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Posted: 8/14/2001 4:44:30 PM EDT
This question/comment was originally posted on the creation/evolution thread before it became a two person conversation. I'm very serious to hear some opinions on this so please if you have a comment, feel free. "Why when confronted with something you don't understand must you attribute it to supernatural causes? What's wrong with saying "I dont know" and seeking for and answer that is verifiable and not in the "I've felt him in my life" sort of verifiable. More in terms of "This gun shoots 1/2" MOA at 100 yards" verifiable. Now, I'm not claiming to be a evolution scholar, or to state that it is correct, but only that it tries to answer some of our questions about origins scientifically." -CK
Link Posted: 8/14/2001 5:14:17 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/14/2001 5:15:43 PM EDT by cerberus]
Originally Posted By cck: This question/comment was originally posted on the creation/evolution thread before it became a two person conversation. I'm very serious to hear some opinions on this so please if you have a comment, feel free. "Why when confronted with something you don't understand must you attribute it to supernatural causes? What's wrong with saying "I dont know" and seeking for and answer that is verifiable and not in the "I've felt him in my life" sort of verifiable. More in terms of "This gun shoots 1/2" MOA at 100 yards" verifiable. Now, I'm not claiming to be a evolution scholar, or to state that it is correct, but only that it tries to answer some of our questions about origins scientifically." -CK
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CK, This one has been run to death today on not one, but two threads. There is absolutely nothing wrong with saying, "I don't know" and then looking for facts to answer the question. The rub is that sometimes, after thousands of people over thousands of years ask the same questions, they find that there is no answer other than something "supernatural" about it. Don't let the terminology scare you, supernatural simply means beyond nature, beyond our ability to hear, see, taste, touch and feel. It doesn't mean that the thing is not real, just that it is beyond our understanding. Sorry, but some things just defy the kind of verification you are seeking. Don't feel bad, though. The scientists are still trying to find some of that same verification themselves.
Link Posted: 8/14/2001 5:20:20 PM EDT
cerberus, I've apprericiated your comments on the other threads. I was just wanting to debate the philosophy of belief and not the particulars of christianity, evolution, etc. Thanks for a least responding. - CK
Link Posted: 8/14/2001 5:23:22 PM EDT
Originally Posted By cck: cerberus, I've apprericiated your comments on the other threads. I was just wanting to debate the philosophy of belief and not the particulars of christianity, evolution, etc. Thanks for a least responding. - CK
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Sorry, I was reposting while you were reading. I didn't mean to put you off.
Link Posted: 8/14/2001 5:25:07 PM EDT
When I first saw the title I thought someone was at the range the other day and was posting about my shooting ability. Michael
Link Posted: 8/14/2001 5:27:30 PM EDT
ponyboy, clever, but no. -CK
Link Posted: 8/14/2001 5:46:16 PM EDT
Originally Posted By cck: cerberus, I've apprericiated your comments on the other threads. I was just wanting to debate the philosophy of belief and not the particulars of christianity, evolution, etc. - CK
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The philosophy of belief is a very complicated topic, simply because people adopt a belief system for so many different reasons. It may be cultural, political, observed from facts, from reasoned conclusion, or a combination of all. We are complex creatures, but the one thing that set humans apart from all other life forms is our need to have some kind of belief system to be complete as people. It is almost as if a Designer had put a desire in each of us to seek a life that was something more than eat, sleep, reproduce. (See, I told you how hard it is to separate this from theology. LOL). Someone once called that the God Shaped hole in our soul, that could only be filled by God. Believe whatever you wish, but look around you while you do it. Most of the wierdness in our world comes from unfulfilled people trying to fill the void in the soul and not knowing how. Things like greed, lust, envy, hate and anger all stem from wanting what you don't have and trying by your own means to get it. From that frustration comes more serious issues like drug abuse, physical violence, serial sex and a host of other things we politely call social ills. People are desperately trying to fill an inborn need and can't do it. That is why the Christians will come up and want to tell you about what we have found. We do believe in the Creator, and He does fulfill his promises to fill that spiritual void in our lives. Once you have that, you never want to turn back and you really want to share it. So, that is my take on the philosophy of belief. All of us need a belief system to be made whole as people. It is what we believe that determines how we live our lives.
Link Posted: 8/14/2001 6:00:11 PM EDT
cerebus, that seems like a very well thought out response that holds many truths. But why believe in the supernatural? Why not look to reason and science for these answers. -CK
Link Posted: 8/14/2001 7:02:25 PM EDT
Originally Posted By cck: cerebus, that seems like a very well thought out response that holds many truths. But why believe in the supernatural? Why not look to reason and science for these answers. -CK
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Why not? But when Science fails to explain Reason demands that you consider alternatives. That includes forces beyond our ability to explain.
Link Posted: 8/14/2001 7:07:43 PM EDT
Originally Posted By cerberus: The rub is that sometimes, after thousands of people over thousands of years ask the same questions, they find that there is no answer other than something "supernatural" about it.
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The problem with that statement is that we have only had the tools, both philosophically and technologically, to examine certain questions from a scientific viewpoint for a couple of hundred years, and we are still working on the tools to understand them. So, what a bunch of people who thought thunder was a blacksmith god pounding with a hammer doesn't really matter.
