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Christian Eschatology

By kpaul in Op-Ed
Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 04:05:50 PM EST
Tags: Focus On... (all tags)
Focus On...

I'm certain a lot of you might not read past the title, but let me say upfront that not everyone who believes in Jesus Christ acts the same way. Let me also say that I know there are those who don't believe in Jesus Christ who are more moral, honest, kind hearted, etc, moreso in fact than a lot who do profess to believe.

This article isn't about all that, though. This article will attempt to explain what Christians believe about the end times. We're not all war hungry beasts who believe we are holier than everyone else. There are different thoughts on interpreting the end time scenario given to us in scripture thousands of years ago.


The Back Story:
(God, lucifer, man, salvation, God...)

A long time ago, on this very planet, before this planet's existence in the physical realm, there was a being that always was and always will be (although maybe we cannot truly fathom it yet). This being, the creator, God, first made the angels, a vast amount of superior beings. Some of the angels rebelled, led by one who was called Lucifer.

After the angels, God decided to create humans, beings made in His own image (whatever that might truly mean). He first created a physical place, the earth and the heavens, and populated it with the seeds of life we see today, changed somewhat but the same at the core.

He then created men. And from men he created women. And Lucifer told Eve that surely she wouldn't die if she ate the one fruit God had told them not to eat - the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

After eating the fruit of our own freewill, God placed a curse upon humankind. No longer would we live forever or have it easy. We would know physical death and have a hard time getting the earth to support us. "By the sweat of your brow." Or something to that effect.

Many years after this, after God began interacting with man through the Jewish nation, He sent His Son (God in human form) to earth to sacrifice Himself for our original sin in the Garden of Eden. It was declared in a New Covenant that whosoever should believe that Jesus Christ was who He said He was would be saved.

Escha...what?
(What does the word mean? Why care about it?)

Eschatology comes from the Greek word eskhatos and means, "last." Christian eschatology concerns itself with God's endgame, the last sputtering breaths of existence as we know it.

One of the biggest reasons I believe eschatology is important is that Jesus Christ repeatedly told us to watch for the signs - admonished us for knowing when it would rain next, but not when the Son of God would return for the end of this earth as we now know it.

Prophecy in the Bible
(Not everyone believes the same thing.)

Ask most people on the street what book of the bible deals with the end times and they will invariably answer Revelations. While that book does indeed concern itself with the end times, it's interesting to note that a majority of the rest of the books of the bible also deal with the time period at the end of the world as we know it.

From Jesus himself (Matthew 24) to minor (Joel) and major (Ezekiel) prophets, a large portion of the text handed down to us deals with what will happen in a final seven year period.

The basics
(The common elements in most Christian Eschatology.)

The different camps all roughly believe the same thing: Jesus comes back, the dead are raised, everyone is judged, good are rewarded, bad are punished, etc. The specifics are where people start to branch off in their own directions, though.

According to the prophet Daniel (whom Jesus refers to in the Olivet Discourse), there will be a seven year period at the end of the world in which the anti-christ (literally, one against Christ) rises to power and tries one more time to deceive as many people as possible before the end.

During this final seven year period many things will happen according to prophecy: two witnesses will show up preaching the Word (eventually killed then raised to heaven), the anti-christ will show up with false signs and wonders, the seals will be broken and many billions of people will perish on earth.

Halfway into the final seven year period, some believe the Jewish temple will be rebuilt on the Temple Mount. I'm not sure about this myself yet. From this temple (or what Jesus referred to as the Holy Place), the deceiver will liken himself to God and demand that humans worship him or die.

Sometime between the halfway point and the end of the final seven years (Jesus said He would cut the time short, lest every last one of us died), Jesus will make His triumphant return. The sky will go dark, the moon will turn red, a trumpet will sound, and the dead shall rise first. Then, those few who are left alive on the planet and believe will rise up to meet Him in the air.

Then, a battle will take place; Satan and the world vs. Jesus and the saints. Jesus wins. The serpent is locked in the bottomless pit. Jesus rules the planet from Jerusalem. We have our new bodies. A new heaven and a new earth have been established.

One-thousand years later, satan is let loose for one last battle, still thinking that he can win or that at least he should take as many of us with him. This is the battle of Armageddon. Lucifer loses and is cast into the pit for eternity.

Yes, yes, sounds like a fairy tale to you perhaps, with consumerism and the worship of Mammon running rampant, but I believe it's true. (And yes, I lust after material items too, although I try not to do this.)

This is a very basic outline of some of the major events that are scheduled to happen. I've purposefully left out many details (the Gog Magog war for one, the identiy of the Whore of Babylon/Mystery Babylon/Daughter of Babylon, The Seven Seals, etc.) If this doesn't flounder and sink in the queue, maybe one day I'll come back to the issue and go over some of the details.

Preterists
(The Future Prophecy is ancient history already.)

These people believe that all end time prophecy has been fulfilled, that it really only referred to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. This camp is split up into further divisions (causing even more confusion, not an accident, I imagine) with some believing Jesus has already been here and left while others believe Jesus has yet to return to earth to claim what was given Him although think a lot of stuff has already passed.

Pre-Tribulation
(Christians are superior to even the Jews and leave the planet before things get bad.)

This teaching (which I sometimes refer to as the American version of the end times) gained popularity in the late 19th century. Lately, it has found a following in the Left Behind series, which teaches this doctrine.

Basically, pre-tribulation is a belief that for some reason modern Christians (especially those in the U.S. of A.) are 'special' and different than the rest of the world in that they're whisked away (in the rapture) before the tribulation (the final seven year period) begins.

This belief, in my opinion, leads them to not worry about the hard times ahead for the world because they don't think they will be here. This also lends itself to a lot of the Holier-than-thou attitudes that abound in the world today

This teaching, however explained, says that Jesus will return twice, once for the special Christians living at the end of the world, and then once after all the bad stuff happens for the rest of humanity. Searching scripture, though, I can't find this. I see a glimpse of how it could be interpreted that way here and there, but when you put all the pieces of the puzzle together, it doesn't jive with the info we've been given.

Pre-Wrath
(Christians will be present for most of the end times, but not the really, truly bad parts.)

People who are pre-wrath believe that halfway into the last seven years, when the anti-christ "defiles the holy place" (let him who reads understand) and demands to be worshipped, the Christian believers will be whisked away in the rapture.

This final three and a half years is the point things get really brutal on the planet and God's wrath is poured onto the Earth. This is a middle-of-the-road view that tries to incorporate some pre-tribulation and post-tribulation ideas.

Post-Tribulation
(Believers will be here until they die or Jesus returns, most likely the former.)

This school of thought is the closest to scripture, in my most humble opinion. Post-tribulation teaches that humans (saved and unsaved, Jew and Gentile) are here in the thick of it until the very end when Jesus Christ returns.

This view teaches that scripture says those who profess belief in Jesus Christ in the end times will be put to death for their beliefs (it happens today in certain parts of the world). There is no fear, but on the other hand neither is there a desire to hasten the Day of the Lord, when Jesus returns. Jesus has conquered death (the curse) and yet He warned us the final days would be as no other days seen on the earth.

And from what I've been able to gather (as information and knowledge increases) this old planet has been through quite a bit since its inception. From earthquakes, wars, and the great flood (another hint at the end times answer), this planet has been battered and bruised as we (humans), made in the image of God, utterly wreck the planet.

My Thoughts
(As an end time pilgrim watching for the signs, here's my take.)

I have to admit that I believe the bible teaches a post-tribulation rapture, that I will be here until I die or Jesus returns. This belief that leaves me at odds with the majority of those who profess belief in Jesus Christ.

The apostle Paul warned that in the latter days there would appear those who taught things that tickled the ear, that sounded too good to be true. If this doesn't refer to Christians believing that they're somehow better than the rest of the world and don't have to face the final years on this planet, I'm not sure what does.

A lot of people I talk to about this argue that it doesn't really matter all that much what you believe about the end times. I have to disagree with them, though. Jesus Himself told us to Watch over and over again while He was here in human form. Also, if you are taught and believe you will be raptured before the anti-christ appears and things get rough, why would you watch for his appearance?

The teaching also lends itself to those that would try to hasten (as if they could) end times scenarios by waging war on other countries, or whatever other means they employ behind the scenes. Perhaps they think it doesn't matter because they'll be taken before the ramifications of their actions come into being?

Conclusion
(What I hope to accomplish with this article, God willing.)

Although I've read to a degree about what other faiths believe in regards to the end times, I'd love to hear more about what you believe and why. Also, feel free to ask me to go into more detail on any points I've made. Maybe we could use this article as a jumping off point for some old-school K5 discussion?

Please?

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Poll
I believe
o it's already all happened. 5%
o in a pre-tribulation rapture. 4%
o in a pre-wrath rapture. 1%
o in a post-tribulation rapture. 7%
o this is it and there's nothing beyond or to look forward to other than man destroying man someday. 39%
o none of the above (see below) 42%

Votes: 168
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o cannot truly fathom
o Lucifer
o create humans
o original sin
o New Covenant
o Matthew 24
o Joel
o Ezekiel
o final seven year period
o Olivet Discourse
o two witnesses
o anti-chris t
o Holy Place
o Gog Magog
o Whore of Babylon
o Mystery Babylon
o Daughter of Babylon
o The Seven Seals
o Pre-Tribul ation
o late 19th century
o Pre-Wrath
o Post-Tribu lation
o Also by kpaul


Display: Sort:
Christian Eschatology | 973 comments (879 topical, 94 editorial, 1 hidden)
Immanetize the Eschaton! (nt) (3.78 / 14) (#1)
by Urthpaw on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 10:36:27 PM EST



All Hail Eris! (4.16 / 6) (#233)
by Pac on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 10:27:35 AM EST

Me thinks far too little young fellows undestand what you meant. Maybe a link can help.

Evolution doesn't take prisoners


[ Parent ]
Mmmmmmmmmmmmm (1.00 / 2) (#350)
by McMasters on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 04:04:51 PM EST

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

[ Parent ]
Don't let THEM (none / 0) (#917)
by thejeff on Wed Sep 10, 2003 at 09:27:09 AM EST

Immanentize the Eschaton!

[ Parent ]
I am against christian eschatology (3.33 / 27) (#3)
by Tex Bigballs on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 10:38:56 PM EST

taking a dump on jesus is just plain wrong and if you don't like it I'll rub my asscrack with allah's holiest turban or whatever god your country worships

I believe in Post Tribulation (3.25 / 4) (#7)
by richarj on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 10:50:20 PM EST

But I never studied it much because there are far more important things to meditate on in the bible. I mainly take my Eschatological views from Zechariah of course I have no real idea what any of it means. If I want experience what it is going to be like in the tribulation then I will go to say Aceh I'm quite sure I would be killed for my faith in such a place.

As for the American preference for Pre Tribulation. It seems that many American Christians ( at least the vocal ones) are misled in many areas. From the viewpoint of a Australian Christian, American Christians seem quite bizarre and backwards in some areas.

"if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty

mystery babylon (none / 0) (#9)
by kpaul on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 10:55:21 PM EST

what are your thoughts on this, if you don't mind my asking. do you have any? bablyon = confusion. america fits that description, i think. (not to mention we just physically captured babylon on the battlefield...)

it's not the be-all-and-end-all to spreading the Word (for that is salvation), but it's important, i think, especially in the times we're living in.

anything important i should know about Zechariah?

grace and peace,
kpaul


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

mystery babylon (none / 0) (#32)
by richarj on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 11:54:13 PM EST

As far as I know we are not supposed to know who this figure will be until he arises and then we will know. As for it being America, many down the ages have said that it was he Pope, recently some say the U.N. Some have said Saddam Hussein or Hitler. I tend to think that people who say the AntiChrist is this or that just don't like that entity rather than have a true revelation about it. So I therefore think that the AntiChrist is currently rmg. make of that what you will.

As for Zechariah it says no more than any other book of the prophets. Only the last couple of chapters are relevant to Eschatology. It even predicts that someone would be sold for 30 pieces of silver to a potter.

"12 I told them, "If you think it best, give me my pay; but if not, keep it." So they paid me thirty pieces of silver. 13 And the LORD said to me, "Throw it to the potter"-the handsome price at which they priced me! So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the LORD to the potter. " Zechariah 11:12-13 NIV version

"1 A day of the LORD is coming when your plunder will be divided among you. 2 I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city. 3 Then the LORD will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights in the day of battle. 4 On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south. 5 You will flee by my mountain valley, for it will extend to Azel. You will flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the LORD my God will come, and all the holy ones with him. 6 On that day there will be no light, no cold or frost. 7 It will be a unique day, without daytime or nighttime-a day known to the LORD . When evening comes, there will be light. 8 On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half to the eastern sea and half to the western sea, in summer and in winter. 9 The LORD will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one LORD , and his name the only name." Zechariah 14:1-9 NIV version

"if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
[ Parent ]

mystery babylon != antichrist (none / 0) (#49)
by kpaul on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 12:33:32 AM EST

they're two separate things, imho - one a man the other a system or country (or maybe a mindset?).

thanks for the bits on Zecharia. the Day of the Lord will be mighty and terrible to behold for us...


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

Naw... (1.00 / 2) (#326)
by CodeWright on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 03:20:25 PM EST

...by that distant point in the future, we'll be able to kick his ass.

--
"Jumpin Jesus H. Christ riding a segway with a little fruity 1 pint bucket of Ben and Jerry's rainbow fairy-berry crunch in his hand." --
[ Parent ]
I don't believe this stuff ... (3.00 / 1) (#138)
by Simon Kinahan on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 05:51:18 AM EST

... but I must admit I was amused when I realised that modern-day Baghdad is built on much the same site as ancient Babylon.

Simon

If you disagree, post, don't moderate
[ Parent ]
the question is... (none / 0) (#801)
by Maserati on Sun Sep 07, 2003 at 11:18:25 AM EST

Does anyone in the Bush administration believe it. That thought kind of scares me. And for reasons that should be obvious.

Then again, we are were way past due for another round of Crusades. This batch seems to be just as cynical as the first one ended up being.

--

For the wise a hint, for the fool a stick.
[ Parent ]

even more frightening... (none / 0) (#813)
by kpaul on Sun Sep 07, 2003 at 04:11:19 PM EST

are they misinterpreting it? you shall know them by their fruit, He said. that's an important key when looking at leaders and other people.


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

What I believe? (3.33 / 12) (#10)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 10:55:37 PM EST

Within a few thousand years, humans will become extinct through our own doing. Then a few billion years later the sun will burn out, exterminating all remaining life on earth.

.

.

That's it.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.

SCARY!!! (nt) (2.00 / 4) (#14)
by fae on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 11:04:28 PM EST



-- fae: but an atom in the great mass of humanity
[ Parent ]
Nah (4.18 / 11) (#15)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 11:11:15 PM EST

The scary part is when you think of the billions of people who utterly refuse to accept this fact.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
actually, (3.25 / 4) (#277)
by reklaw on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 12:17:57 PM EST

I believe pretty much the same stuff that you do, but it's easy to see why people turn to religion.

Have you ever sat and thought about death? Really thought about it? Not only will all your loved ones die, but you will die.

You will cease to exist.

Doesn't that scare you?

With a bit of self-delusion you can be completely free of that fear. God is for people who can't take the idea that there's nothing after life.

That's why billions of people refuse to accept that fact -- to accept it is to accept oblivion.
-
[ Parent ]

Yes, definitely (3.00 / 4) (#306)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 02:04:19 PM EST

Yeah, it scares the fuck out of me. My goal is to get to a point where I accept mortality as a fact and it no longer bothers me. Hopefully I can do this without resorting to fairy tales.

You are right though, it's easy to see why religion is there. I think the recent studies that point to a 'god area' of the brain are true, we are hard wired to have religious feelings. It's just a shame that it's been responsible for so much suffering in the world.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]

The "God Part" of the brain (none / 0) (#409)
by Plutonic on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 07:23:45 PM EST

Interesting to see you mention this, I bought the book written by Matthew Alper some time ago, and found it to explain a lot of the things I had been wondering about. It almost made too much sense in places.

Highly recommended for anyone whos looking for a solid well explained answer to the "god" issue, or really for anyone who values an interesting opinion.

