And if the slave girl's owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter. If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife. If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment.
    The concept of "owning" a daughter or a wife may seem cruel to us but the fact is that it was considered at the time to be a perfectly normal way of caring for someone and a perfectly acceptable part of society. A slave owner was required for example to feed and clothe his slave as the passage above reflects. In the case of marriage the husband had further requirements. The law above in fact serves to protect the girl from being mistreated.

    The relationship between myself and Christ is analogous to slavery as well, in the sense that I am called to be a slave/servant to Christ. The Bible explains that everyone is a slave to someone or something. In the most basic terms we are either a slave to sin, or a slave to Christ who saved us from our sin.

    In the example above, before the girl was sold to the man, she was a slave to her father. That may sound uncaring but it's really only a slightly more authoritarian way of saying that she was his daughter. Even today the relationship between parents and children is similar in the sense that the children are expected to obey and serve their parents without pay but they are also loved and fed and clothed. In our society we don't like to say that we "own" our children because we prefer to use words like "custody" but it's really no different, except that we typically don't continue to control our children's lives after they've grown and instead allow them to choose their own direction.

    Other cultures still today sell daughters to other families in arranged marriages. This is so common that even we as Canadians don't blink twice when we hear of it happening to someone we know. We may not agree with the practice, but we don't abolish it either. Do you think that daughters who were given away or sold as slaves by their fathers were shocked by their situation? Of course not. In their eyes, it is part of being born a girl. It's a part of life. You are subject to men. That's just the way it is. Men have authority over their wives, and fathers have authority over their daughters. That doesn't mean they don't love their wives and daughters, it just means there is a clear hierarchical structure that everyone is aware of and abides by.

    You may be outraged that they would speak about slavery so flippantly which is why you hope posting such "shocking" scripture might knock me to my senses, but if you went back to Moses' time and told the Israelites that in our society it is perfectly normal and acceptable to kill children before they are born because it is a "woman's right to choose", they in turn would be shocked and outraged about the society you and I live in.

    When it comes right down to it, how you read the above passage depends entirely on your perspective. We accept abortion as a normal part of society, just as they accepted slavery as a normal part of society, but in either case, acceptance does not equate to absolution either in our eyes or the Lord's. The passage above does not condone or condemn slavery either way, but speaks only to how we should treat each other with respect in such relationships.

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew 18:25
    But for as much as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.
    That is a part of a parable which is a fictional story used to make a point. Again, it references common cultural practices of the day so that his audience can understand the parable. The point of the parable is that if someone is kind and forgives you your debt then you should also be kind to others and forgive them theirs. Which in turn is a reference to the fact that God has forgiven us all our debts by dying on the cross, and we should therefore forgive those who sin against us.

    Furthermore the reference to requiring the man to sell his wife and children and all his possessions (before he forgave him his debt) is analogous to us losing everything we hold dear were it not for God's grace in forgiving us our debt for sin.

    Quote Originally Posted by Luke 12:45-48
    The lord [owner] of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.
    This is also a part of a parable used to explain how we (as Gods servants) are expected to behave here on earth while he is gone. When the master (Jesus) returns will he find us beating the other servants or caring for the other servants? The slave owner in this parable is God and he will punish us (or as you would say "whip the hell out of us") when he returns if we don't do his will while he's gone.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    That last quote is Jesus himself being kind of a dick, really. Saying that a slave owner should still whip the hell out of one of his slaves, even if the slave didn't know any better.
    That last quote is not Jesus being a dick, as you put it, but it is Jesus giving us a fair warning that ignorance is no excuse. It is your task to learn what the master's will is and do it. And the more you understand the Lord's will the more you are expected to serve him. To whom much is given, much is expected.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    Three of the four quotes above are from the New Testament, and all condone slavery. The single, simplest issue for the Bible to address, it got completely and utterly wrong. Yet it is supposedly a perfect creation, guided by God's own hand.
    None of those quotes condone slavery, they only reference slavery, which as I said was a common and acceptable practice at that time. If God wrote letters about our modern day society he would probably reference our class structure, our politics, our social norms and our sins, but none of that would equate to condonation. He would only use those references to things we understand in order to teach us how we should live.

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