Link Posted: 8/14/2001 7:31:32 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/14/2001 7:41:33 PM EDT by cerberus]
Originally Posted By RikWriter: The problem with that statement is that we have only had the tools, both philosophically and technologically, to examine certain questions from a scientific viewpoint for a couple of hundred years, and we are still working on the tools to understand them. So, what a bunch of people who thought thunder was a blacksmith god pounding with a hammer doesn't really matter.
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Hey Rik! I wondered when you were gonna get in on this one. You and I have kicked this around a few times today we have left enough of a trail that anyone who cares can see what was said. I will ask you to re-read what I posted. The man asked a good question and all I did was answer honestly. When you have facts, you have facts. When you don't, you continue to search. When your search keeps leading you to an explanation that defies verification, then you must accept it until you can prove other wise. You know, I really don't understand the hostility that people feel towards those who profess the Christian faith. I would bet that if I was on here touting Buhdism or something, no one would give a flip. I might think that it was a case of envy, but some would take that to be arrogant, and besides, I don't think that is all of it. Earlier I made reference to a story Jesus told about a rich young man who wanted to know how to get eternal life. Jesus told him to sell everything he had and follow him. The man wouldn't do it and left. That is not to say you must be poor and possesionless to follow Jesus. He said that because he knew that for that man, the wealth was the obstacle. The young man had plenty of money and a lifetime to spend it. He couldn't give it up. I think many who reject Christianity do so because they feel they will lose out on something that they hold dear, and they won't give that up. Those people cannot see the benefits to giving up what might be holding them back. The runner Eric Liddell, who's story was told in Chariots of Fire, paraphrased Luke, saying "He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep for what he can never lose." Rik, you have been there. You know this stuff. Maybe your background was a little too fundamentalist and they forgot to tell you that God wants relationship, not slavery. God is first and foremost about love. When Jesus was asked what was the greatest commandment, he answered, "Love the Lord with all your heart, and love your neighbor as you love yourself." I have to admit that if you don't love yourself it's pretty hard to love anyone else, and that is as good a place to start as any. I read your posts, I hear the resentment and hostility, but I don't hear a lot of love. Why are you so angry over this? I'd really like to know.
Link Posted: 8/14/2001 8:26:38 PM EDT
Originally Posted By cerberus: I will ask you to re-read what I posted. The man asked a good question and all I did was answer honestly. When you have facts, you have facts. When you don't, you continue to search. When your search keeps leading you to an explanation that defies verification, then you must accept it until you can prove other wise.
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That's where I would disagree. In real science, if something is unfalsifiable, then it's not science. Real scientists can't just throw their hands up when they get to a difficult problem and say "Well, that's just a miracle, no one will ever explain it."
You know, I really don't understand the hostility that people feel towards those who profess the Christian faith. I would bet that if I was on here touting Buhdism or something, no one would give a flip. I might think that it was a case of envy, but some would take that to be arrogant, and besides, I don't think that is all of it.
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It has nothing to do with the Christian faith and everything to do with Creationism, which is totally separate from the issue of Christianity. It's more of an issue of Bibliolatry.
I think many who reject Christianity do so because they feel they will lose out on something that they hold dear, and they won't give that up.
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Wouldn't know about that. I stopped believing in Christianity because it stopped making sense, no other reason.
Rik, you have been there. You know this stuff. Maybe your background was a little too fundamentalist and they forgot to tell you that God wants relationship, not slavery. God is first and foremost about love. When Jesus was asked what was the greatest commandment, he answered, "Love the Lord with all your heart, and love your neighbor as you love yourself." I have to admit that if you don't love yourself it's pretty hard to love anyone else, and that is as good a place to start as any. I read your posts, I hear the resentment and hostility, but I don't hear a lot of love. Why are you so angry over this? I'd really like to know.
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cerebrus, you may not believe this (and it makes no matter to me whether you do or not) but I have no hatred or anger towards anyone. I do pity some people, and others simply annoy me, but I don't get angry over it. I am not sitting here pounding at the keyboard, redfaced...I am simply expressing my feelings on the matter as cogently as I know how. As for love...I love my wife, I love my son, I love my family. I love a few of my closest friends. I don't love people in general because I don't feel love means anything if you throw it around like candy. I also love certain ideals, such as liberty, equality and individual responsibility. I love the idea of this country, and I would die for it if I had to. I also love honesty, and I am being very honest in my opinions. I think Creationism and Biblical literalist Fundamentalism are dangerous to this country and I will speak out against them when someone asks for comment. And if a fundamentalist Muslim posted here, I would be just as if not more critical of that religion...but we seem fresh out of those. A Buddhist...well, AFAIK there ARE no Fundamentalist Buddhists, though I may be wrong there as I am no expert on Buddhism.