[ Parent ]
Not really (3.00 / 1) (#511)
by kvan on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 02:18:54 AM EST

I really, honestly, don't find it very scary. The only thing that saddens me a bit about it, is the thought that we might go extinct--I'd like to think that intelligence will evolve beyond humans and survive the death of the Sun. It's not something I lose sleep over, hoever.

As for myself, I frequently reflect upon the fact that I could not wake up tomorrow. It doesn't bother me, except in a very mild way when trying to decide between immediate gratification (splurge on a gourmet dinner) or investing in the future (save up for a vacation). In the end, however, the balance between all-out hedonism and ROI isn't that hard to achieve. It's just a question of simple risk calculations, after all.

By the way, there's no need to turn to gods for an alternative to final death--there's always quantum immortality.

"Many people would sooner die than think; in fact, most do." - Bertrand Russell


[ Parent ]
Are the girls at the goth club impressed by that? (3.40 / 5) (#25)
by Zerotime on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 11:25:07 PM EST



---
"You don't even have to drink it. You just rub it on your hips and it eats its way through to your liver."
[ Parent ]
And you believe: (2.00 / 4) (#33)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 11:55:07 PM EST



--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
I'm an atheist... (3.50 / 2) (#179)
by Zerotime on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 08:36:48 AM EST

...shading into nihilism, and I enjoy making fun of people. Sorry.

---
"You don't even have to drink it. You just rub it on your hips and it eats its way through to your liver."
[ Parent ]
A few thousand years ... (4.33 / 3) (#63)
by RebelWithoutAClue on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 01:34:59 AM EST

If people cant predict 20 years into the future, why would you expect to be able to predict thousands/billions of years ahead ?

In a few thousands of years, people might have spread out over the galaxy, much reducing chances of extinction.

In a billion years, if humanity survives we might have the capability to infuse the sun with new fuel, keeping it on life support, so to speak, with the entire system as some kind of historical monument.

Over that sort of time scale, nothing is inevitable.

Things beyond your wildest imagination are probably too tame.

[ Parent ]

Probabilistic arguments. (2.66 / 3) (#162)
by gzt on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 07:34:08 AM EST

Consider yourself as a randomly selected observer in the history of all humanity. You are given two options: there are 100 trillion humans in the history of humanity, and there are 300 billion humans in the history of humanity. Let's assume for the sake of argument that you have reason to believe they are equally probable. Very well.

Now, you find out you are [and, indeed, you are] the 60 billionth human being ever. How does that alter your belief?

A sophisticated version of this argument can be used to justify the Captain's belief in some sort of coming doom. It's all Bayes' Theorem at work.

[ Parent ]

Math (4.50 / 2) (#256)
by Ken Arromdee on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 11:27:55 AM EST

There's no such thing as a uniform probability distribution over an infinite set.

In other words, while this works if the only choices are 100 trillion and 300 billion, it doesn't work if the population can be any number. You just cannot assume that all values for population are equally probable.

[ Parent ]

I know, I know... (1.00 / 2) (#298)
by gzt on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 01:33:23 PM EST

That example is only to give him an idea of why our Captain may be correct. Explaining the entire Doomsday Argument would take a few pages. It's quite subtle and takes your considerations into account.

[ Parent ]
PS Why not? (none / 0) (#361)
by gzt on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 04:30:21 PM EST

There's nothing special about a probability measure that requires distributions to be non-uniform on an infinite set [hint: "(0,1)" is not only infinite, it's uncountable, but dx is a uniform probability distribution for it]. Perhaps you meant "unbounded" set or "countably infinite" set.

But my point still stands, I didn't say anything about uniform probability distributions.

[ Parent ]

Within (2.00 / 2) (#202)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 09:12:20 AM EST

Within a few thousand years. I make no guarantees that we'll survive past next week. It's possible that we'll make it past that number, of course any estimate of when human extinction will occur is a wild guess. I just don't have that much faith in our species. There's a good chance we kill ourselves off before ever becoming capable of terraforming or otherwise settling other planets.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
How? (2.33 / 3) (#335)
by CodeWright on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 03:32:37 PM EST

What on Earth could we do to destroy humanity?

I'll grant you that we might just barely be capable of destroying most of civilization with a thorough global thermonuclear / biological / nanotechnological war, but that still isn't all civilization and certainly isn't all humans.

A breeding population is ridiculously low and likely to survive in numerous pockets no matter how catastrophic an event were to occur (up to and including direct impact of Earth with a rogue moon).

How do you justify this belief? Just because you see your own cherished way of life in jeopardy doesn't mean that other ways of life are at all threatened.

--
"Jumpin Jesus H. Christ riding a segway with a little fruity 1 pint bucket of Ben and Jerry's rainbow fairy-berry crunch in his hand." --
[ Parent ]
Nano (1.50 / 2) (#343)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 03:50:13 PM EST

You fucking moron.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
Dribbling retard (1.00 / 1) (#365)
by CodeWright on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 04:40:41 PM EST

What the fuck kind of hippie aversion do you have to the word reflecting billionth scale physics?

--
"Jumpin Jesus H. Christ riding a segway with a little fruity 1 pint bucket of Ben and Jerry's rainbow fairy-berry crunch in his hand." --
[ Parent ]
Bite me (1.33 / 3) (#330)
by CodeWright on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 03:26:47 PM EST

Only the punks will die out -- the clever amongst us (even if I don't personally live to reap such rewards) will convert themselves to improved shells (read: posthuman technological incarnations, whether that means nanomachine enhanced biological forms or computer uploads).

Eat yer heart out, ugly bag of mostly water!

--
"Jumpin Jesus H. Christ riding a segway with a little fruity 1 pint bucket of Ben and Jerry's rainbow fairy-berry crunch in his hand." --
[ Parent ]
Looks like I scared you. Unfortunately, (1.00 / 2) (#345)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 03:55:12 PM EST

That's life - specifically the end of it - get a fucking helmet.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
Dude. (3.00 / 1) (#362)
by CodeWright on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 04:36:49 PM EST

Unlike "give me my blankie" CaptainSuperBoy, I came terms with my own mortality a long time ago (that's why I eat, drink, & do whatever I want -- gorge, guzzle, and wench, for on the morrow we be gutted).

I'm fully cognizant that I most likely will not live to see a truly posthuman condition, but unlike wimpering fools such as yourself, I do not equate my own inevitable demise with the demise of humanity.

Monkies are very good at survival. I have confidence in their ability to straggle through whatever fuck ups they might engender.

I even look forward to a day when the lifestyle of the wimpering asshat is obsolete.

--
"Jumpin Jesus H. Christ riding a segway with a little fruity 1 pint bucket of Ben and Jerry's rainbow fairy-berry crunch in his hand." --
[ Parent ]
I've discovered a new law of the Internet! (4.00 / 2) (#469)
by ObviousTroll on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 11:28:59 PM EST

You will never learn from, nor be improved by, any message that posesses the subject "Bite Me".

Thank you. Please hold your applause. Yes, you may use this as your .sig line, if you so choose.


Somewhere in America / There's a street named after my dad / And the home we never had.


[ Parent ]
Bite Me (1.00 / 1) (#707)
by Ultra64 on Sat Sep 06, 2003 at 07:45:14 AM EST

NT

[ Parent ]
Excuse me, could you mutilate my scrotum? (none / 0) (#830)
by ObviousTroll on Sun Sep 07, 2003 at 09:45:22 PM EST

Thanks.


Somewhere in America / There's a street named after my dad / And the home we never had.


[ Parent ]
What's gonna happen. (3.20 / 5) (#13)
by fae on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 11:03:39 PM EST

Some guy is going to invent some spiffy technology, and we'll have heaven on earth.

-- fae: but an atom in the great mass of humanity
yes. (3.33 / 2) (#16)
by kpaul on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 11:12:04 PM EST

that will be the anti-christ most likely. will seem grand for those first 3.5 years for most ...


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

And then (4.75 / 4) (#28)
by richarj on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 11:39:24 PM EST

The virtual reality liscencing fees will kick in. Remember in the Matrix when Smith tells Morpheus that humans could not live in the AI's perfect reality?

"if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
[ Parent ]
dangit (4.00 / 2) (#35)
by fae on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 11:57:51 PM EST

I just want to make the world better, not become the antichrist.

Although, who says the antichrist doesn't go to heaven? Count me in!

-- fae: but an atom in the great mass of humanity
[ Parent ]

relieving the symptoms vs. fixing the problem (3.80 / 5) (#47)
by kpaul on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 12:29:52 AM EST

we've had 1000s of years to 'make the world a better place' - How have we done on our own? ;)

time soon for Dad to come down and show how it's done...

seriously, though, i'm all for making the world a better place. i guess it comes down to the definition of 'better,' no?


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

You should have seen it when God had it on his own (4.60 / 5) (#133)
by zakalwe on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 05:19:53 AM EST

In my part of the world, we have abundant supplies of food and clean water. Infant mortality is dramatically lower, people can expect to live till 70 or so. We do not have slavery, or insurmountable class boundarys. All things that I consider dramatically better than, for example, 1000 years ago. I think it would have to be a very strange definition of better that didn't consider these improvements, especially when considered that the majority of the world's population would starve to death were it not for the gains we have made.

So I think we can, and have, made the world a better place. Admittedly, most improvements are not universal - but even the less developed world has seen some improvement from the past.

[ Parent ]

modern slavery (3.00 / 3) (#185)
by anon 17753 on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 08:44:35 AM EST

We do not have slavery

You are misinformed or in denial. The slaves in your country are held as debt-slaves, not the legally owned property of earlier generations - their condition is not publicly sanctioned, but it is still enslavement. I encourage you to read "21st-Century Slaves" in this month's issue of National Geographic.

[ Parent ]

difference: (3.50 / 2) (#275)
by reklaw on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 12:12:14 PM EST

you have a choice whether or not to become a debt-slave.

In fact, this is a bit like that "true freedom means the freedom to make yourself a slave" thing we had going on in the GPL debate the other day.

I'd better shut up now.
-
[ Parent ]

when God had it on his own.... (none / 0) (#703)
by SaintPort on Sat Sep 06, 2003 at 05:36:09 AM EST

...He gave it to Adam.  The rest is our doing.

--
Search the Scriptures
Start with some cheap grace...Got Life?

[ Parent ]
And we haven't done that badly (none / 0) (#853)
by zakalwe on Mon Sep 08, 2003 at 10:43:06 AM EST

He gave it to Adam. The rest is our doing.
Well, he gave it to Adam with several nasty penalties ("cursed is the ground for thy sake"), so it wasn't in all that great a state from humanitys perspective. In fact though, my title was just a reference to the old joke with the same punchline, which this reminded me of.

[ Parent ]
Final Round ! (3.25 / 8) (#17)
by bugmaster on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 11:12:53 PM EST

Then, a battle will take place; Satan and the world vs. Jesus and the saints. Jesus wins.
Jesus Wins. Fatality ! Insert Koin to Kontinue.

Sorry, I couldn't resist :-)
>|<*:=

red satan needs health badly! ;) [mt] (4.33 / 6) (#23)
by kpaul on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 11:22:17 PM EST


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]
You're my hero... (3.00 / 1) (#507)
by israfil on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 02:02:02 AM EST

A Gauntlet quote!  Nice!

How'sabout "Jesus... got the food." "Jesus... got the potion."  "This is my body..."

Ah well....

i. - this sig provided by /dev/arandom and an infinite number of monkeys with keyboards.
[ Parent ]

Blue Jeebus shot the food. (none / 0) (#567)
by Gully Foyle on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 08:34:26 AM EST


If you weren't picked on in school you were doing something wrong - kableh
[ Parent ]

Another View (3.50 / 2) (#19)
by bugmaster on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 11:15:44 PM EST

I read it somewhere that there is a sect of Christians who believe that the world has ended, and the realm we live in now is all that's left -- i.e., all of us on Earth are "left behind". I think Cathars had similar beliefs in the past... Can someone correct/enlighten me as to the exact nature of this belief ?
>|<*:=
that would fall under (none / 0) (#22)
by kpaul on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 11:20:58 PM EST

preterism, i believe...

don't sig me on that, though.


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

well... (5.00 / 3) (#341)
by CodeWright on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 03:44:46 PM EST

what bugmaster described would fall under preterism, but that is most definitely not what the Cathars believed.

Specifically, all varieties of Gnostic Christianity (including the Albigensians, Cathars, Bogomils, Paulicians, Marians, Nestorians, etc) held that the world was the creation of the Demiurge and that the world's creation was an evil act. They believed that salvation would come in the form of transcendence through human efforts to purify the world.

In other words, the conventional "Christian" God was, in fact, Satan. Controversially, some Gnostics also held that Lucifer, as the "Illuminated One" and the granter of knowledge to man, was a force for good.

Clearly, you have ignored a very large subset of Christian beliefs in the creation of your Eschatology article. This is not surprising, given that the Albigensians, Cathars, Bogomils, Paulicians, and Marians were all slaughtered by Papal decree between 900AD and 1400AD (estimates run from the hundreds of thousands on the low end to millions on the high end). Only isolated sects of Nestorian Christians survive (along with the odd Albigensian/Cathar in Southern France).

--
"Jumpin Jesus H. Christ riding a segway with a little fruity 1 pint bucket of Ben and Jerry's rainbow fairy-berry crunch in his hand." --
[ Parent ]
Nestorians are Gnostics? (4.00 / 3) (#349)
by gzt on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 04:01:49 PM EST

They're non-Chalcedonian, certainly, but Gnostic? Hardly. Nestorians were slaughtered by the Pope? I don't think you're correct. And please remember that Gnosticism is not Christianity.

[ Parent ]
Doofus. (4.50 / 2) (#364)
by CodeWright on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 04:39:15 PM EST

If you look at the list I said was persecuted by the Papacy, you'll see I did not include the Nestorians.

Also, I think that any thorough reading of the history and theology of Gnosticism will demonstrate their Christianity (or are you one of those who deny the appellation "Christian" from even the Catholics and Orthodox?).

Do your homework, bonzo.

--
"Jumpin Jesus H. Christ riding a segway with a little fruity 1 pint bucket of Ben and Jerry's rainbow fairy-berry crunch in his hand." --
[ Parent ]
I did do my homework (5.00 / 2) (#367)
by gzt on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 04:48:53 PM EST

I'm sorry I misread the persecution list, that was foolishness on my part. Still, you need to do your readings: Nestorians are not Gnostics. And I maintain that after Mr. Irenaeus' Adversus Haereses, it is difficult to maintain that the Gnosticism you described is Christianity.

I am only refraining from calling you a "cuntwhistle" because of my misreading of your post. Consider yourself warned. I am still severely tempted after your remark about the possibility I don't consider Catholics or Orthodox Christians and because you rated down my insightful and infallible comments about the Doomsday Argument.

In conclusion, you, sir, are a fap-happy dickmonkey.

[ Parent ]

I give you a failing grade (4.00 / 3) (#402)
by CodeWright on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 06:57:11 PM EST

Although it is gratifying to see that you have read Irenaeus, it is a disappointment to see that you did not perceive that he was a nincompoop.

The founder of Nestorian Christianity, the cleric Nestorius, was appointed Patriarch of Constantinople in 428AD. He had previously been the Bishop of Antioch where his scriptural interpretations had garnered him much renown.

However, some of his theological theories were not well received by others -- namely, not recognizing the Virgin Mary as the mother of God, on the grounds that this status compromised Jesus Christ's divinity. His views were condemned by Cyril, bishop of Alexandria and the Council of Ephesus, who later deposed him and labelled him a heretic. In the following months, seventeen bishops who supported his doctrine were removed from their sees.

This led to a split within the church and to the creation of separate Nestorian Christian Churches that flourished in the Middle East and central Asia.

Other elements of Nestorian Dogma include acceptance of an Apostolic Act deemed apocryphal by the Catholic Church -- namely, the Acts of Judas Thomas. These Acts and the Nestorian beliefs refer to Jesus Christ as a purely spiritual being while also demonstrating the essential dualist nature of Gnosticism. Slow to be accepted by the Western Church was the Gospel of St. John -- which was widely accepted by the Nestorians (and Gnostic in origins).

Without turning my post into a raving screed, I think than even the sparsest google search on these topics should prove to even the densest fundie that Nestorian Christians and Gnostic Christianity are one and the same.