Link Posted: 8/14/2001 8:54:54 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/15/2001 8:24:31 AM EDT
CCK, Here's a quote that might shed more light on your question: [b]"There are some who presume so far on their wits that they think themselves capable of measuring the whole nature of things by their intellect, in that they esteem all things true which they see, and false which they see not. Accordingly, in order that man's mind might be freed from this presumption, and seek the truth humbly, it was necessary that certain things far surpassing his intellect should be proposed to man by God." --Thomas Aquinas[/b]
Link Posted: 8/15/2001 8:42:10 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/15/2001 9:23:18 AM EDT by cerberus]
Originally Posted By Duffy: How does rik sound hostile and hateful, or give anyone the impression he does not love himself?
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Because that is the tone of his posts.
You're quoting Jesus as if you just heard him talk yesterday.
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Perhaps I did. And the Scientists are quoting textbooks like they had a persoanl interview with the guy who wrote it.
People can't be all perfect, selfishness, greed, deceit, lust and whatever shortcomings people have are perhaps just manifestations of our basic animal instinct to survive. Whether you believe in god or not, you're not without these traits.
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I couldn't agree with you more.
If you don't believe in and help yourself become a good person, instead you look outward for strength and salvation, you're in for some disappointment. Why do you need an outside source to feel loved and fill the void in your life?
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That all depends on what and to Whom I am looking towards for help.
Leave religeon out for a moment,
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Can't. Its a "religious" topic. That's where the disagreement is.
if you know someone like that in your life that's always needing your help to do things he can, and should be doing himself, and despite your constant attention and assistance he never feels he can acomplish anything without your help, would you not think he has problems?
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They call those people "childred" LOL. Christians are called to grow in the strength of their faith as well. We are NOT supposed to helpless, simpering little wimps. We are supposed to be strong in spirit.
If Christianity is all omnipotent, maybe you can explain the unspeakable acts against fellow human beings that have been commited by christians.
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God is omnipotent, not Christianity as a religion. Christians are people, too. We are subject to the same sins and temptations as most anyone else. The horrendous atrocities you refer to, however, were and are propagated by men using religion as an excuse to take from another. I am a caucasian of German ancestry. Adolph Hitler said all Caucasian Germans were the Master Race and used that as an excuse to exterminate millions. There are white supremacists that are active today. I have never killed anyone, don't want to and certainly don't consider myself superior to anyone else. It would be foolish to say that all white men are bad because of these losers.
Personally, the reason I can't stand most christians I meet is because they're close-minded and intolerant, they always have something bad to say about those that don't share their beliefs.
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You and me both! Unfortunately, many who call themselves Christians don't have the first clue as to what being a Christian is all about. You have seen Christian guys on this board who have lost their temper, or said some things they wish they could take back. All the more proof were are merely human, and need to remain humble in spirit, word and deeds. But don't mistake that frustration with false belief. I think these guys are sincere andreal in their beliefs. Sometimes we all need to step back and catch a breath of freah air. I certainly hope that by answering your staements point by point you do not take offense or think I am bad mouthing you. That is not my intent. I simply wanted to respond the the very good issues you raised.
Link Posted: 8/15/2001 9:21:29 AM EDT
Why when confronted with something you don't understand must you attribute it to supernatural causes? What's wrong with saying "I dont know" and seeking for and answer that is verifiable and not in the "I've felt him in my life" sort of verifiable.
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Fear...The fear of the unknown. As human being, from the beginning of mankind and throughout our history we have the tendency to equate the unknown to our own fear and then to the supernatural. In the old day, anything that was unexplainable was witchcraft and evil. Today, same concept but with a different perception, anything unexplainable must be, not witchcraft but extra-terrestrial.
Link Posted: 8/15/2001 9:27:34 AM EDT
Cerberus, I'm sorry I had to go to home from work where I read Ar15.com before rik and you really got some good discussion going. I hope I'm not beating a dead horse. I read your Thomas Aquinas quote and it was very interesting. And that's exactly what I'm getting at. Why? Why must we reserve that for god and say that that is the answer? Why not say 'I don't know'? And search for a verifiable answer. One that can be repeated, in a controlled enviroment. I'm not saying science is always right. I mean look at red wine, one year it's good for you, one year it's not, the next it is again. What I'm saying is that the second one attributes something to god, the case is closed, no more discussion, anything else is heresy. -CK
Link Posted: 8/15/2001 9:44:51 AM EDT
Originally Posted By cck: Cerberus, I read your Thomas Aquinas quote and it was very interesting. And that's exactly what I'm getting at. Why? Why must we reserve that for god and say that that is the answer? Why not say 'I don't know'? And search for a verifiable answer. One that can be repeated, in a controlled enviroment.
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We do exactly that. There are some things that remain a mystery, some will be resolved, some may never be resolved. But I ask you this. Many thousands of years ago, people knew that a bolt of lightning would kill you. They didn't know why, but it would. Today we know a lot more about lightning, but it will still kill you. Even though some things can be explained doesn't change the outcomes.
I'm not saying science is always right. I mean look at red wine, one year it's good for you, one year it's not, the next it is again.
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Science can only make judgments based on what it sees. If Science was as pure as everyone thinks that would be fine. Unfortunately, if you know how Science is funded, it is anything but pure. If the beverage industry wants to fund a scientific study that says drinking red wine is good for you, what do you think the results will be? Then the government wants to cut down on drunken driving and domestic abuse, so they fund studies that say alcohol comsumption is bad for you. The principles found in the Scriptures are timeless. I would ask you to read a book like Proverbs, Psalms, Romans, or Phillipians and tell me what you find that is not still true today.
What I'm saying is that the second one attributes something to god, the case is closed, no more discussion, anything else is heresy.
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In some things, yes. In many others, no. See my post above concerning the nature of God. He does not seek closed minded sheep, only those who come to know him based on acceptance of what they have found to be true. That requires and open mind and free thinking. To restrict yourself only to what can be proven absolutely is to sell yourself short.
Link Posted: 8/15/2001 9:57:52 AM EDT
Cerberus, Why believe a two thousand year old book written by friends of Jesus as the truth? Why aren't you a muslim? What makes the bible any more true than the Torah by itself, or than the Q'uran?
Link Posted: 8/15/2001 10:52:50 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/15/2001 10:50:53 AM EDT by cerberus]
Originally Posted By cck: Cerberus, Why believe a two thousand year old book written by friends of Jesus as the truth? Why aren't you a muslim? What makes the bible any more true than the Torah by itself, or than the Q'uran?
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I like you man! You ask good questions. BTW- What were you doing on AR15.com at work? Don't you know that's a SIN? (LOL) What kind of work do you do? Why believe any book? Why believe anything other than what you have personally proven for yourself. When you get on an airplane do YOU do the preflight, check the maintenance records, the level of fuel in the tank? Do you walk the runway looking for debris? No, you trust that other responsible people have done those things first. You sit back and enjoy the flight. The Torah is actually part of the Old Testament, and as such is a significant part of the Bible I believe in. As far as the Q'ran, you only need to read it to find some truth. Mohammed never claims to be the Son of God, merely a prophet. He acknowledges that Abraham was a sinner, Moses was a sinner, that he, Mohammed, spent all day on his knees praying for forgiveness for his sins, but that "Jesus alone was without sin." If you do nothing but read and believe what is written in the Q'ran, you will agree that Jesus is the Christ. I am not a Muslim because the Muslim's holy book says Jesus was without sin. Mohammed was a sinner who married his fathers wife, ran a camel caravan trading company, and specialized in village raids and slave taking. Mohammed never even made the claim that he could forgive my sins, let alone be my ticket to heaven. Islam is a religion of vengeance, punishment and strict enforcement. Death to unbelievers, and they mean it. You want a part of that? Not me. Jesus does make the claim of exclusivity. He says he is the Son of God, the Way, the Truth and the Light. He says that no man will come to the Father (in heaven) except through him. Bold statements, indeed, that no one else claims. Is it tough for a non-believer to hear? Yeah, I guess it is. But if you ever get to the point of giving your life and soul over to a Spiritual Guide, why choose a second rate god? There is only one who claims to be the original. People are still trying to prove Him wrong but haven't succeeded yet.
Link Posted: 8/15/2001 11:04:07 AM EDT
Originally Posted By cck: Why believe a two thousand year old book written by friends of Jesus as the truth?
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CK, my apologies for the double post, but I forgot to mention an important fact. The Gospel accounts were written by Jesus' friends. After jesus' execution, it was these same friends that the Roman's had an all-out manhunt for. The writers of the Gospels and the New Testament letters paid dearly for what they wrote, said and believed. Many paid with their lives. Christians weren't real popular with Rome back then. Remember the lion feedings? The price for being a practicing Christian was death, yet many died for their faith. Among those were many who had met Jesus face to face and lived with him daily. Why would they willing write and spread lies, under their own names, that would lead to their death? No one dies for a lie. No one. The price paid makes be believe that their accounts were accurate and truthful.
Link Posted: 8/15/2001 12:07:05 PM EDT
Originally Posted By cerberus:
Originally Posted By Duffy: How does rik sound hostile and hateful, or give anyone the impression he does not love himself?
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Because that is the tone of his posts.
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Actually no, that is not the tone of my posts, that is your incorrect perception of the tone of my posts.
Link Posted: 8/15/2001 12:08:43 PM EDT
And BTW, when were you going to get around to addressing my response? Or were you intending to not respond?
Link Posted: 8/15/2001 1:03:50 PM EDT
The writers of the Gospels and the New Testament letters paid dearly for what they wrote, said and believed. Many paid with their lives. Christians weren't real popular with Rome back then. Remember the lion feedings? The price for being a practicing Christian was death, yet many died for their faith. Among those were many who had met Jesus face to face and lived with him daily. Why would they willing write and spread lies, under their own names, that would lead to their death? No one dies for a lie. No one. The price paid makes be believe that their accounts were accurate and truthful.
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The followers of Christ are hardly unique in that respect. Everyone from the Mormons to the Branch Davidians to the Falun Gong have risked death to follow and promote their beliefs. Does that validate all of them? Anyway, to address the original topic of the thread: I think that we should make a distinction between things which are part of the natural world but beyond our current ability to sense or measure and things which exist completely outside the physical world. E.g., throughout most of human history, the microscopic world of bacteria was unknown, but was never truly "supernatural", even though the results of bacterial activity (such as the Black Death) might have been attributed to supernatural forces. On the other hand, I think we can agree that if God exists, no instrument, no matter how sensitive, will ever be able to detect him -- God is simply not part of the natural world.