I am only refraining from calling you a "necrophiliac salad tosser" because of your amusing scatology. I am still severely tempted after your misguided misrepresentations of historical fact and, because of your jealousy for my state of perpetual grace, rated down my insightful and infallible comments about the fallacious condition of Rapture.

In conclusion, you, sir, are a goatse.cx-obsessed munge-slurper.

--
"Jumpin Jesus H. Christ riding a segway with a little fruity 1 pint bucket of Ben and Jerry's rainbow fairy-berry crunch in his hand." --
[ Parent ]
Yes, yes. (4.50 / 2) (#419)
by gzt on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 07:52:41 PM EST

I'm quite familiar with the story. The crucial question is, "Do Nestorians hold that the world is the creation of a Demiurge, that the world's creation was an evil act, and salvation would come in the form of transcendence through human effort?" If so, I am a young fool and apologize. If not, I will admit there are Gnostic influences in their doctrine but that they are not Gnostic.

Re: Irenaeus. While you may believe he's a fool, the Church has historically thought him important, which is more important in this debate, no?

much love.
PS I thought it was "Maronite" and "mung", not "Marinite" and "munge"

[ Parent ]

re: what is and is not Christian (5.00 / 1) (#385)
by gzt on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 05:43:44 PM EST

Frankly, I feel that when describing ante-Nicene Christianity one should use a pragmatic and historically useful definition, which would be to identify Christianity with [what was to become] the orthodox mainstream [however loosely-defined that was at that particular time in history] and its associated practices. Christianity was surrounded and permeated by other groups, but I find it useful to distinguish them, especially if one is going to discuss an issue in the Christian tradition.

I tend to claim that the first ecumenical council [or synod, if you prefer that term] defined what is and is not Christianity. It is by no means a rigorous criterion, but definitions are malleable and don't have any ontological significance.

One would almost be tempted to deny Protestants are Christian, but that's being silly.

[ Parent ]

Of course... (4.50 / 2) (#399)
by CodeWright on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 06:25:50 PM EST

...by that definition, you intentionally exclude all Catholics because the filioque addition to the Nicene Creed by Catholics between 800AD-1100AD is in direct contravention with the First Synod.

This issue is precisely the source of the Schism between East and West.

Clearly, by adhering to the definitions established in the First Synod, you also exclude Marinite, Coptic, and Nestorian Christians (or at least those who have not subsequently reconciled with the Metropolitan of the Holy See).

Obviously, by your definition, you are right -- the Gnostic Christians are not "your sort of Christian". Of course, given that my original post was made to point out that these sects of Christianity had been ignored because they weren't kpaul's "sort of Christian" still holds true.

You are both guilty of sophistry of one stripe or another. Perhaps even equivocation. I recommend a thorough investigation in the classic style by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

In closing, I would like to say that you are a gibbering meat monkey and your father smells of elderberries.

--
"Jumpin Jesus H. Christ riding a segway with a little fruity 1 pint bucket of Ben and Jerry's rainbow fairy-berry crunch in his hand." --
[ Parent ]
Mmm (5.00 / 1) (#413)
by gzt on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 07:32:42 PM EST

Not quite, not quite. Remember that those bits about the Holy Spirit weren't drawn up until Constantinople. Second ecumenical council, second! Copts, Nestorians, etc. agree with the first ecumenical council. The fourth council, Chalcedon, is the relevant one for them. Silly ahistorical twat.

If you read my post, you'd see that I know I'm saying they aren't "my sort of Christian", and they are so on pragmatic grounds. If I do seem to equivocate, it is because I have only outlined a view which is admittedly malleable and pragmatic, but which I find seems to be agreed upon when, say, you encounter an article that wishes to discuss the variety of Christian viewpoints on a certain issue.

cheers,
gzt
PS it was the theological source of the Schism, not the source.

[ Parent ]

Urp (5.00 / 1) (#421)
by gzt on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 07:55:43 PM EST

Nestorius condemned in the third one, of course. Matters little.

[ Parent ]
huxley (5.00 / 1) (#99)
by theleoncorp on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 02:45:52 AM EST

Aldous Huxley did once, probably in desperation, suggest that "maybe this world is another planet's hell".
--
Copyright (C) The Leon Corporation 1975-2003
A consortium of organs, liquid and electrical pulses that cares for you
[ Parent ]
And PKD once asked (5.00 / 1) (#135)
by Gully Foyle on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 05:44:22 AM EST

What if our world is their Heaven?

If you weren't picked on in school you were doing something wrong - kableh
[ Parent ]

Re: And PKD once asked (5.00 / 1) (#196)
by RinzeWind on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 09:07:12 AM EST

What if our world is their Heaven?
Their planet is true hell then

--
I joke, therefore I am
[ Parent ]
I can't believe you posted this to k5. (1.60 / 5) (#29)
by ObviousTroll on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 11:46:26 PM EST

I can't decide if you've reaffirmed my faith in Man or you're just a punk with a thing for verbal beatings.

Of course, you could be both...


Somewhere in America / There's a street named after my dad / And the home we never had.


what's your sig from? [mt] (none / 0) (#72)
by kpaul on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 01:51:13 AM EST


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]
Ever use... (none / 0) (#254)
by Rasman on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 11:26:25 AM EST

Google? It's not that hard.

---
Brave. Daring. Fearless. Clippy - The Clothes Pin Stuntman
[ Parent ]
What Up, Dog? (none / 0) (#294)
by kpaul on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 01:15:38 PM EST

Sorry, I'm lazy sometimes... ;)


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

Are you okay? (none / 0) (#462)
by ObviousTroll on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 10:52:32 PM EST

(That was their second album...)


Somewhere in America / There's a street named after my dad / And the home we never had.


[ Parent ]
LoL. (none / 0) (#461)
by ObviousTroll on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 10:50:23 PM EST

You know, I never knew anyone cared about my sigs before. I should be more careful.


Somewhere in America / There's a street named after my dad / And the home we never had.


[ Parent ]
A band. (none / 0) (#460)
by ObviousTroll on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 10:49:17 PM EST

My kid was making me go thru some of my old records. Was, Not Was actually had a comic/serious attitude towards music that fits my attidude towards k5...


Somewhere in America / There's a street named after my dad / And the home we never had.


[ Parent ]
A question or three (4.33 / 6) (#36)
by LookingGlass on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 12:07:01 AM EST

... Lucifer was jealous and upset at all of this attention us pitiful humans were receiving. He came among the first two humans, one male and one female, and tricked them into eating the one thing God had told them not to eat - the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

After eating the fruit of our own freewill, tricked by Lucifer the fallen angel into doing the one thing we were told not to do, God placed a curse upon man.

So did humans have knowledge of good and evil before they ate the apple? If they didn't know it was wrong to eat the apple then how can they deserve punishment? If they knew it was wrong and had the choice then in what way were they tricked?

quite the conundrum... (4.00 / 1) (#44)
by kpaul on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 12:23:43 AM EST

So did humans have knowledge of good and evil before they ate the apple?

I would say they knew they had the ability to obey or not.

If they didn't know it was wrong to eat the apple then how can they deserve punishment?

They knew they were supposed to not eat of it.

If they knew it was wrong and had the choice then in what way were they tricked?

Same way we're being tricked today, believe it or not. That is, the same lie is being used - you don't need the idea of Creator, of God, for you yourselves are gods...

maybe, though, tricked is bad word choice on my part. better to say persuaded? lied to - "eat it, nothing'll happen, he's just joshing you..." etc.?

I must admit I don't have all the answers. I have a lot of questions, in fact. When it comes down to it, though, I believe He did come down, assumed human form, and played His part in the scheme of things.

What do you believe? ;)


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

More questions (5.00 / 1) (#55)
by LookingGlass on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 01:01:54 AM EST

I would say they knew they had the ability to obey or not ... They knew they were supposed to not eat of it.
Ok. But did they know it was wrong not to obey? If they had no knowledge of good and evil then they couldn't have known that there was anything wrong with disobedience, so the punishment is still unjust. And yet if you allow them knowledge of good and evil prior to the original sin then what does the apple change?

There is only one way the story makes sense without having to alter it; and that is if God wanted them to eat the apple even though he told them otherwise. If they didn't know it was wrong to disobey then they were bound to try it as soon as satan suggested it, not having the capacity to comprehend that his intent was malign. In other words, they were stitched up.

Either that or we ditch the whole thing and go with the talking space-monkeys theory.

[ Parent ]

a shortcut out (4.60 / 5) (#67)
by martingale on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 01:41:34 AM EST

I don't think Right and Wrong is the same thing as Good and Evil, which, if you agree, gives a nice way out of your dilemma. (Personally, I think G and E don't make sense, but R and W do).

Suppose I make a left turn at the lights. This might be a wrong turn, and I have to accept the consequences which are that I'm driving in the wrong direction and have to make a detour to get back on track. The detour isn't evil, it's just a nuisance, although if I'm already late I'll call it a punishment.

You could argue that when the Monkeys (what *is* Adam and Eve's last name?) had a choice but took the wrong path, resulting in punishment. God didn't punish them for disobeying, rather the effect of the disobedience was manifested as punishment. Kind of like when you jump off a cliff flapping your arms and you get "punished" for your disobedience after being repeatedly told not to.

I do like the space-monkeys theory myself.

[ Parent ]

one of many... (4.42 / 7) (#71)
by romperstomper on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 01:49:10 AM EST

instances I've encountered in the Bible where it seems "man" just didn't get a fair shake.  

a.)  We're born with original sin.  So you're on the bad list from the start.  

b.)  We're given an instinctual ability to use logic to figure out our surroundings and survive, yet we're punished for not believing in God (a concept that defies logic).  

c.)  Both A and B are only problems for us today because the very first humans made a mistake, so the next "bajillion" generations must pay for that mistake.  

Also, by my meager human reasoning, I'd say the book of Job is about one of the most disheartening things I've ever read.  Essentially God tortures (not personally, he gives satan permission *see same result) his most faithful servant to prove a point in a dick measuring contest with Satan.  I don't take the Bible very seriously, but I don't see how those who do can feel as loved after reading that.  

I consider myself mostly agnostic.  I don't pretend to know more about the nature of our existence than I do, and I resent being condemned by those who think they do know (i'm in no way saying the author of this article fits the condemning category).  

I think Jesus was probably a pretty cool guy with some good ideas.  But I don't believe he was the son of God, God himself, or whatever (not sure how that trinity thing works).  I think people made the biggest mistake by taking him more seriously than the good things he stood for.  

So buttons.    

[ Parent ]

thanks for sharing your beliefs. (none / 0) (#74)
by kpaul on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 01:54:58 AM EST

while i can see where you're coming from, i think of Job where God asked him where he was when everything was created. that answers it for me too - why it rains on the just and unjust alike. He's in charge, etc.

again, though, thanks for sharing what and why you believe...


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

Exactly (4.50 / 10) (#94)
by livus on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 02:34:36 AM EST

so Job can't catch Leviathan, does that really mean God should let Satan cover him with boils with worms in them just to make some childish point? I read a whole ton of the Bible and came to the unavoidable conclusion that God is by far the worst, most evil character in the whole thing. Even if he is in charge, it still looks like demon-worship to me.

Don't get me wrong, Jesus is a nice guy, it's just a pity about his dad!

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]

I don't understand c either (5.00 / 2) (#76)
by richarj on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 02:01:23 AM EST

As for Job it tries to explain pain but doesn't seem to from a lot of viewpoints. I came to realise that pain itself is pointless and I should mostly ignore it and not think of it as something I am being punished for. Of course you can believe what you want.

I think people made the biggest mistake by taking him more seriously than the good things he stood for. Thats very true. Even if you believe he is God son. If a Christian doesn't pay any attention to what he was saying then WTF is that Christian doing?

"if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
[ Parent ]

one interpretation (4.00 / 2) (#210)
by anon 17753 on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 09:19:42 AM EST

Also, by my meager human reasoning, I'd say the book of Job is about one of the most disheartening things I've ever read. ... I don't take the Bible very seriously, but I don't see how those who do can feel as loved after reading that.
I read the Bible, especially the Old Testament, as the evolution of man's understanding of God (including man's optimal relationships with both God and men). The prominent worldviews c.1000 BCE supported the ideas of gods imposing suffering with no provocation or "ethnic cleansing" of neighboring peoples with different gods. God slowly brought the Hebrew people closer to the ideals taught by Jesus.

If you are interested in this viewpoint, I suggest reading Thomas Cahill's The Gifts of the Jews.

[ Parent ]

About Job and Jesus (3.00 / 1) (#798)
by mburns on Sun Sep 07, 2003 at 10:07:55 AM EST

It is really necessary to get some good commentary when reading this sort of thing.  But, Job and Jesus are two of the redeeming features of the Bible when properly commentated with the results of literary and scientific criticism.

Job is a work of fiction, inspired in the secular sense of the word.  The pious ending was tacked on by a priestly editor.

As for Jesus, please look over the work of the Jesus Seminar and John Dom Crossan.  The charismatic following of Jesus in the countryside, and the scribal class in Jerusalem, along with Paul, made up whole-cloth the religion of Christianity after Jesus was gone.  But, some of the sayings, 92 in number, of a radical, pacifist, socioeconomic and religious reformer still survive in early Christian writings.

And religion in general is delimited in its possibilities by the logical structure of classical physics; more advanced physics is not required to criticize religion since there is a conflict at the very core of the comparison with classical physics.  Namely, cause and effect is a particular phenomenon which can be shown to occur only within the domain of classical physics.  It, cause and effect, is a consequence of the conservation laws, supplemented by the special rules of quantum mechanics which put further restrictions on the transfer of conserved quantities.  So, spirits that are thought to be outside of classical physics cannot then be causes inside of classical physics.  Else, they would violate the conservation laws.

But, whence come the conservation laws?  They are a theorem following directly from Einstein's equation of gravity (a Bianchi identity).  But, whence comes Einstein's equation?  It follows as a theorem from the existence of a spacetime with a metric; this is still another application of Bianchi identities.  The assumption (Einstein-Davis theory) that curved spacetime is the substance of the classical universe is also required to support the Einstein equation of gravity (and the conservation laws) as a theorem.

But, why should curved spacetime exist as the purported foundation of classical physics?  The answer is that it seems to be at the boundary of complexity for mathematics which is not self-referential.  Why is the absence of self-reference important?  Only then is a finite number of rules sufficient to determine a logical system - Godel's proof.

Yes, quantum mechanics is self-referential (but supposedly consistent, an open-ended task by Godel's proof).

And, metaphysics in its full a-priori generality is necessarily inconsistent, again by Godel's proof.  So, metaphysics can not be a direct cause or a direct logical ground of anything in classical physics, since the inconsistency of metaphysics would then contaminate classical physics.  (A logically indirect symbolic transform - with no preservation of truth values - of metaphysics into physics is not prohibited by mathematics.)

I see nothing in religion which can begin to compete with the apparent logical rigidity of the classical universe.

--
Michael J. Burns "Signs and wonders of this sort they conjure up perpetually, till one might think Nature as mad as themselves
[ Parent ]

Re: More Questions (3.00 / 1) (#195)
by anon 17753 on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 08:59:37 AM EST

Ok. But did they know it was wrong not to obey?
Yes, they knew it was wrong, but they did not understand why it was wrong. This is like a small child who is told not to touch the stove burners, but does not have understanding of why until he actually touches it. After they ate and were expelled from the garden, they were able to fully understand the sin and its consequences.

[ Parent ]
So (4.66 / 3) (#226)
by LookingGlass on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 10:11:25 AM EST

the reason why it was wrong to eat the apple was because it was against their own self-interest? And their understanding of good and evil amounts to the knowledge that disobedience results in punishment as surely as touching hot objects leads to a burn? So eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge changed nothing in itself, it simply caused God to punish them, from whence their understanding of good and evil arose. It is unclear whether knowledge results spontaneously from the fruit or deductively from the expulsion.

[ Parent ]

Obedience, and Job (none / 0) (#429)
by rho on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 08:41:58 PM EST

Ok. But did they know it was wrong not to obey?

They knew that they would surely die. God told them so. "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."

Not knowing it was wrong is irrelevant--they knew it was dangerous. Eve said, to the serpent, "But of the fruit of the tree which [is] in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die."

As for Job, remember that not only did God repair and reimburse Job, he got a raise: Job 42:10 And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.

It's hard to swallow Job sometimes, but think of it like this: do you still keep and treasure every drawing you made as a child? every Lego toy you snapped together? all the mud pies and sand-castles you've ever made? Then who are you to judge what God does with His creations?
"The thought of two thousand people munching celery at the same time [horrifies] me." --G.B. Shaw
[ Parent ]

Not knowing it was wrong is entirely relevant (4.00 / 1) (#468)
by LookingGlass on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 11:26:57 PM EST

How can Adam and Eve have known it was wrong to disobey God when they can have had no knowledge of the difference between good and evil until they disobeyed him?

So given that it cannot reasonably be disobedience, what exactly constitutes man's original sin?

We are told that, before the unfortunate incident with the serpent, Adam and Eve were naked and not ashamed (Gen 2.25). Once they had eaten of the tree of knowledge they suddenly noticed they were naked and became ashamed (Gen 3.7). So which is the sin: nakedness, the knowledge of nakedness or the shame at being naked?

It cannot be the nakedness because that would mean Adam and Eve were created by God in a sinful state. It cannot be knowledge of their nakedness, because how can knowledge of something unsinful be sinful? It cannot be the shame of being naked, because that would mean guilt itself was sinful.

So what was the original sin?

PS. I never mentioned Job.

[ Parent ]

Obedience (none / 0) (#911)
by rho on Tue Sep 09, 2003 at 07:59:59 PM EST

I know you didn't mention Job--I was combining posts.

Break it down like this: when Adam was sinless, nakedness was not sinful. The key is that they were not ashamed, not that they were naked. Once they had eaten of the fruit, now sinful thoughts were in their head, and their newly formed conscience pained them, and they were ashamed of their nakedness.

You don't have to know that something is wrong to be obedient. A child doesn't know that accepting gifts from strangers is wrong, and the explaination that it could be dangerous may not satisfy them--but they must still be obedient.
"The thought of two thousand people munching celery at the same time [horrifies] me." --G.B. Shaw
[ Parent ]

Does it mention restoring Job's servants to life? (none / 0) (#570)
by Gully Foyle on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 08:44:13 AM EST

No it doesn't. Job isn't the only one who suffers in the book.

If you weren't picked on in school you were doing something wrong - kableh
[ Parent ]

Perhaps "seduced" is the word? (4.00 / 1) (#696)
by BeefyT on Sat Sep 06, 2003 at 03:42:16 AM EST

They didn't know it was wrong. Morals don't enter into it. All they knew was that God had told them not to eat it, and they ate it anyway, *seduced* by the snake.

In the long run, however, the story is just a dire warning that you will be cast out if you seek human knowledge instead of obeying divine law--conveniently placed at the beginning of the text. It's not just about simply obeying God, because of the symbolism of the apple. Non-divine metaphysical solutions become associated with deception and evil. I find this disturbing, and I'm a spiritual person.

[ Parent ]

If you enjoyed this story (3.04 / 24) (#39)
by antichrist stormtrooper on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 12:15:18 AM EST

...you may also want to consider believing in the following:
  • Santa Claus
  • The Tooth Fairy
  • Bigfoot
  • La Chupacabra
  • The Psychic Friends Network
  • Ghosts
  • Hobbits



"I hate cats almost as much as I hate Italians" -Albert Einstein
So what do you believe in then? (2.33 / 6) (#40)
by richarj on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 12:18:31 AM EST

How do your beliefs compare with the worlds major religions or are you from some strange cult like the atheists?

"if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
[ Parent ]
Well for one thing (4.84 / 13) (#56)
by antichrist stormtrooper on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 01:06:47 AM EST

I believe that anyone waving a magic ju-ju book and telling people to submit to the will of the sky god is either insane or running some sort of scam.


"I hate cats almost as much as I hate Italians" -Albert Einstein
[ Parent ]
Why do you believe that? (2.50 / 4) (#58)
by richarj on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 01:10:03 AM EST

How do you explain our existance, the rules of mathematics, good and evil?

"if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
[ Parent ]
Even though (4.54 / 11) (#59)
by antichrist stormtrooper on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 01:18:13 AM EST

...I can't explain all that stuff, it does in no way follow that I should go beating tom-toms and chanting wunga-wunga to the Great Spirit.


"I hate cats almost as much as I hate Italians" -Albert Einstein
[ Parent ]
If you don't believe it (2.50 / 4) (#66)
by richarj on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 01:40:55 AM EST

that I can understand. Why though do you go to the lengths of comparing the worlds biggest faith to Santa Claus?

"if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
[ Parent ]
You're right. (4.66 / 12) (#103)
by antichrist stormtrooper on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 02:52:17 AM EST

Why belittle Santa with such a degrading comparison? I apologize, Mr. Claus.


"I hate cats almost as much as I hate Italians" -Albert Einstein
[ Parent ]
even if lots of people hold a a foolish belif (4.71 / 7) (#217)
by Dirty Sanchez on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 09:46:26 AM EST

it's still foolish.  being big doesn't make you right.

[ Parent ]
hmm (4.36 / 11) (#61)
by Danse on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 01:20:54 AM EST

So things exist that you can't explain, so you find it easier to attribute them to an all-powerful deity rather than simply accept that we don't understand those things? And you're implying that others are a bit wacky?




An honest debate between Bush and Kerry
[ Parent ]
No (3.00 / 3) (#64)
by richarj on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 01:38:27 AM EST

I asked him for what he believed. Maybe you don't see it this way but if you saw your beliefs compared to the tooth fairy you might just wonder why?

"if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
[ Parent ]
ok (4.57 / 7) (#116)
by Danse on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 03:48:19 AM EST

If I believed in supernatural things just because I didn't have the necessary knowledge to explain them any other way, then the comparison would probably be justified.




An honest debate between Bush and Kerry
[ Parent ]
sir (3.00 / 1) (#247)
by Battle Troll on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 11:11:54 AM EST

That only speaks to about 1% of the Christians who have ever lived. What do you have to say about the rest of them?
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
Hobbits aren't real?!? ;) [mt] (3.00 / 2) (#46)
by kpaul on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 12:25:07 AM EST


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]
There's a hobbit living in my garden shed. (3.33 / 3) (#257)
by Rasman on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 11:32:39 AM EST

He claims he saw the tooth fairy once, but I don't believe him.

---
Brave. Daring. Fearless. Clippy - The Clothes Pin Stuntman
[ Parent ]
PFN (5.00 / 3) (#149)
by kaemaril on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 06:41:14 AM EST

You mean The Psychic Friends Network isn't real? I always assumed it was a group of people who could predict what Phoebe, Monica, Rachel, Chandler, Joey and Ross could do before an episode aired... y'know, basically everybody? :)


Why, yes, I am being sarcastic. Why do you ask?


[ Parent ]
It isn't Chupacabra, it's Chupacabras, (none / 0) (#383)
by craigd on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 05:41:26 PM EST

even in the singular. And it's masculine. This is obvious to anyone who understands the compounding of verbs with nouns in Spanish.


A man who says little is a man who speaks two syllables.
[ Parent ]
mostly right (none / 0) (#726)
by Estanislao Martnez on Sat Sep 06, 2003 at 11:24:27 AM EST

Certainly the original form of the word is chupacabras, and the word is masculine. But:
  • The fact that it is masculine isn't "obvious" as you term it. Sure, the masculine is the default gender in Spanish, but nothing rules out the possibility that it could have happened otherwise: all that's required is that speakers have thought of the chupacabras as a female. (And, Latin American humor being how it is, I'm sure there are jokes out there where "el chupacabras" goes back home and interacts with his wife, "la chupacabras".)
  • The word has certainly since been picked up as "chupacabra" by many Spanish speakers. This is no surprise, since it involves (a) increase of lexical integrity with frequency of use, diminishing the effect of internal structure on the use of the word, (b) assimilation of the phonological shape of the word to the standard, productive number inflectional pattern of Spanish.

--em
[ Parent ]

If Chupacabra isn't real (none / 0) (#872)
by Cro Magnon on Mon Sep 08, 2003 at 02:00:30 PM EST

Who did Han Solo hang around with? Oops, I misread that!
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
I am an agnostic, (4.27 / 11) (#43)
by QuantumFoam on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 12:20:54 AM EST

but I was raised in various Christian churches and got pretty familiar with the Bible, and Revelations especially, since it was the most entertaining read while a boring sermon was happening. I would suggest checking out the anime series Evangelion; it was the first anime I watched and it is still the best, in my opinion. It can be found for purchase here, but I am sure it can be found much more cheaply elsewhere or rented in a local indie video store. The series is about a Christian Apocalypse that was initiated by man. Even as a non-Christian, the series (26 episodes, all one story arc) sent chills up my spine and served as a great mind-fuck. I think you would dig it, kpaul.

- Barack Obama: Because it will work this time. Honest!

Seconded... (5.00 / 2) (#60)
by Danse on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 01:18:30 AM EST

I too am an agnostic, and I thoroughly enjoyed Evangelion. I would also recommend seeing The End of Evangelion after you finish the series.




An honest debate between Bush and Kerry
[ Parent ]
Naturally (5.00 / 1) (#192)
by QuantumFoam on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 08:56:12 AM EST

but not until one watches the entirety of the series. Some people make the mistake of watching the movie and then then the series, completely ruining the ending, but I was fortunate enough to have had a nerd to keep me from making that mistake.

- Barack Obama: Because it will work this time. Honest!
[ Parent ]

Actually, the series is about.. (4.00 / 5) (#183)
by McMasters on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 08:43:25 AM EST

..horny twenty-sometihng fanboys who want to bang 14-year old anorexic albinos.

But, I'm basing this on the majority of people who like it. I could be wrong. ^_^

[ Parent ]

Note to self.. (3.25 / 3) (#184)
by McMasters on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 08:44:12 AM EST

when poking fun, check spelling first. -_-

[ Parent ]
The female characters are attractive..... (4.00 / 1) (#193)
by QuantumFoam on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 08:58:02 AM EST

but I have porno for that purpose. Evangelion has a great story, and I am not even sure how much it was designed for horny fanboys since the dude behind the series is gay.

- Barack Obama: Because it will work this time. Honest!
[ Parent ]

And the main character is voiced by a girl.. (none / 0) (#355)
by McMasters on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 04:11:11 PM EST

.. that doesn't mean that most of the artbooks/wallscrolls/posters feature either panties or plugsuit nipples.

I never realized you could write / animate something that wasn't directed towards you! Gasp! The Earth, it has stopped its revolution about the glorious Sun, and now turns about YOU!

[ Parent ]

Ok dude (none / 0) (#391)
by QuantumFoam on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 05:55:25 PM EST

Anime tends to have women in form-fitting or revealing outfits. The series had no nudity, and the flightsuits, while revealing, covered almost every square inch of skin. It could have like other animes and had all the women tag teaming a tentacle monster, but it wasn't that bad when compared to other instances of the genre.

- Barack Obama: Because it will work this time. Honest!
[ Parent ]

Why is it that some people (4.00 / 2) (#287)
by tetsuwan on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 12:44:11 PM EST

think that you can't say "manga" without putting in "drooling fanboy" in the same sentence? This strongly suggests that their brain is offline and the they have a general dislike of culture.

Repeat as appropriate:

  • some books are great, most are crap
  • some manga is great, most is crap

Njal's Saga: Just like Romeo & Juliet without the romance
[ Parent ]

Heh. (5.00 / 1) (#352)
by McMasters on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 04:08:38 PM EST

Hey, I'm a huge Eva fan, as well as most of the other eleventy-billion anime out there, but it is always fun to yank someone's chain, no? ^_^

Seriously, though, take one look at every wallscroll out there for Eva - methinks they are pandering to the underage-plugsuit-fetishists out there, no doubt.

(besides, the amount people flip out when you offhandedly bring up the fan service in their shows is usually the same amount of Comic Book Guy that runs through their veins..)

[ Parent ]

Seriously, (none / 0) (#389)
by tetsuwan on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 05:51:11 PM EST

where's the fanboy content in David Clowes' Ghost World or Joakim Pirinen's Gas? Where's the sexual allusions in Myasaki's Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi (Spirited away)?

OTOH, as friend commented: the Japanese are world champions in the seemingly accidental exposure of women's underwear.

Njal's Saga: Just like Romeo & Juliet without the romance
[ Parent ]

Ghost World? (none / 0) (#571)
by Gully Foyle on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 08:47:53 AM EST

Are you crazy? How about the fact that the main character falls in love with a nerd?

If you weren't picked on in school you were doing something wrong - kableh
[ Parent ]

That's in the movie for god's sake, (none / 0) (#591)
by tetsuwan on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 10:10:40 AM EST

and even there it doesn't sort out.

Njal's Saga: Just like Romeo & Juliet without the romance
[ Parent ]

I = teh suck (none / 0) (#706)
by Gully Foyle on Sat Sep 06, 2003 at 07:37:40 AM EST

Okay, it's been a while since I read the book/saw the movie and I got mixed up. I thought it was heavily implied in the book, but I'm probably misremembering.

I guess if I hadn't got mixed up my point would still stand, since the fanboy content is the fact that she boinks a nerd, not that the love story didn't work. It was a pretty poor point anyway, since it's not like Steve Buscemi sprouts tentacles. I'll just shut up now, shall I?

If you weren't picked on in school you were doing something wrong - kableh
[ Parent ]

I still disagree (none / 0) (#821)
by tetsuwan on Sun Sep 07, 2003 at 05:36:02 PM EST

When they get it together you're not thinking "cool, what a lucky guy - he got the chick!". At least I thought of it as tragical (but logical) and doomed from the beginning.

Njal's Saga: Just like Romeo & Juliet without the romance
[ Parent ]

Good, you shouldn't agree (none / 0) (#843)
by Gully Foyle on Mon Sep 08, 2003 at 06:08:14 AM EST

I was being facetious.

If you weren't picked on in school you were doing something wrong - kableh
[ Parent ]

Unfair! (none / 0) (#458)
by ObviousTroll on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 10:43:36 PM EST

I want to bang the red head. The albino doesn't look like she'd be much fun at all.


Somewhere in America / There's a street named after my dad / And the home we never had.


[ Parent ]
Evangelion as Christian Mythology. (none / 0) (#457)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 10:42:40 PM EST

ROTFL! I mean, Eva was great, but it's a Japanese story that uses Jewish Numerology and the writings of a French quack to underpin yet another version of Oedipus, Rex.

I'm pretty sure in any viewing of Eva, the "Left Behind" crowd would be, well, left out.


--
Monkey in the middle of a metal detector... Do you have yesterday's time?


[ Parent ]
End Times Myths (3.46 / 13) (#52)
by Osiris on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 12:39:46 AM EST

The Norse believed that at the end of days, the giants would battle the gods and devestate the world in the battle of Ragnarok.  The Maya supposedly believed that there would be a world-changing event of some kind in 2012.  The Branch Davidians believe David Koresh is the Messiah, and that he will return again to lead his faithful.

All of these beliefs happen to be less popular than yours, but you seem to think we should concern ourselves with the details of your particular favorite story.  Why?

because... (3.80 / 5) (#70)
by kpaul on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 01:49:00 AM EST

i want to hear your story, your beliefs, talk about them in a civilized manner, etc. See my second to last graf. ;)

i'd heard of Ragnarok before, but never knew what it was or where the term came from (thought it was just the name of a text adventure game). now i know where it originated...

as i said, too, i want to do my part (as a writer here) to give K5 some meat to chew on (or veggies if they so desire...)

thx.


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

Why not? (4.28 / 7) (#127)
by zakalwe on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 04:53:00 AM EST

All of these beliefs happen to be less popular than yours, but you seem to think we should concern ourselves with the details of your particular favorite story. Why?
Because people might be interested? You're critisizing the story on the grounds that there are other subjects the author could have written about instead. I for one would certainly vote up a well written story on Norse mythology. Would you vote it down because the author could have written about Egyptian mythology instead?

[ Parent ]
Q: (3.50 / 6) (#53)
by pb on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 12:47:23 AM EST

I've heard rumblings from various conspiracy-mongers on the internet claiming that elements of the US' fundamentalist Christian conservatives strongly back Israel in order to unify the Jews and bring about the end-times, perhaps according to some mumbo-jumbo in Revelations (which barely avoided being part of the Apocrypha, no doubt due to its bizarre nature).