Link Posted: 8/15/2001 1:14:35 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/15/2001 1:57:43 PM EDT by Major-Murphy]
There was a time, not too long ago (19th C), when scientists believed that bacteria, sound, static electricity, radio waves, and other things travelled and moved about us in something known as "The Ether". Scientific study and discovery led Man to realize that there was no such thing as "The Ether". [:)] What's my point?
Link Posted: 8/15/2001 2:00:44 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Major-Murphy: [:)] What's my point?
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I don't know... But I'm glad I'm not breathin' ether, either. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!
Link Posted: 8/15/2001 2:03:36 PM EDT
Are you sure? Those scientists could be wrong...
Link Posted: 8/15/2001 2:33:37 PM EDT
Originally Posted By RikWriter: That's where I would disagree. In real science, if something is unfalsifiable, then it's not science. Real scientists can't just throw their hands up when they get to a difficult problem and say "Well, that's just a miracle, no one will ever explain it."
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I never said they do or should. I will add that in the course of their explorations many scientists have become believers of God. They are still scientists as well.
It has nothing to do with the Christian faith and everything to do with Creationism, which is totally separate from the issue of Christianity. It's more of an issue of Bibliolatry.
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If Bibliolatry means the elevation of a series of writings to the point where the principles they contain becomes the focus of your life, then you are correct. Same thing as the books on which you base your life philosophy.
Wouldn't know about that. I stopped believing in Christianity because it stopped making sense, no other reason.
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I stopped believing in evolutionary theory for the same reason, it stopped making sense. Just too many implausibles to be credible. And that's the same argument you will flip back to me. We're even.
cerebrus, you may not believe this (and it makes no matter to me whether you do or not) but I have no hatred or anger towards anyone. I do pity some people, and others simply annoy me, but I don't get angry over it.
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I do believe everything you say. Otherwise I wouldn't take the time to respond to your posts. You do seem to have a thing about Christians, though. Unless it's just Eric the Hun who gets to you.
I am not sitting here pounding at the keyboard, redfaced...I am simply expressing my feelings on the matter as cogently as I know how. As for love...I love my wife, I love my son, I love my family. I love a few of my closest friends. I don't love people in general because I don't feel love means anything if you throw it around like candy.
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LOL! I never though you were a keyboard pounder, and you do express yourself well. I am also certain you love your wife and your family. No disrespect intended, but that's easy. Anyone can love someone who loves them back. I love my wife and kid, too. The real test of love is whether you can love the unlovable. The Greeks have three distinct words for love: [i]fileo[/i], or brotherly, friendly love; [i]eros[/i], erotic sexual love and [i]agape[/i], which means an unconditional love expressed towards someone who has done nothing to earn it. It is that kind of "love" that is lacking in society, in fact lacking in our basic human nature. The ability to love someone unconditionally, and to keep on doing it even after they have hurt or rejected you, is the kind of love that Christians should be all about. [b]cont.[/b]
Link Posted: 8/15/2001 2:34:47 PM EDT
[b]cont.[/b]
I also love certain ideals, such as liberty, equality and individual responsibility. I love the idea of this country, and I would die for it if I had to.
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I have never doubted your patriotism.
I also love honesty, and I am being very honest in my opinions. I think Creationism and Biblical literalist fundamentalism are dangerous to this country
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How so? How can a Biblical literalist who actually lives out the Scriptural program to love your family, look out for your neighbors, do good for others, honor your leaders and seek only to do good be dangerous? If I can suggest something, let's take a little different tack at this point. You are very eloquent, obviuosly educated, and there is no doubt you care very deeply about your beliefs. It is also very clear where you and I disagree, isn't it? So lets try something new. You and I are not that far apart on a lot of things. In fact, we agree on quite a bit. Rather than batting balls back and forth over the net, why don't we see where we have some common ground? OK with you? In keeping with this thread let me throw out the first idea. You may agrre or disagree as you see fit. Would you agree that there is both good and evil present in this world?
Link Posted: 8/15/2001 3:54:26 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/15/2001 3:51:34 PM EDT by cck]
cerberus, I work at a resort and go to college. It's real slow at night so it gives me plenty of time to read ar15.com stuff. I'm glad you like my questions. It's not easy asking these things of a lot of people. Most that I've dealt with tend to get very upset that you would question the existence of god at all. That was an excellent point about preflight and trust in others. What do you think of Renamed's statement that no insturment will every be able to quantify god? I guess what I'm mean by that is; in your mind will science ever be able to disprove the existence of god? Or will you say that god just made it appear in a certain way, like stars being billions of light years away? -CK
Link Posted: 8/15/2001 3:59:17 PM EDT
And I don't mean to double post either but what you said about people not dying for lies. I'm not suggesting that they were lying only that things get embelished over time. -CK
Link Posted: 8/15/2001 4:44:14 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/15/2001 4:42:10 PM EDT by cerberus]
I have a kid in college, too. He is at FSU in Tallahassee. Now I know there are at least two college kids in the US who can think for themselves. I think Renamed was right. But when you get to the question of quantifying God, how do you measure the immeasurable? I look at the same world everyone else does, my senses are my instruments, and everything I see in nature screams of the handiwork of a Creator. The incredible intricacies of plants and animals, the wildness of the seas and the complexity and beauty of the life they contain all defy the idea that it came about by random chance. Our world and the universe it sets in are just too finely balanced for me to think otherwise. I believe that God is beyond measure by quantitative means, but His presence and signature are everywhere. As far as how the stars and everything else appears, I cannot try to put God on my timeline. In the Bible it says that to the Lord a day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years like a day. I certainly can't guess what kind of schedule he is on, but I don't really need to. It would be nice to know, but not essential to my life. As far as the embellishment of the original writings, the New Testament is unique in that we have today original manuscripts that were produced within 100 years of Jesus time on earth. They were written and distributed at the height of the anti-Christian persecution of the day. A couple of things you should remember id that most cultures, and particularly the Jews, were sticklers about accuracy in written copies of a work. In copying the Torah, for example, if one word was misspelled the entire parchment was scrapped. They wanted to be sure to get it right. It is also good to know something of thecharacter of the men who wrote the Gospels. Matthew was a tax collector, a Jew in the employ of the Roman occupation government. He was an educated man in a terrible job. He was never going to win a popularity contest among the Jews, who saw men like him as traitiors, or the Romans, to whom he was little better than a slave, a hired gun. Nothing he could have written would have improved his personal standing, so why try? He wrote the truth as it happened. Luke was also highly educated and systematic, a doctor by training and considered a scientist of his day. His account is famous for it's attention to detail and accuracy in recording events. The apostle Paul, who wrote the majority of the New testament, was an educated upper class Jew, schooled in Juadism. His original mission was to round up and kill early Christians. By converting to Christianity and traveling all over the Mediterranean and Asia Minor to spread the news, he put himself at great risk and was eventually imprisoned by the Romans for what he was doing. So all in all, the record doesn't support the idea of people deliberatley embellishing their accounts, as it would only serve to get them into even more trouble. They had actually seen something truly revolutionary happen right before their eyes and the told the truth about it to everyone they could. That's plenty enough verification for me to start believing. If you'd like I can reccomend a couple of books you would find interesting. They follow your line of questioning almost exactly and might give answers far better than I can do here.
Link Posted: 8/15/2001 5:10:05 PM EDT
Sorry to hear about your son [:D] Being from Nebraska originally I can't stand any Football team from Florida. I am interested in those books, if you would send me the titles in email, that would be awesome. Getting back to our discussion; If these accounts are not embellished at all then are we to take all of the bible literally? If so doesn't that mean that the world is some 6000 years old? How do you justify this with stars billions of light years away, or fossil records millions of years old? I too have seen some fantastic things in my life living just a few hours away from the Grand Canyon and seeing the Huskers win three National Championships in 4 years. [:D] -CK GO BIG RED
Link Posted: 8/15/2001 5:34:35 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/15/2001 5:40:11 PM EDT by Duffy]
Link Posted: 8/15/2001 5:54:25 PM EDT
Originally Posted By cck: Sorry to hear about your son [:D] Being from Nebraska originally I can't stand any Football team from Florida.
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Understood. He's there for the Communications program. Football wise, he goes for UM. I'd be a fan if the Dolphins could ever get it together. Wannstedt looks like more like a young Shula, maybe there's a chance for another Super Bowl.[beer]
I am interested in those books, if you would send me the titles in email, that would be awesome.
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On the way to you...
Getting back to our discussion; If these accounts are not embellished at all then are we to take all of the bible literally?
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As a literary work the Bible encompasses several distinct styles: history, poetry, narrative, allegory and homily. Some parts are meant to be taken just as they are written. Others, such as Psalms or Song of Songs are poetic and written as such. When Solomon is speaking to his lover in Song of Songs about running among her hills, he ain't talking about the mountains behind her house. The key to understanding any literary work is to first know just what the author was intending to write.
If so doesn't that mean that the world is some 6000 years old? How do you justify this with stars billions of light years away, or fossil records millions of years old?
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Again, I can't speak for God's sense of timing. I can tell you that I don't think God created the world in six twenty-four hour days. I think that the stars are far away. They may have been there billions of years before God got around to creating the Earth. As far as fossil records goinf back millions of years, the tool most often used to date things is Carbon-14, which is known to be quite innaccurate. When someone tells me that a Whateversaur became extinct between 20-30 million years ago, I cringe. Yeah, so what does 10 million years mean, anyway? Just a little detail. What it really means is, "Hey, we're guessing, too." But on the important part of this, which is the implications of my faith, it is not really important that I know when the last Whateversaur died. What is important is that I know with more than reasonable certainty that the pertinent accounts of God's creation, plan for the world and plan for my future are correct. I am a pretty smart guy, not some backwoods, barefoot bible thumper. I have weighed the evidence carefully, never accepting it "just because", and made my choice. I'm sure I made the right one, considering what's at stake for me.