Can you confirm/deny any of this, and does it have a basis in fact (the conspiracy-mongering) or in scripture (Revelations or otherwise)?
---
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall

I have heard and seen a video (4.00 / 4) (#57)
by richarj on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 01:07:16 AM EST

That some believe that any country that supports Israel will be blessed by God. I however believe that that is too ritualistic and has problems for when the Israelies activley do things that are against God such as killing people not in true self defence. There is no real biblical evidence to back this sort of blessing theology up that I am aware of.

Also note that the Jewish Settlers do not believe that Jesus was the saviour and some of them believe that the saviour will only come after the Jews have settled all of the promised land.

Too often have the Jews ignored God and paid for it dearly, perhaps it will happen to the USA as well, I don't know Gods mind though.

An example from scripture of the Jews doing this would be like this

15 When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood; 16 wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong, 17 learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow. Isaiah 1:15-17

God sent the Jews to Babylon for this ignorance of Justice.

"if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
[ Parent ]

Red Heifer (3.50 / 2) (#674)
by baron samedi on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 07:52:59 PM EST

I believe there's a bunch of people trying to breed a red heifer because of some line somewhere that talks about a red heifer signifying the onset of the apocalypse.

There is something to be said about the whole religious Christian right's support of Israel, and its rather underhanded anti-Semitism. The theory goes that once the Jews (*all* the Jews) return to Israel, the apocalypse will be upon us. Of course, naturally, all the Jews are going to have to leave the U.S., so it's a bonus for fundies. They get their Christian nation, and they get to convieniently get rid of all those liberal jews that run Hollywood and the New York Times!

As an aside, I've always wondered about those Christian fundies that reject science, but still feel that it's OK to wear glasses. After all, if it was God's will that you're nearsighted, who are you to go against God's will by wearing glasses to 'correct' what obviously the Lord intended for you?

Just a little thing I've always wondered.


"Hands that help are better by far than lips that pray."- Robert G. Ingersoll
[ Parent ]

actually (4.00 / 2) (#759)
by kpaul on Sat Sep 06, 2003 at 09:55:22 PM EST

the Red Heifer is needed by Jews (who don't accept Jesus Christ) who want to cleanse the Temple Mount area to rebuild their temple there.

i wouldn't say i reject science. i know we've come to understand how some of it works, but we are far from knowing everything there is to know about how it all works.

another animal prophecy that isn't Christian is the white buffalo prophecy of the native americans. it says that after such a creature is born, a peace maker would come. there was a big deal made out of it years back, i think.

in any case, thanks for adding your neuron emitance to the mix.


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

Not that far fetched.. (none / 0) (#740)
by Magnetic North on Sat Sep 06, 2003 at 06:10:15 PM EST

I can't find any other explanation for the fanatical backing the US has always given Israel.

Of course, US' fundamentalist Christian conservatives equates to the US government. Just take a look at Ashcroft.



--
<33333
[ Parent ]
Did the government heep it up (none / 0) (#827)
by richarj on Sun Sep 07, 2003 at 08:23:21 PM EST

When the democrats where in power?

"if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
[ Parent ]
Dispensationalism (none / 0) (#945)
by bmj on Fri Sep 12, 2003 at 01:04:05 PM EST

This is an extension of Christian Eschatology that, in a nutshell, relies on certain things happening within Israel for the end times to begin. Most importantly, Jews must retake Jerusalem. While the Christian Right would never actually come out and saw this is a primary reason for the staunch support of Israel, it does help motivate them. A dispensationalist doesn't believe that the new covenant started by Christ negates the promises in the old covenant, so Israel is still God's chosen people, and they will control the Promised Land before Christ returns.

Now, most reformed, evangelical Christians don't put much stock in dispensationalism, as its theology is based on a hunt-and-peck method finding Biblical passages to support it (take a verse from Daniel, a couple from Revelation, a few from the Gospels, etc), which goes against the reformed tradition of seeing the Bible as a whole. As a reformed Christian myself, I find it hard to believe that God would essentially limit His own power by saying "I'm not coming back til Israel gets tough and takes back what's theirs." I mean, Christ was so revolutionary at the time because the Jews were expecting the Messiah to be a military leader who would overthrow Israel's oppressors. But Christ was nothing of the sort. Wouldn't you think if God intended Israel's occupation of the Promised Land to be a pre-requisite for the salvation of the whole world, Christ _would_ have been a military leader?



[ Parent ]
religion (3.65 / 20) (#65)
by circletimessquare on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 01:40:30 AM EST

i have no problem with religion

it should exist, to provide solace for the weak minded

it is like that strange parade some denizens of a distant mountain town perform every year for the benefit of tourists: quaint, funny, good for picture taking- that's religion to me

but when religion starts to arrogantly coopt morality, politics, identity, etc., that is when it deserves to be beat down, to learn it's proper place, like those ignorant inbred fucks in alabama and their ten commandments last month

religion, mark my words, regardless of what you think of my arrogance about what i think of it, must know this: when it kills or commits violence in the name of anything, it has lost it's integrity

religion msut be a private thing, enjoyed in peace

as soon as it becomes a mass movement, or threatens violence, it deserves to be beat down, like falun gong, like islamic fundies with airplanes and rpgs, like antiabortionists with bombs and guns, like koresh, like aum shinrikyo, like christians and jews and all their ethnic chauvinism

religion embodies and channels the worst of human passions just as soon as you defenders of religion insist it channels the best

it's dangerous loony crap, and the sooner more of us in the world move away from our historical teenage years spent in religion, the better the world will be


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

It is easy to criticise religion (3.20 / 5) (#73)
by richarj on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 01:51:49 AM EST

much harder to stand up for your religion in the face of opposition.

"if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
[ Parent ]
true (2.81 / 11) (#77)
by circletimessquare on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 02:06:41 AM EST

it's much harder because it's the less morally defensible position

lol

moron

i love how religious fundies define the "defense" of their religion to attack ethnic minorities, poor women (antiabortion), gays, and anyone else who is in a weaker position than they are

sounds like "offsense" to me

face it, your acient voodoo clique has long lost it's original meaning and purpose, and is mostly now a whore for ethnic and nationalistic chauvinism

a true moral religious person is one who "turns the other cheek"

gee... where did i hear that example? lol

too many religious fundies on the "defense" (read offense) don't even understand how they embody absolutely everything jesus christ stood against

they are the latter day romans who killed your beloved jesus christ, and they don't even see that

face it, anyone who emobdies the ture spirit of your wonderful prophet would agree with me, while you defend instituions that wage war on the weak, rather than defend them

jesus embraced whores and lepers

religious fundies today kill abortion doctors trying to help poor women and gays... and think they are acting in the image of the man who, if he were alive today, would be embracing them

a la mother teresa

wwjd

ask yourself that, and stop trying to defend the human scum you are defending who embody religion today


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

I'm not defending those (3.33 / 2) (#82)
by richarj on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 02:18:12 AM EST

I'm trying to stop you from clumping us all in the same basket. I actually wouldn't have been offended by your origional statement if you had not mentioned Falun Gong. Even though I totally disagree with their beliefs I do not understand why people have this desire to attack them? Maybe you can explain why you attacked an innocent group like that?

As for the antiabortionist guy when i saw that on TV I though he would go to hell for his crimes. But I don't really know what will happen to him. BTW I am not American,

"if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
[ Parent ]

i am not an american either (3.55 / 9) (#92)
by circletimessquare on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 02:31:40 AM EST

i am a human being

all religions, all cults, are inherently dangerous

there is no moral authority to a religion which condones and promotes acts of violence which all major religions have done in their history

we live in the teenage years of mankind

if you are ready, move BEYOND religion, many of us do it every day, many of us are beyond the insanity and claptrap of religion, and embrace rationalism

china saw the threat to it's authority- a secret organization which appealed to superstitious insanity as a power source, and dealt with it appropriately, as all governments should do with christianity, judaism, islam, etc.

all religions deserve to die and rot on the historical dustbin, they have lost all moral integrity

i don't lump good religious people in with the bad, i am merely here to point out that what you call good religious types like yourself are merely people who have moved BEYOND religion

you embrace rationality

you embrace peace

you embrace a simple clear cut morality which has more to do with simple lessons learned in kindergarten- putting yourself in someone else's shoes, simple human empathy, than anything else

what is the moral authority of any judeochristian religion?

billions of asians have lived and are living completely untouched by the judeochristian tradition and lead and have led very moral lives, thank you very much

the judeochristian tradition teaches us NOTHING about morality- look at all the violence in their "great" books

these religions COOPT simple morality and tell you you owe them that

you owe them nothing!

you are agood person, so move BEYOND religion, move beyond the teenage years of mankind

and embrace simple compassion, morality, and rationalism

every day good moral folk such as yourself move beyond religion, and all that is left are the rotten souls on the sinking ships of the "great" religions

with every act of intolerance and ethnic chauvinism they move the integrity of their religion further and further down

christians today attack poor women (antiabortion) and gays... people jesus would embrace

islam was once the grandest and most nolbe and proud of the judeochristian religions... now it is a whore for arabic chauvinism, giving voice and purpose to the most burtish acts in the name of the most selfish and ethnocentric goals

judaism went in one generation from being burned in ovens by racist germans, to mowing down poor palestinian settlements in the same racist manner

there is no moral authority, or a shred of integrity, in my eyes, to any supposed "great" judeochristian religion

just a lot of voilence and whoring for base human desires of greed, selfishness, and ethnic chauvinism

to become a truly just and great civilization, mankind must shrug off the shackles of it's teenage years spent in religious idiocy


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

You are confusing Religion with Humans (2.75 / 3) (#105)
by richarj on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 02:56:11 AM EST

The things you complain about have more to do with the human power positions that are in religion than the religion itself. Hence this is why a lot of Christians don't like the pope or any other figure of power because it is not warranted. Jesus worked with the poor and the prostitutes. I don't colour his message with lust after power. So as I say don't lump me with those who do.

"if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
[ Parent ]
agreed then (3.40 / 5) (#109)
by circletimessquare on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 02:59:41 AM EST

because you are not a religious person, in the eyes of anyone who listen to your words and takes a fundamentalist approach to their religion

the greatest fight against evil in this world is the fight against fundamentalists of the christian, muslim, and jewish variety

these people do more evil in the world today than anyone ever has

so join me in the fight, since you have abandoned the precepts of organized religion anyways ;-)

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

What happened to that guy? (none / 0) (#775)
by Kadin2048 on Sun Sep 07, 2003 at 02:36:40 AM EST

I think perhaps the "antiabortionist guy" you're talking about was Paul Hill.

Although I'll leave everyone to make up their own opinion concerning his consciousness' current whereabouts, personally I think it's probably in a somewhat ... warmer ... climate than Florida.

Good riddance.

[ Parent ]

you shall know them by their fruit... (3.00 / 3) (#101)
by kpaul on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 02:49:19 AM EST

Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit (peace, prosperity, etc); but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit (wars, destruction, economic depression, etc).

there is a lot wrong with those who claim Christ in this world not actually following what Jesus taught. in this i agree w/you...


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

good (3.00 / 5) (#106)
by circletimessquare on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 02:56:24 AM EST

then take the next step with me

the instutions that operate in the name of jesus christ do not embrace his intentions- look at the baptists and catholics and their stand on poor women (antiabortion) and gays

then tell me that those institutions act in the name of jesus

the chsitian instituions of today are the latter day romans who killed jesus- in their acts and words i can not tell any difference

what jesus taught us about was his compassion and goodness and morality

you, nor anyone else, need an institution to tell you how to live up those ideals

by all means, continue to embrace the teachings of jesus christ

but please, by all means, give no support to the corrupt institutions which have long abandoned his teachings

with faith in them lies evil, just as with faith in any organized religion such as islam and judaism as well

abandon the judeochristian tradition, but keep jesus in your heart, and you are living a good life, i say

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

What you are saying (2.75 / 3) (#114)
by richarj on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 03:37:41 AM EST

Somehow ominously reminds me of the Revolution in Animal Farm.

"if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
[ Parent ]
what i am saying (2.75 / 4) (#128)
by circletimessquare on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 04:56:55 AM EST

is revolution

death to organized religions

personal spirituality is the only good

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Just a nit-pick... (5.00 / 1) (#316)
by Vesperto on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 02:47:19 PM EST

I agree with your views regarding the danger of religion, especially when if starts infiltrating into politics (er.. Opus Dei?) and what not. But, kill abortion doctors trying to help poor women and gays can you please explain how gays would need abortions?

If you disagree post, don't moderate.
[ Parent ]
urm (1.00 / 1) (#334)
by circletimessquare on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 03:29:54 PM EST

you're making fun of my poor grammar

waaaahhhhh 8-(

lol


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

of course (4.42 / 7) (#225)
by Dirty Sanchez on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 10:09:14 AM EST

it's always difficult to defend stupid shit.

[ Parent ]
falun gong?? (3.50 / 3) (#88)
by livus on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 02:28:39 AM EST

It isn't even a religion, just a set of behaviours isn't it? If I was going to categorise it as a public menace I'd stick it with D&D, medievalism, Tae-bo, furry fandom, Morris dancing, and flower arranging, not with the religions.

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]
in other words, a cult (2.50 / 3) (#93)
by circletimessquare on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 02:34:35 AM EST

and a religion is merely a cult that has been around for a long time

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
you have a point (4.00 / 2) (#160)
by livus on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 07:29:08 AM EST

a terrifying point, given my examples. Though, Morris dancing has already been around a hell of a lot longer than a lot of religions I can think of.

Maybe it's the case that practice leads to belief but I don't think by itself it constitutes a religion. Dentistry, for instance, isn't, even though there are many dentists.

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]

dentistry is a religion (2.50 / 2) (#206)
by circletimessquare on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 09:17:02 AM EST

if in the weekly dental health newsletter the great ayatollah impacted molar declares you must remove the wisdom teeth of gays, but not jews, and give braces to male children of hindus only, unless they eat pigs, in which case you must give them porcelain veneers


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
so, Continental is a religion, falun gong isn't? (none / 0) (#447)
by livus on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 10:20:20 PM EST

So youre saying that groups who practice differently on people of different religions are religions.

Airlines, prisons, govt depts, etc all practice different treatment for people of different religious beliefs. (eg the Muslim meal on planes was always saidto be better than anyone elses, but I would heasitate to try that nowadays).

Old falun gong on the other hand seems to think everyone should do funny breathing and always tell the truth, no matter who you are or what your religion.

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]

yes, man's religions (3.25 / 4) (#97)
by kpaul on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 02:42:42 AM EST

have caused a lot of anguish on the planet.

i believe Jesus taught us not to kill (even in self-defence), that this world (this existence) is not the one that really matters.

i love how He said, to paraphrase, Love God above all else and love others as yourself (including your enemies) - that that summed up all the Law and Prophets.

it does come down to the leap of faith, which i can see is difficult to do for some people.

anyways, thanks for your vote (and not being too condescending ;)

peace, shalom, salaam, etc...


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

kpaul (4.00 / 2) (#100)
by circletimessquare on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 02:48:28 AM EST

i vote anything i respond to as +1 fp

my policy is simple: if a story moves me to respond, it deserves my vote, no matter how much i like or dislike it. a story i like a lot, but could care less to respond to, i simply do not vote on

you and cheesburgerbrown rate as my most favorite people here.

i don't read fiction, but i loved your google dance stuff.

i hope you read my words and find in them some hope in the possiblity of shrugging off the coil that religion wraps around your sense of reason


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

circletimessquare (3.40 / 5) (#104)
by kpaul on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 02:53:42 AM EST

nevertheless, thanks for the vote.

also, thanks for the compliments.

and i hope (and pray) that maybe my words come to you somewhere down the line when the pace eventually picks up.

that is, as mature, rational adults (homosapiens), we agree to disagree. ;)


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

agreed ;-) (nt) (2.50 / 3) (#107)
by circletimessquare on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 02:56:52 AM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Lemme Play! Lemme Play! (4.00 / 6) (#111)
by dasunt on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 03:24:50 AM EST

In response to circletimessquare's antireligious tirade, I would also like to play the game.

First, the rules.

Any one member of a belief defines all members.

Now to play.

*Draw cards*

*Look at hand.*

*Play the cards `Pol Pot', `Atheist', and `Genocide'*

Your turn!



[ Parent ]
you seemed to miss a point i already made (3.25 / 4) (#132)
by circletimessquare on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 05:13:36 AM EST

in a post above this one

i don't lump good religious people in with the bad, i am merely here to point out that what you call good religious people are merely people who have moved BEYOND religion

...

every day good moral folk such as yourself move beyond religion, and all that is left are the rotten souls on the sinking ships of the "great" religions

with every act of intolerance and ethnic chauvinism they stink the world up with they move the integrity of their religion further and further down

go look for the post now little buddy, i already touched on this point before you

ok, your turn, draw a card ;-P


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

What about the virtuous religious people? (4.00 / 2) (#297)
by dasunt on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 01:33:16 PM EST

Mother Theresa was a devout catholic (even with her moments of doubt), and yet she did much good in this world.

The Reverand Martin Luther King Jr lead the good fight against racism, poverty, and the Vietnam war, and yet was religious.

Two examples off the top of my head, I could name more but would have to take the trouble to google and verify their deeds and religious philosophy.

In my book, religion does not seem to hinder the amount of good that people can do in this world.

Yes, people do use religion to justify war, torture, rape, mass murder, hatred, and many other vices. Any belief can be twisted around to justify what you want.

Yet, when we look at the life of Jesus, we see a man that did not lead a military revolution during the time when the Jews were frequently revolting. We do not see a man who advocated assassination or violence, like many of the Jewish fringe groups did at the time. Instead, other for the incident with the money changers in the temple, we see a man who is prone to kindness and forgiveness, who went to his death intead of leading a war. `Hate the sin, love the sinner.'

Just my $.02



[ Parent ]
entropy and religion (2.00 / 2) (#331)
by circletimessquare on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 03:28:11 PM EST

as time passes, the church/ mosque/ temple moves further and further away from the teachings of the original prophet

this is simple entropy at work

mother teresa, dr. martin luther king, etc. are saints, prophets of good in their own right. they are a credit to their religion and a credit to humanity

but as time passes, like some sticky condensate left over from an evaporating pan, more and more rational people leave the church every day, and become more and more disgusted of the increasingly evil tendencies of organized religion as more and more every day only the most intolerant, ignorant, xenophobic, chauvinistic, and brutal types of people are left in the religion to carry on it's name

and so there will always be mother teresa's and dr. martin luther king's in the world

it is just that in the future, less will be coming from organized religions, as less people like these saints would associate themselves with the dying embers of a creed more and more warped of the original teachings of the prophets.

look at how the catholic church spreads hatred of gays and poor women (antiabortion). these are people jesus christ would embrace- lepers and whores. see how distant the church is today from the loving teachings of it's founder.

it will take time, but mankind and civilization will grow out of it's teenage years, and shuffle off the coil of the insanity we know as organized religion.


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Ah ha, but what temprature is the temple at? (none / 0) (#513)
by gmol on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 02:22:37 AM EST

this is simple entropy at work

Yay for bluntly applied thermodynamics!
Are chruches/mosques/temples open systems?

[ Parent ]

That is outside the realm of (none / 0) (#514)
by richarj on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 02:44:13 AM EST

Empirical science beause there might be a God or something interfering.

"if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
[ Parent ]
Argh! (none / 0) (#518)
by dasunt on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 02:52:16 AM EST

First of all, the Catholic church does not spread `hatred' of homosexuals. It considers homosexuality a sin, but by its own tenents, it is no more or no less a sin then premaritial sex or prostitution.

As for abortion, I believe that the Catholic church is fighting for the life of the unborn. The Catholic church does support adoption for children of unwed mothers, giving those women a `way out'.

Incidentally, the Catholic church is one of the strongest opponents of the death penalty in the US. This is `hate the sin, love the sinner' in action.

As for `insanities'... but that is a different rant.



[ Parent ]
mind vs. spirit (3.85 / 7) (#112)
by theleoncorp on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 03:32:37 AM EST

i have no problem with religion it should exist, to provide solace for the weak minded it is like that strange parade some denizens of a distant mountain town perform every year for the benefit of tourists: quaint, funny, good for picture taking- that's religion to me

I often hear this argument, that religion is for the weak minded.

Nietzche, the great German philosopher put it more eloquently than you when he wrote that "if you wish to strive for peace of soul and pleasure, then believe; if you wish to be a devotee of truth, then inquire.." Even Jesus said that the Gospel was not for smart people, and is not to be analysed, but that it is for acceptance of heart. This means that faith is not an act of the mind, but an act of the spirit.

Douglas Adams, author the famous Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and known for his zealous atheism, asked why theology as a science defies the logic and reason to which other sciences are subjected.

So you are absolutely right in your observation that faith is more prevalent amongst the weak-minded, because it is easier for them to defer their faith to their spirits - they are less concerned with logic and reason. But why is that a bad thing? Are you so enamoured with your intelligence that you deem faith beneath you? Do you think you are so smart that you can understand the universe in all its complexity? Do you understand your relationship with the vast expanses surrounding our planet. I would suggest that you don't.

In pursuit of knowledge, I've come to know how little I know, and now I just look at the world around me in awe. I defer my faith to my heart and accept it like a child would, because when I encounter creation in all its simple complexity, I understand how childlike I am. Like Emerson, the great trancendentalist said, man is like a child, and his globe is like a toy.
--
Copyright (C) The Leon Corporation 1975-2003
A consortium of organs, liquid and electrical pulses that cares for you
[ Parent ]

good stuff (3.60 / 5) (#134)
by circletimessquare on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 05:22:49 AM EST

now let me take you further:

personal spirituality=good

organized religion=bad

when you yoke these simple-minded folk with organized religion you get the embarassing display of symbolic idiocy like the debate over the 10 commandments display in alabama and the continued appearance of the virgin mary in water condensation on glass and various oil stains

that's funny and embarassing for the simple folk

but some selfish, xenophobic, hateful intolerant types take the simple-minded folk and move the sheep onto evil things, not embarassing things: hating people they don't understand: gays, acting out insnae acts of violence in the name of religion such as with suicide bombers killing children on commuter buses.

so everything you say is essentially right, i have nothing against the poor simple minded folk, let them be, i am not threatened by them, nor do i hate them, nor do i think they will ever cease existing or should stop existing. i am no better than them, they are no better than me. we are all equal as human beings. i have nothing for or against them.

but after september 11th, you must be a fool if you believe if the INSTITUTIONS that channel their ignorance is not a threat to you or anyone else, including other simple minded fools.

god bless the simple minded fools.

death to the institutions that channel their life blood into intolerance and hatred and ethnic chauvinism and prideful nationalism. (isn't pride one of the seven deadly sins?)

death to organized religion

not death to spirituality or simple minded folk

is there any credence or merit to my position in your mind?

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Religion (3.00 / 2) (#220)
by The Amazing Idiot on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 09:51:06 AM EST

>>>now let me take you further:
personal spirituality=good
organized religion=bad

Exactly, why? Wouldnt it be better to say fundamentalist types of anyreligion is bad?

>>>when you yoke these simple-minded folk with organized religion you get the embarassing display of symbolic idiocy like the debate over the 10 commandments display in alabama and the continued appearance of the virgin mary in water condensation on glass and various oil stains

I disagree. The Alabama showing was not about religion directly. That problem goes back to the civil war. Does national govt have the right to intrude onto a state and MAKE LAWS ABOUT RELIGION?

>>>but some selfish, xenophobic, hateful intolerant types take the simple-minded folk and move the sheep onto evil things, not embarassing things: hating people they don't understand:

gays => Remember Soddom and Gomorrah? Go look it up. That easily explains what that's about.

acting out insane acts of violence in the name of religion such as with suicide bombers killing children on commuter buses. => Saying "God told me to do it" usually denotes mental sickness or paranoia of some extreme.

>>>but after september 11th, you must be a fool if you believe if the INSTITUTIONS that channel their ignorance is not a threat to you or anyone else, including other simple minded fools.

Come now. Anybody who wants others to think that "They're doing Something" does the knee-jerk reaction to 'fighting XYZ'. Religions or no.  

>>>death to the institutions that channel their life blood into intolerance and hatred and ethnic chauvinism and prideful nationalism. (isn't pride one of the seven deadly sins?)

What exacly are you talking about? This sounds like that Perl Script again ;-)

is there any credence or merit to my position in your mind?

Not really.

[ Parent ]

stop (2.00 / 1) (#232)
by circletimessquare on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 10:25:50 AM EST

you seem to be telling me you can explain away every atrocity done in the name of religion as the fault of the individual and not the religion

are you going to honestly tell me that organized religion is completely innocent of any sort of promoting or condoning acts of violence?

you don't have to find any merit in my position

but that seems to be an indictment of you being out of touch with reality, not an indictment of my position

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Tiring argument... (none / 0) (#271)
by The Amazing Idiot on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 12:02:58 PM EST

>>>you seem to be telling me you can explain away every atrocity done in the name of religion as the fault of the individual and not the religion

"Every" is quite a large group. No. For example, Catholicism: they have horrible atrocities back in the 1200's to 1700's with torture.

Even now, they have problems with Pedophilia. However, it's each archdioceses bishop who's covering it up. And if you've listened, the John Paul 2 has apologised for that sin of the church. So yes, in that case, it IS the individuals' fault.

>>>are you going to honestly tell me that organized religion is completely innocent of any sort of promoting or condoning acts of violence?

Religions that have morals that lead to non-violence, forgiveness, and enlightenment ARE completely innocent. Although I cannot speak for him, I'm sure Ta Bu Shi Da Yu would agree with me. The morals of a Religion/Philosophy is different than that of the fallible people that believe in them.

>>>you don't have to find any merit in my position

>>>but that seems to be an indictment of you being out of touch with reality, not an indictment of my position

Have you ever thought that perhaps scientists can also believe in a religion? I'm a computer scientist who also loves physics and chemistry. I'm also a Catholic. Do I let the church think for me? Feh. I use the morals of the church to guide me past difficult choices. Or even my scientific background goes soo far.

Since science is the only real belief, and religious are weak-minded, please answer these questions oh great one...

1: How did life start?
2: How did our planet NOT turn out like Venus did?
3: Why are we the only self-aware inteligent lifeform on this planet?
4: If the conservation of matter/energy is 100% true, Who or what created this universe? And if 10 dimentional superstrings did create the matter here, what created the infinite-density strings?
5: Why are our physics models as such?

Just as you said about religous people need to be slapped down.. So do the extreme deity haters and atheists.

[ Parent ]

god help me save me from the dolts of the world (1.00 / 2) (#279)
by circletimessquare on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 12:22:28 PM EST

i'm sorry son, i can't answer your "what is the meaning of life?" questions, but sit down on my lap here (snicker) and listen to me again:

you seem to have, again, done a very good job of explaining away any culpability for the atrocities committed in the name of religion

and i suppose you will be absolutely delighted to embrace every single good thing that comes out of religion, right?

such an honest, balanced view you have there kiddo

you, son, are "living in denial"

listen to me again, and listen to me well: organized religion condones and encourages atrocities and acts of violence and hatred

i will not sit here and list for you the thousands of remedial examples of this bizarre idea for you

i will leave it to your boundless imagination to figure out, perhaps, i might be making a good point here for you

lol

you're an idiot in denial


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

you're boring me. (3.00 / 1) (#320)
by The Amazing Idiot on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 02:58:43 PM EST

>>>you seem to have, again, done a very good job of explaining away any culpability for the atrocities committed in the name of religion

You know I wasnt justifying religion to do such. I find it EXTREMLY reprehensible that people in a philosophy/belief would turn their back on that to do what they preached against.

The problem recently with the pedophile Catholic Priests is the core belief of forgiveness. They know if they admit guilt and sorrow, they are forgiven. Mix the fogiveness with criminal intent and the fact that ANY orginization does not want BAD attention.

Even with corrupt officals, have they not been uprooted and denied by the church? If they were oh so evil as you say, they would be cheering for pedo's everwhere.

>>>and i suppose you will be absolutely delighted to embrace every single good thing that comes out of religion, right?

Of course not. I may be religous, but I also consider everything I do in a scientific light. If there's something I dont understand, I simply ask the priest/sister. If the answer is unsatisfactory, I disregard that part of their religion.

For me, there's a part of religion that is faith alone, and then there's reasons to do such. Whether all the things that happened to Jesus did is true, is faith. Then there's, "Why should I love one another?". Yes, it's part of the bible, but that's not my reason to follow it. If I love one another, that's less strife that I create, and hopefully that's less strife they create towards others.

>>>you, son, are "living in denial"

Well, then. Why exactly did you decide religion is "Evil"? And dont tell me you've been like that al your life. Whenever you talk about religion of any kind, there's a sort of malice in your writing. And if you're not going to answer me that question, at least answer yourself.

[ Parent ]

i decided religion was evil (2.50 / 2) (#325)
by circletimessquare on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 03:18:38 PM EST

when september 11ths happen

when abortion doctors are shot by priests

when zionist settlers bulldoze poor palestinian homes

you have constantly rationalized, for the third post now, all culpability for evils done in the name of religion, away from rleigion itself

i ask you, please, in the name intellectual honesty, to admit that organized religion promotes and condones just as much evil as good

no more explaining it away on a case by case basis, no more hear-no-evil, see-no-evil, say-no-evil. admit it, please, in the name of INTELLECTUAL HONESTY for crying out loud. talk about boring ME.

and with every day that passes, and as more rational people leave the church (listen to your words, disregarding the words of priests/ sisters... you're halfway out the door yourself) all that is left, like some sort of sticky condensate precipitating out of solution, is the most hateful, the most ignorant, the most xenophobic core, until their evil actions is all that defines the ancient institutions which have already long since abandoned the teachings of their loving prophets

with every day that passes, those who are disgusted by hatred from organized religions grows, and with every day that passes, the institutions becom emore and more the embodiment of the lowest impulses of society

just look at the catholic church's stance on gays and poor women (antiabortion)

these are people jesus would embrace, like lepers and whores, and the catholic church, which is supposed to exist in his image, no? it is actively intolerant of those on the fringe of the mainstream

some loving compassion there

all i see is intolerance and the condoning and furthering of hate


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Such self-contradiction is almost Trolling *sighs* (3.00 / 1) (#546)
by esrever on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 06:51:30 AM EST

i ask you, please, in the name intellectual honesty, to admit that organized religion promotes and condones just as much evil as good no more explaining it away on a case by case basis, no more hear-no-evil, see-no-evil, say-no-evil. admit it, please, in the name of INTELLECTUAL HONESTY for crying out loud. talk about boring ME.
Organised politics does the same, and the USA has had a 'strict' separation of church (organised religion) and state ever since the founding fathers. Please reconsile your statements on organised religion with your silence on organised political systems.
just look at the catholic church's stance on gays and poor women (antiabortion) these are people jesus would embrace, like lepers and whores, and the catholic church, which is supposed to exist in his image, no? it is actively intolerant of those on the fringe of the mainstream
I can't say that I condone any of the Catholic churche's actions in any way, nevertheless your bald assertion cannot be let pass, as I have seen you make it several times in several different threads on this board now:
YOU are the only person assigning the stereotype of 'poor women' to those requiring abortions. How incredibly manipulative and cynical of you. Women of all stripes, walks, and nations get abortions for more reasons than you or I can shake a metaphorical pointy stick at. In India and Pakistan (don't have references handy, go googling yourself for this) there is a 'crisis' of sorts because women in their 10's of thousands (literally) are regularly finding out the sex of their yet-to-be-born child, and having them aborted if they are girls (boys, culturally speaking, are more 'valuable'). N.O.W. in the US was absolutely up in arms about this not because they were having abortions ("hey, it's a woman's ""right to choose!""") but because they are aborting *girls* (hey, isn't it their _right_ _to_ _choose_?). Now tell me, how moral is that? How moral is N.O.W., for condeming them for aborting girls, but remaining silent on the topic of the abortion of boys? How moral are the women aborting the girls? How moral is a system that says it's OK to single out one sex and abort it? How moral is a system that condemns another for singling out a sex for abortion, but, hey, if you're just aborting children indiscriminately, well hell, THAT'S O.K....
Your pretense of 'rationality' is little more than a smug veneer that you throw aside and descend into personal attacks whenever you don't feel like you're getting your way in a discussion:
you're an idiot in denial

So now, finally I say, YOU are boring ME.
Footnote: clearly you have had a bad personal experience in the past with organised religion (probably Catholicism -- it is obvious in all of your writings how much bile you feel for them), however, I respectfully (really, I mean it) suggest that you consider your own actions, and decide whether you would be a better person for forgiving whoever/whatever it was that hurt you, and moving on in your life instead.
Regards,

Audit NTFS permissions on Windows
[ Parent ]
How to answer evil actions? (3.00 / 1) (#776)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Sun Sep 07, 2003 at 02:38:13 AM EST

circletimessquare, I can't answer the problem with evil unless I look at man's intentional rejection of God. And I certainly can't condone or agree with the evil things that have happened in the Catholic and Anglican churches. Not only that, but I can't say I see no evil, hear no evil or say no evil, because I do - all the time! And my heart bleeds because of this. Human instutions just aren't perfect, and unfortunately this includes churches. Sin has permeated all human endeavours.