Link Posted: 8/15/2001 6:08:16 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Duffy: cerberus, thanks for the reply, you have more sense than any of the religeous zealouts I've come across. Though we might disagree, I do see you can think for yourself instead of hiding behind the bible. I love to see educated and well read people exchange ideas, usually rik buries those he disagrees with under a ton of logic and common sense, they resort to name calling after the first round.
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Thank you. You and CK and a few others make this kind of discussion worthwhile. I, too, hate the name calling. It lowers the level of the discussion and ticks everyone off. Looking forward to hearing more from you.
Link Posted: 8/15/2001 6:17:12 PM EDT
Originally Posted By cerberus: In copying the Torah, for example, if one word was misspelled the entire parchment was scrapped. They wanted to be sure to get it right.
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I have some deep reservations about asking this. I don't want you to consider this a flame but how can you say the above in one post and this in a later one and not see any hypocrisy?
Originally Posted By cerberus: The key to understanding any literary work is to first know just what the author was intending to write.
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Again, I'm starting to consider you a friend here and don't want to piss you off. But either it's literal or figurative. If it's literal, then that's easy the world is 6000 years old. If it's figurative, which parts, I don't remember in my years of sunday school anybody saying "Now this part isn't written exactly how it happened." -CK
Link Posted: 8/15/2001 6:22:25 PM EDT
No problem in asking. I am sitting here in my Nomex underwear and I am [pyro][b]FLAMEPROOF[/b] There is no inconsistency. When they were copying history, the copied it exactly. When copying poetry, they copied it exactly. When they copied Song of Songs, they blushed, then copied it exactly. The whole idea was that future readers would get the writers intent, untarnished by error or editing.
Link Posted: 8/15/2001 7:00:49 PM EDT
But Genesis is History is it not? 6 days, not the first day was 8 billion years, the second was 3 billion years and so forth. 6 days. If we are not to take that literally, where it says 6 days, how are we to take Christ rose from the dead literally? Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying religion doesn't have some very good moral lessons that it tries to get across about dealing with other people and living in a society. But I think we need to recognize it for what it is. Either a means to control people (of which I believe the Ten Commandments is as far as you need to read to make that argument). Or, the other, more optimistic viewpoint of frightened people trying to make sense of the world around them. -CK
Link Posted: 8/15/2001 7:14:47 PM EDT
How many times has a scientific theory been proven wrong? Or more importantly it is better to Believein G*d and find he does not exist, than to not believe in G*d and find he does!
Link Posted: 8/15/2001 7:24:13 PM EDT
Originally Posted By TheWind: How many times has a scientific theory been proven wrong? Or more importantly it is better to Believein G*d and find he does not exist, than to not believe in G*d and find he does!
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But what if I pray to the wrong god, and the real god turns out to be a vengeful god? I also believe that if god does exist he can be nothing but happy of my desire to find out everything I possibly can about him. Would you disagree? -CK
Link Posted: 8/15/2001 7:25:37 PM EDT
I don't know, and neither do you, in spite of what you have been conditioned to believe or have chosen to believe. I stopped believing in "God(s)" a few years ago. Too much discrimination, prejudice, indignance, arrogance, ignorance, oppression, fraud, suffering, war, death and destruction. Too many people killed just because "My religion is better than your religion." Balderdash. Piffle. Poppycock. Bullshit. Pbbbthththththt. I believe in the tangible. I believe in science. I believe in mathematics. I believe in myself, and I believe in you (until you give me a reason not to). I believe that televangilism is good comedy...[:D] P3[pyro][^]
Link Posted: 8/15/2001 7:27:00 PM EDT
Originally Posted By cck: But Genesis is History is it not? 6 days, not the first day was 8 billion years, the second was 3 billion years and so forth. 6 days. If we are not to take that literally, where it says 6 days, how are we to take Christ rose from the dead literally?
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OK then, six days it is. Genesis is an account of the life and lifestyles of the people of it's age. It is a story about history. The author of Genesis set out to write a description of how life was lived. It is primarily a book dealing with relationships. God to earth, man to God, man to the world around him. In the course of doing so Genesis covers a lot of ground. Much of Genesis is literal history and should be taken as such. Other parts are more generalized. As far as Christ rising from the dead, he was certainly dead on the cross. The Roman guard made sure of that. He was buried. The tomb was found empty. He was seen by many people and touched, in the flesh, after his ressurrection. He was eating with his friends. Ghosts don't eat. Then he was taken up to heaven. All witnessed and reported by those on the scene.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying religion doesn't have some very good moral lessons that it tries to get across about dealing with other people and living in a society. But I think we need to recognize it for what it is. Either a means to control people (of which I believe the Ten Commandments is as far as you need to read to make that argument). Or, the other, more optimistic viewpoint of frightened people trying to make sense of the world around them.
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No doubt about it, men have used religion to control others for as long as there have been men and religions. That part is not exclusive to Christianity or Judaism. And I think that to say that they were all frightened people is pretty narrow. Some of the world's most advanced civilaztions existed in those times. They were good observers and every bit as intelligent as you and I. Perhaps more so. I have no idea what makes this computer do the things it does. How eletricity passing through silicon can accomplish all this is beyond me. Back then they knew how things worked cause they didn't have the technological crutches we do. They were pretty sharp. Now I've gotta ask: If you think that the Ten Commandments are enough to live by, why?