All I can say is that this stuff would happen even if you took away religion in all it's many and varied forms. And again, I say this is because humans have decided to live life their own way, under their own set of rules.

How apt you say "these are people jesus would embrace, like lepers and whores, and the catholic church, which is supposed to exist in his image, no? it is actively intolerant of those on the fringe of the mainstream" - Jesus showed love to these people and so must Christians! Jesus was the ultimate model of how a Christian must live life. But just a Jesus didn't accept sin and rejection of God, neither must Christians. Christians should be at least warning others about this stuff, even if they must consistently show love to the people around them, Christian and non-Christian alike.

This is all I can really say about this.

Ta bù shì dà yú


---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

We are not... (5.00 / 3) (#321)
by thaths on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 03:02:01 PM EST

I will answer this one question:

3: Why are we the only self-aware inteligent lifeform on this planet?

We are not the 'only self-aware inteligent (sic) lifeform on this planet'. The line drawn between mankind and the rest of the species is not as clear as you think it is. This line has been moved all over the place through the years. In other words, the idea of what diffenrentiates "intelligent man" from, say, chimpanzees is not set in stone. People have used tool use, social behaviour etc. as things that seperate us from them only to discover that chimps use tools and many of the species have social behaviour.

In other words, we are not really that far removed from the rest of nature. The judeo-christian god, when creating man in his own image, didn't have to innovate very much from his previous effort on the rest of nature.

Thaths

[ Parent ]

my own situation (4.00 / 2) (#265)
by theleoncorp on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 11:42:31 AM EST

I believe that God made everything. I believe Jesus Christ is the centrepoint of time, the punctum of all existence. I think God reveals himself to us through nature. And through scripture.

But I've never been comfortable in a church. I believe God lives in me, yet I cringe when I see certain actions of the church. I detest the american president's pious "faith in God" because I think he serves money and corporate power.

So agreed regarding personal spirituality versus organised religion. But spirituality does include fellowship, living in community with other believers. |t's a bit of a problem.

What do you think?
--
Copyright (C) The Leon Corporation 1975-2003
A consortium of organs, liquid and electrical pulses that cares for you
[ Parent ]

you sir are my hero (3.50 / 2) (#284)
by circletimessquare on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 12:36:09 PM EST

you champion personal spirituality over organized religion

that's all i need to know to embrace you as a friend

and your tentative distrust of even fellowship exposes to me a welcome level of caution about exposing spirituality to others

that is why the idiots in alabama who are so happy and delighted to make a full public mockery of their spirituality expose themselves as so deeply wrong about spirituality

spirituality is deeply personal, therefore any vainglorious public display of it is exposed immediately as a false spirituality

i say to you, expose your personal spirituality to others with the same hesitance and sensitivity as you would expose your love for a lover

because really, if your personal spirituality is honest and whole, it is on the same level of love for a lover anyways, and deserves the same treatment when exposed to others

any other quick and dirty exposure of spirituality, such as in organized religions, exposes a false, shallow, poorly formed spirituality

just as a whorehouse is no place to find love in a lover, a church/ temple/ mosque is no place to find your spirituality


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

interesting angle (5.00 / 2) (#311)
by theleoncorp on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 02:23:58 PM EST

Thank you for this interesting analogy. I've never thought about it like that. I'll think about it for a long time to come and perhaps it can put to rest my personal, calvinist demons that make me feel guilty for not wanting to be part of a church.
--
Copyright (C) The Leon Corporation 1975-2003
A consortium of organs, liquid and electrical pulses that cares for you
[ Parent ]
guilt (3.00 / 2) (#314)
by circletimessquare on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 02:33:59 PM EST

is a powerful motivator

only let it work with your mom lol ;-P


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Wow... (none / 0) (#966)
by Steeltoe on Sun Sep 21, 2003 at 06:40:31 PM EST

death to organized religion

And you're supposed to be better than them?

Yeye. I know that you really didn't mean it, but right speech is important!

Btw, good luck replying to everybody everywhere. Where do you get the time for it? ;-)


Explore the Art of Living

[ Parent ]
weak minded (3.66 / 2) (#246)
by Battle Troll on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 11:09:48 AM EST

Yeah, Pascal, Gandhi and Newton were a bunch of pathetic retards. If only they'd had teh ath3ism they'd have been geniuses like you.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
so nice of you to group me with those guys (2.50 / 3) (#260)
by circletimessquare on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 11:38:44 AM EST

i'm glad i have battle trolls to elevate my ego to new heights i would have never dreamed of ;-P


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
dude (1.75 / 3) (#263)
by Battle Troll on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 11:40:16 AM EST

tkatchev still 0wnz0r5 j00.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
huh? when did that happen? (nt) (2.33 / 2) (#281)
by circletimessquare on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 12:28:41 PM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
While you were sleeping one night. (nt) (none / 0) (#701)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Sat Sep 06, 2003 at 05:23:02 AM EST



---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]
Religion doesn't kill people, people kill people (3.00 / 4) (#523)
by shigelojoe on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 03:03:59 AM EST

(n/t)

[ Parent ]
HAHAHAHA ;-) (nt) (none / 0) (#652)
by circletimessquare on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 04:29:54 PM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
That's all very well and good. (2.40 / 5) (#68)
by Mr Hogan on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 01:41:39 AM EST

But kuro5hin is already dead -- "WHY GOD WHY" I scream my anguish is a question mark into the black gaping maw of the universe I flung it for two hours I've been waiting now and still no answer I begin to fear that it was swallowed. I'm cold I forgot to bring a blanket. The crickets have gone south to Mexico for the winter. It's so lonely here. Is that all there is? If that's all there is, my friends, then let's keep dancing.

--
Life is food and rape, then tilt.

Is that all there is... to trolling? (none / 0) (#302)
by killmepleez on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 01:54:56 PM EST

Thank you.
If past experience is any guide, I will now be singing that song for about three weeks. I've never gotten around to burning my old Peggy Lee LPs onto CD, but I've found Sandra Bernhard's version to be just as gripping.

In all truth, it may be the best summary of my beliefs about the universe.

__
"...the ways and means of dysfunction are also the ways and means of survival."
-Anthony Swofford, in Parent ]
moving beyond christianity (3.25 / 20) (#98)
by circletimessquare on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 02:43:06 AM EST

all religions, all cults, are inherently dangerous

there is no moral authority to a religion which condones and promotes acts of violence which all major religions have done in their history

we live in the teenage years of mankind

if you are ready, move BEYOND religion, many of us do it every day, many of us are beyond the insanity and claptrap of religion, and embrace rationalism

all religions deserve to die and rot on the historical dustbin, they have lost all moral integrity

i don't lump good religious people in with the bad, i am merely here to point out that what you call good religious people are merely people who have moved BEYOND religion

embrace rationality

embrace peace

embrace a simple clear cut morality which has more to do with simple lessons learned in kindergarten- putting yourself in someone else's shoes, simple human empathy, than anything else

what is the moral authority of any judeochristian religion?

billions of asians have lived and are living completely untouched by the judeochristian tradition and lead and have led very moral lives, thank you very much

the judeochristian tradition teaches us NOTHING about morality- look at all the violence in their "great" books

these religions COOPT simple morality and tell you you owe them that

you owe them nothing!

you are a good person, so move BEYOND religion, move beyond the teenage years of mankind

and embrace simple compassion, morality, and rationalism

every day good moral folk such as yourself move beyond religion, and all that is left are the rotten souls on the sinking ships of the "great" religions

with every act of intolerance and ethnic chauvinism they stink the world up with they move the integrity of their religion further and further down

christians today attack poor women (antiabortion) and gays... people jesus would embrace... they have become the romans who killed jesus

islam was once the grandest and most noble and most educated and proud of the judeochristian religions... now it is a whore for arabic chauvinism, giving voice and purpose to the most brutish provincial ignorant acts in the name of the most selfish and ethnocentric goals

judaism went in one generation from being burned in ovens by racist germans, to mowing down poor palestinian towns in the same racist manner... some egyptians there, i say

there is no moral authority, or a shred of integrity, in my eyes, to any supposed "great" judeochristian religion

just a lot of violence and whoring for base human desires of greed, selfishness, and ethnic chauvinism

to become a truly just and great civilization, mankind must shrug off the shackles of it's teenage years spent in religious idiocy

join me folks, move beyond religion, move beyond the dusty old cults and their dusty old violent books

and move beyond the insanity of mankind's teenage years spent in religious insanity

once an ape took a step out of the trees onto the savannah, and there was man

so someday will mankind completely escape the coils and shackles of it's tribal voodoo beginnings in irrational violent stories

religion is our legacy, and we should be proud of the good it has done in our history, but religion does not define our future, nor should it, considering all of the evil and violence it has done, and continues to do


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

One of the major problems with religions... (4.14 / 7) (#122)
by anthonyr on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 04:25:41 AM EST

... is when people start to think like you. You're saying what they've all said over the millennia, they are wrong and you are right.

The problem is when someone decides that they're different from other people. They're backing the right God. They copulate with the correct sex. They speak the right language. Their skin is the right color. It's human nature to arrive at conclusions like that, religion is just one of the excuses.

The excuses won't cut it anymore. If someone wants to be Christian, by the time they hit their mid 20's you can bet they've given it considerable thought and if that's what they want to be, that's their right. They're not wrong, because they're living the life that's right for them. As long as they give others the same courtesy, there's no reason to worry about it.

---

Schlock
[ Parent ]

as long as there are (2.66 / 3) (#129)
by circletimessquare on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 04:59:41 AM EST

september 11ths

zionist settlers

and abortion doctor killers

what i say has weight and import

my 3 examples don't seem to be going away

so you can be damned sure people like me will always be around

until we kill organized religions and the violence they condone and promote

tell me where i am wrong


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

You are wrong (5.00 / 5) (#147)
by needless on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 06:39:38 AM EST

In the fact that you seem so... well, religious about it.

I'm not at all religous, but your obsession with converting religious people to embrace rationalism is just another form of "witnessing" and is just as annoying, and frankly hypocritical.

Perhaps you should stop preaching and start practicing.

[ Parent ]

not hypocritical at all (2.50 / 2) (#203)
by circletimessquare on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 09:12:36 AM EST

i do have passion for a position, i do have a belief. that's not an organized religion.

i hate organized religions and wish them destroyed.

how does that make me hyocritical? are you saying i'm trying to build some sort of anti-religion of my own? we should paint all the churches black i guess. lol ;-P

look, i've said it in other posts a number of times, i'll say it again:

personal spirituality=good

organized religion=bad

show me where i am a hypocrite, show me where i preach, and don't practice.

hello? any weight in your words?

you have to prove i am trying to start a religion, i don't see how you can, because all i'm trying to do is destroy. i guess you somehow assume that means i'm creating a replacement somewhere. the only replacement to organized religion i see is personal spirituality. little cute folk in mountain towns holding quaint festivals. religion out of politics, out of government, out of social policy. secular strong governments, no religion in sight, the world over. that's what i want.

show me the secret dr. evil secret control lab with illuminati and sharks with friggin laser beams where my secret anti-church is taking form. lol ;-P

you can condemn me if you can show me my hypocrisy, but you can't condemn me for having passion.

that seems to me to be the only problem you have with me, that i have passion for the destruction of organized religion and the evils they promote. i don't see the replacement religion you accuse me of building.

so go ahead and condemn me because i have passion for a belief: death to organized religions, but your accusations of hypocrisy are lacking weight.


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

what is rational about spirituality? (4.00 / 1) (#515)
by Morally Inflexible on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 02:44:29 AM EST

spirituality is mearly religion without the rules. It is faith, but unfocused faith. If anything, I would say that spirituality is generally less rational than organized religion- organized religion usually puts at least a little effort into self-consistancy.

Faith is by definition irrational. This applies to faith in God or gods as much as it does to faith in warm, fuzzy spiritual beliefs.

[ Parent ]

yes, yes, yes (none / 0) (#645)
by circletimessquare on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 03:43:52 PM EST

so? what is your point?

personal spirituality is what it is

organized religion takes personal spirituality and warps it, and more and more every day it warps it into ethnic chauvinism, xenophobia, intolerance, hatred, violence, evil

these things are entirely achievable all by your very self

but you have to agree with me that yolking personal spirituality into these evils on a mass organizational way is far deadlier than isolated idiots

more and more every day, rational goodf people leave organizaed religon in disgust at the evils they promote

and more and more every day, all that is left in organizaed religion is the hateful intolerant core... they lower the religions integrity further every day, and they redefine the religions identity, aligned more towards intolerance and hatred, every day

it is only a matter of time before organized religions are on the historical dustbin they deserve to be on


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

You are SO wrong (none / 0) (#398)
by anthonyr on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 06:12:27 PM EST

"until we kill organized religions and the violence they condone and promote"

Not all religions promote violence, and not all religious people belong to an organized religion.

The problem here is that it is human nature to hate. Once you hate something and you want to use violence, all you're doing is looking for an excuse. Religion is a frequent excuse, but not the only one. People would find other excuses if you took religion way. You'll never change that.

---

Schlock
[ Parent ]

i do not hate human nature (none / 0) (#643)
by circletimessquare on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 03:40:05 PM EST

i have an appreciation of the evil and good that comes out of human nature

i also have appreciation, unlike you, that organized religion condones and promotes violence

Not all religions promote violence, and not all religious people belong to an organized religion.

not all religious people belong to an organized religion: yes, i am not waging war on spirituality, personal spirituality is a virute, i am waging war on the dead organizations that have strayed far from the original purpose of their prophet founders AND DO RPOMOTE VIOLENCE

all organized religions PROMOTE VIOLENCE

i will leave it to your boundless imagination to conceive of how i can possibly say this

i said it before, i'll say it again: it amazes me how defenders of organized religion are so happy to embrace the good their organizations do (they do do good, there is my intellectual honesty) but are so quick to distance themselves from the violence they also obviously condone and promote (let us see your intellectual honesty now)


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

hey man (4.28 / 7) (#123)
by Timo Laine on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 04:27:40 AM EST

Are you a real person or a Perl script? Whenever someone submits something about religion, you repeat the same tired prejudices.
embrace rationality
Is not reason purely instrumental? You can be rational, even a rationalist, and still believe in gods. Take Descartes, for example. I'm finding it very hard to grasp what you mean by rationality.
embrace a simple clear cut morality which has more to do with simple lessons learned in kindergarten- putting yourself in someone else's shoes, simple human empathy, than anything else
Yeah, because anything we were taught in kindergarten is obviously true. For a change, you might want to read the preface to Max Stirner's magnum opus.

All in all, you seem to dislike religion because it is based on blind belief. But how is common morality any different? It is not at all irrational to be immoral.