Link Posted: 8/15/2001 7:35:38 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/15/2001 7:41:05 PM EDT by the bricklayer]
[url]http://www.christiananswers.net/creation/menu-life.html[/url] [url]http://www.creationscience.com/[/url] [url]http://www.answersingenesis.org/home.asp[/url]
Link Posted: 8/15/2001 7:38:31 PM EDT
Cerberus, About computers... "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." -Arthur C. Clarke About the Ten Commandments, I don't believe in them as a way to live one's life. I do believe in the Golden Rule. My philosophy says that my responsibilities are two fold and completely intertwined, One live my life as I see fit trying to make myself as happy as I can while dealing with others the way I would wish to be dealt with. Secondly, Do my best to advance the human race as far as I personally can. I do this through persuing the first goal, and Adam Smith's Invisible Hand takes care of the rest. "Every individual necessarily labors to render the annual revenue of the society as great as he can. He generally indeed neither intends to promote the public interest, nor knows how much he is promoting it. He intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention. By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it. I have never known much good done by those who affected to trade for the public good." Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations
Link Posted: 8/15/2001 8:30:48 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/15/2001 8:35:44 PM EDT by cerberus]
I do believe in the Golden Rule.
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Which says...? Adam Smith says that if I am solely about promoting my own business I will do good for society, but if I try to promote the benefit of society I will damage it??? Listen, every Monday night I go to a jail here to do a little chapel service. The place is full of guys (over 2000) who must have read Smith's book. Most every one of them was "pursuing his own interest" when he was caught. You'll have to do a litte better than that. And how do you explain the "invisible hand?"
Link Posted: 8/15/2001 8:45:54 PM EDT
Originally Posted By cerberus: If Bibliolatry means the elevation of a series of writings to the point where the principles they contain becomes the focus of your life, then you are correct. Same thing as the books on which you base your life philosophy.
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I don't base my life philosophy on any books.
I stopped believing in evolutionary theory for the same reason, it stopped making sense. Just too many implausibles to be credible. And that's the same argument you will flip back to me. We're even.
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No, we're not, because frankly you're just plain wrong. Evolution makes plenty of sense and the certainties outweigh the questions. This isn't a matter of opinion, it's a matter of fact.
I do believe everything you say. Otherwise I wouldn't take the time to respond to your posts. You do seem to have a thing about Christians, though. Unless it's just Eric the Hun who gets to you.
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No one "gets to me." If anything, I seem to get to them, as they can't seem to resist replying to me even after declaring openly they weren't going to do so. Frankly I have no problem with Christians. I do have a problem with Creationists because they tend to want to push their pseudoscientific BS on innocent schoolchildren by trying to pass stupid laws that would result in the dumbing down of our society. Christianity does NOT equal Creationism.
I am also certain you love your wife and your family. No disrespect intended, but that's easy. Anyone can love someone who loves them back. I love my wife and kid, too. The real test of love is whether you can love the unlovable.
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Frankly though, why SHOULD I? I wish no ill on anyone, but why should I waste precious energy and time loving people who would wish me ill? What good will it do THEM even? They don't desire my love any more than I desire theirs. And as I said, if you claim to "love everyone" what is more likely is that you won't really love anyone.
Link Posted: 8/15/2001 8:46:11 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/15/2001 8:42:56 PM EDT by cck]
cerberus, Golden Rule as I understand it: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you". As far as the invisible had thing ".... By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it...." more like interactions are so intericate that we can never fully understand them (that sounds familiar [:)]) so when we plan to do a good, it often backfires, take social security for example. As for the frightened people comment, I don't think there is anything wrong with that, I just don't think we need it anymore. Bricklayer, dig those sites, even makes an atheist think. try infidels.org it's kinda interesting
Link Posted: 8/15/2001 8:53:37 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/15/2001 8:56:17 PM EDT
Originally Posted By cerberus: How so? How can a Biblical literalist who actually lives out the Scriptural program to love your family, look out for your neighbors, do good for others, honor your leaders and seek only to do good be dangerous?
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They can be and are dangerous because they are encouraging the growth not of religion but of superstition. The difference is that religion deals with the spiritual, the moral, while superstition attempts to explain the real through the use of the unreal. Fundamentalism is on the rise in this country, and with it a growing distrust in science that is already hurting us in our competition with other countries. I know you don't accept the reality of evolution, but all of our biological sciences are based on it, and evolutionary biology has been responsible for every advance made in medical science in the 20th century. It is vital that our educational system teach MORE science, not less, but the pressure put on local school boards by Creationists has resulted in the gelding of our science texts. They are so scared to mention evolution that they skip over any subject it touches, and kids wind up scientifically illiterate.
Link Posted: 8/15/2001 9:01:32 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/15/2001 8:59:20 PM EDT by cerberus]
Originally Posted By cck: cerberus, Golden Rule as I understand it: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you".
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"Do to others as you would have them do to you." -Jesus, as recorded in the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 6 v31. Not a bad place to start...
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