[ Parent ]

what bullshit (2.60 / 5) (#131)
by circletimessquare on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 05:09:07 AM EST

why don't i kill you because you disagree with me?

because i have some morals

why do i have these morals? because of the judeochristian tradition? no, i know a billino chinese who wouldn't kill you just because you disagree with them either, and this is not because of the judeochristian tradition

so what is this morality i seem to understand so well and you seem to be able to only obfuscate in an ivory tower manner?

human morality is simply because of human empathy, that's it, no mystery.

in kindergarten, we as human beings in our social and psychological development begin to perceive the feelings and emotions of others, and begin to "put purselves in someone else's shoes": "i won't take the toy from tommy just because i want it because i would not want tommy to do the same to me"

"i won't kill timo laine just because he disagrees with me because i wouldn't want the fucking finn to do the same to me" (lol)

now you can obfuscate and intellectualize around and talk away from this simple direct point of mine about morality all you want

but i assert that simple, strong, profoundly strong morality is something that we all develop if we are normal psychologically and well socialized human beings

go ahead and throw your little obfuscating missives at that rock of truth all you want

and i will continue my quest to destroy organized religions and the violence they condones and promotes, completely devoid of the spirit of their founding prophets as they are

and i am not alone

and there are more who think like me every day

and we are all the result of september 11th, abortion doctor killers, and zionist settlers

death to organized religion

death to organized religion, in the name of simple common sense morality


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

circletimesquare, I have a question (4.75 / 4) (#139)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 05:55:11 AM EST

Where do we get "morality" from?

A simple question, you should be able to answer it.

Yours humbly,
Ta bù shì dà yú


---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

did you hear nothing i said? (2.66 / 3) (#141)
by circletimessquare on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 06:12:25 AM EST

we get it from kindergarten!

take a deep breath, read the post again, put the brain in the "on" mode

what, am i talking to a wall?

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Yes yes (3.66 / 3) (#150)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 06:43:16 AM EST

I realise that you think I didn't read your comments but in fact I actually did.

Is this your serious answer? because if so, who defines what's right and wrong?

Let's say a guy, who we'll call Fred for the purposes of the discussion empathises with someone who has severe depression. Fred also has severe depression. Fred does what you say and puts himself in someone elses shoes, he decides that the most moral thing to do would be to kill the depressed person to stop their misery because Fred is unable to kill himself and life has been much harder since then.

So. Is this good morality? Obviously you and I would say no, this is not. But what about for Fred? In this situation it seems like a perfectly moral and valid thing for him to do.

Really my point is simple. If humans are the ultimate judge of what is moral and what is not moral we'll be in big trouble. It means that we can define what morality is - and if it sounds right go ahead and do it! There is no way of checking what you're doing is right or wrong. There is no higher authority than man you can refer to so you must make your own decision what morality entails.

<dons retardent flame-suit> At the end of the day I don't think that human morality is 100% feasible. It just has too many flaws.

Yours humbly,
Ta bù shì dà yú

---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

human morality is fractal (3.00 / 3) (#155)
by circletimessquare on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 07:03:33 AM EST

"don't kill anybody"

sounds like a good rule

but if someone is going to kill you, you can kill them

unless they are going to kill you to stop you from killing someone else

unless...
you get the picture

for every rule their is an exception, ad nauseum: fractal morality

but none of the little tiny minor exceptions makes a change to the large, solid, obvious-as-day lessons of morality everyone with a moderate intelligence and a normal psychology and a normal level of socialization can appreciate by age 12

and i don't know what the fuck you are talking about when you talk about "human morality"

what the hell other kind of morality is there? klingon morality?


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Use of phrase... (none / 0) (#552)
by synaesthesia on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 07:21:38 AM EST

..."human morality is fractal"

gets a 5 from me!


Sausages or cheese?
[ Parent ]

well then (none / 0) (#632)
by circletimessquare on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 03:02:49 PM EST

what do you say to my edification of the phrase thereof?

http://www.kuro5hin.org/comments/2003/9/3/223042/1846/630#630


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Unnecessary (none / 0) (#847)
by synaesthesia on Mon Sep 08, 2003 at 07:53:51 AM EST

That's why it's such a good phrase.


Sausages or cheese?
[ Parent ]
Fractal morality, eh? (4.00 / 1) (#712)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Sat Sep 06, 2003 at 09:52:27 AM EST

Definition of the word fractal: a geometric pattern that is repeated at every scale and so cannot be represented by classical geometry.

I somehow don't think that this is what you are trying to get across. I think you're saying that absolutes don't exist in human morality as there is always an exception to the rule, but I can't say for certain because you are being so unclear.

Yours humbly,
Ta bù shì dà yú

---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

in North Korean kindergarten (4.00 / 6) (#245)
by Battle Troll on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 11:07:55 AM EST

They teach 'em to serve the Beloved Leader.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
all right (5.00 / 3) (#151)
by Timo Laine on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 06:47:58 AM EST

but i assert that simple, strong, profoundly strong morality is something that we all develop if we are normal psychologically and well socialized human beings
But you don't tell us why we should be "normal psychologically and well socialized human beings". What is so good about normality? Einstein wasn't normal, so was he immoral too? What kind of normality are you talking about? Should we only eat "normal" food and listen to "normal" music too, and only have "normal" sex?

Also, there is a thing called religious experience. As far as I can understand, the scientists have even managed to find the exact section in the brain that produces mystical experiences. This would mean that there could be an argument for religion of the same form as your "normality" argument for morality. You just happen to have a dysfunctional parietal lobe, and that is the cause of your dislike of religion.

[ Parent ]

you have a problem (2.33 / 3) (#157)
by circletimessquare on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 07:07:55 AM EST

you over-intellectualize the points i am trying to make

now you are attacking what i mean by "normal", and saying that i somehow am not taking einstein into account

jesus h christ on a fucking pogo stick man, get your head out of your ivory tower ass

we are talking simple observations

about simple things

your minor intellectually fluctuating observations on the perimeter of what we are talking about do not move the huge fucking rocks of truth i am dealing with

stop

take a deep breath

go right down the center of what i am saying

stop trying to bury yourself in the issues you have with extremely minor exception in subchapter 112a of what we are talking about

geez man!

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

You are speaking, I don't think you are hearing... (4.00 / 2) (#512)
by esrever on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 02:20:03 AM EST

you over-intellectualize the points i am trying to make now you are attacking what i mean by "normal", and saying that i somehow am not taking einstein into account jesus h christ on a fucking pogo stick man, get your head out of your ivory tower ass
"And you shall know them by the fruit they bear"
we are talking simple observations about simple things your minor intellectually fluctuating observations on the perimeter of what we are talking about do not move the huge fucking rocks of truth i am dealing with
If they are simple they do not need you to expound upon them, do they? Or does your ego preclude you from believing that others will find the truth that is so self-evident to you? If that is the case, then how is it that you believe that this world will magically 'unravel the religious coils around it?" Do you see yourself as a new-age messiah, preaching the truth to the unwashed masses?
stop take a deep breath go right down the center of what i am saying stop trying to bury yourself in the issues you have with extremely minor exception in subchapter 112a of what we are talking about geez man!
The centre of what you are saying is that we can all magically come to the same agreements about what is and is not moral. Take a look around you at international politics, and then use that 'rational' brain of yours to tell me exactly how likely it is that the 'universal moral truth' you are preaching is actually universal... (or even the truth). Regards,

Audit NTFS permissions on Windows
[ Parent ]
Bingo (none / 0) (#551)
by synaesthesia on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 07:18:41 AM EST

You are speaking, I don't think you are hearing...

You must be new here!


Sausages or cheese?
[ Parent ]

LOL indeed I am ;-) nice to meet you :-) [nt] (none / 0) (#555)
by esrever on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 07:31:10 AM EST



Audit NTFS permissions on Windows
[ Parent ]
Welcome to circletimessquare (none / 0) (#572)
by synaesthesia on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 08:50:15 AM EST

Your description is spot on.

Some background
Some more background


Sausages or cheese?
[ Parent ]

lol my stalker crew ;-) (1.00 / 1) (#623)
by circletimessquare on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 02:34:37 PM EST

are you guys up on your initiation fees?

get yourself to pay pal posthaste!


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Aww shucks, now you're just flattering me ;-) [nt] (none / 0) (#666)
by esrever on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 06:05:48 PM EST



Audit NTFS permissions on Windows
[ Parent ]
Stop fantasising (none / 0) (#840)
by synaesthesia on Mon Sep 08, 2003 at 04:38:17 AM EST

And stop fantasising about having sex with 3-year old children, too.

Sausages or cheese?
[ Parent ]
there are people who have something to say (1.00 / 1) (#631)
by circletimessquare on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 03:01:34 PM EST

and then there are the empty sycophants who follow them around, because they have nothing essentially to say themselves

hello synaesthesia, you stalking slinking empty sycophant fuck

;-)

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

There are people who appreciate irony (none / 0) (#848)
by synaesthesia on Mon Sep 08, 2003 at 08:34:27 AM EST

and then there are people whose only ever claim is that other people have nothing to say.

Try not to be so narcissistic, you disgusting child-fiddling psychopath!


Sausages or cheese?
[ Parent ]

Indeed... (none / 0) (#663)
by esrever on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 05:49:45 PM EST

...I *absolutely* agree that there *are* certain things that *should* be fundamental to our understanding of human morality; largest amongst these would be the abhorrence of taking human life. However, this is *not the case*. There are millions of people living in countries where stoning a woman to death for being raped is a perfectly acceptable 'moral' response. There are even *more* millions who think that flying planes into office towers, strapping C4 to their chest and getting onto a bus, or shooting random people with a high-powered sniper scope are all OK, highly moral responses to their world.
So where does that leave us? After all who am *I* to say the the above *aren't* moral responses? After all, millions and millions of people agree together that these things are moral, so who's right?
The answer, as I see it, is that either morality is relativistic; in which case if I feel like killing you, then _that's_ _OK_, or there is some sort of _gold__standard_ that has utterly nothing to do with us as humans, that says whether something is OK (morally acceptable).
Regards,

Audit NTFS permissions on Windows
[ Parent ]
yes yes yes (1.00 / 1) (#630)
by circletimessquare on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 02:58:23 PM EST

The centre of what you are saying is that we can all magically come to the same agreements about what is and is not moral. Take a look around you at international politics, and then use that 'rational' brain of yours to tell me exactly how likely it is that the 'universal moral truth' you are preaching is actually universal... (or even the truth).

yes! we can come to some agreement!

you are NOT LISTENING TO ME

there are giant ROCKS of morality we can agree on

but human morality is FRACTAL

so all the exceptions and subexceptions differ according to cultural variation

here, liston to me carefully:

"thou shall not kill"

there is your simple, straightforward moralilty spanning all cultures and all times, easily understood by a vast majority of psychologically normal, nominally socialized human being of average intelligence by age 9

simple human empathy at work

now there is an exception this rule: you can kill, if someone is going to kill you

and there is an exception to that rule

and there is an exception to the exception

ad nauseum...

quid pro quo: human morality is FRACTAL

what you want is absolute agreement by all human beings and all cultures about a moral code before a conversation about morality can even take place, which is IMPOSSIBLE due to the fact that morality is INFINITELY FRACTAL

but none of that matters, because if you talk in morality in the BIG OBVIOUS ROCKS OF TRUTH THAT EVERYONE AGREES ON you are dealing with 99% of situations that require the appication of a moral code

and you come to me and tell me that you can't deal with me because we only agree on 99.9999% of things

you come to me and point ot chapter 112a subsection exception to rule subset 234 b and point to cultural differences on this point and say to me that it is therefore impossible to agree on morality so conversation is impossible

IT IS ALWAYS IMPOSSIBLE TO AGREE ON MORALITY BETWEEN ALL HUMAN BEINGS FOREVER 100%

duh!

i say to you again: forget the minor variations LOOK AT THE BIG ROCKS OF TRUTH

you are oh so clever and intellectual for discovering and elucidating the minor variations in morality across culture and people

but you have your head STUCK UP YOUR FUCKING ASS for not recognizing the obvious fact that the BIG CENTRAL OBVIOUS ROCKS OF MORALITY NEVER WAVER

so i say to you:

IT IS ALWAYS POSSIBLE TO AGREE ON MORALITY BETWEEN ALL HUMAN BEINGS FOREVER 99%

the rapidly fading minor variations and subsets of morality will NEVER be agreed on, but they matter only in a small way

be realist, not an idealist, about morality, you stupid fuck

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Why do your posts look so much like spam? (none / 0) (#717)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Sat Sep 06, 2003 at 10:10:30 AM EST

Seriously, if the BIG CENTAL OBVIOUS ROCKS OF MORALITY NEVER WAVER, could you please tell me what they are?

Thanks.
Ta bù shì dà yú

---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

am i in your sig? (5.00 / 1) (#744)
by circletimessquare on Sat Sep 06, 2003 at 07:15:37 PM EST

everywhere i look nowadays, i have see sycophants and stalkers

i see troll people

lol


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

You have to admit... (none / 0) (#767)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Sun Sep 07, 2003 at 12:41:01 AM EST

... it's pretty funny! I mean I've taken you completely out of context and obviously you don't like religion. I can remove it if you want, it's just it tickled my funnybone :P

But back to the point - what are those central rocks of morality?

Yours humbly,
Ta bù shì dà yú

---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

the big obvious stuff (5.00 / 1) (#782)
by circletimessquare on Sun Sep 07, 2003 at 04:04:29 AM EST

morality an 8 year old from any culture can appreciate:

don't kill, don't steal, respect your elders, don't hurt people's feelings, etc.

there are exceptions to those rules, and exceptions to those exceptions... etc... fractal morality... but those are vanishing details, the big rocks of morality covers most of human behavior, and is the jumping off point from which discussions about the smaller subsets of morality occur between cultures/ individuals

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Then why are they so obvious... (none / 0) (#793)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Sun Sep 07, 2003 at 07:49:00 AM EST

... if, like you say, there are exceptions to each of the big rules of morality? It doesn't seem so obvious if there are so many exceptions.

And besides, at least two of those examples you gave aren't really seen as the big obvious rules of morality by many people. If they were we'd have no trolls on K5 and discussion would be a lot easier.

Yours humbly,
Ta bù shì dà yú

---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

look at (none / 0) (#814)
by circletimessquare on Sun Sep 07, 2003 at 04:35:12 PM EST

a tree

you can't miss the trunk, or some of the big branches, but you can miss the twigs and stems and the smaller branches

that's what i am talking about

morality is fractal

thou shalt not kill

is appreciated by 99% of psychologically normal, nominally socialized 8 year olds from all cultures because of the simple human ability to empathise

that's the tree trunk

you say i am wrong because all the little twigs aren't the same from person to person- the morality people learn when they are age 15, 16, or not at all, or different twigs they learn...

i say you are wrong because you give equal weight to the twigs and the tree trunk, which is stupid

the tree trunk is morality you apply 99% of the time

for example, i want to fucking kill Ta bù shì dà yú because he can't seem to understand this simple concept

but i won't because i have some morality- this tree trunk of morality applies 99% of the time because we are always encountering people who disagree with us, cut us off on the freeway, don't understand what we are trying to say at work/ school, etc.: simple frustration is not an excuse to wring people's necks with your bare hands

but the exception to the rule, that i can kill you if you are going to try to kill me, is a rare morality, applied only 1% of the time, because most people apply the tree trunk of morality in the first place, so you rarely need the exception

do you get it dude?

you seem to insist on giving equal weight to the twigs and the tree trunk

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

This is all awfully confusing... (none / 0) (#841)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Mon Sep 08, 2003 at 04:54:47 AM EST

Tree branches, children, twigs, murder of yours truly, fractals, moral laws that are only applied some of the time yet which are big central rocks of morality...

My head hearts. I'm going to have a good lie down.

Oooh
Ta bù shì dà yú

---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

morality is a cube with one corner. (3.00 / 1) (#866)
by ninja rmg on Mon Sep 08, 2003 at 01:29:25 PM EST

you are educated stupid.

any dumbass can see that morality has a simultaneous 4-day.

most math is erroneous. fractals are erroneous. they ignore cubic knowledge.

you ignore cubic creation. you ignore the cubic debate.

morality is cubic. <u>you are just too damn evil to accept it.</u>



[ Parent ]

yes, yes, the timecube guy (2.50 / 3) (#871)
by circletimessquare on Mon Sep 08, 2003 at 01:56:34 PM EST

i trolled people by comparing them to him all the time

as of 6 months ago

it was funny... then

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

ouch. (3.00 / 1) (#873)
by ninja rmg on Mon Sep 08, 2003 at 02:05:57 PM EST

actually, there was some suspicion that you are, in fact, the time cube guy.

some wrote a diary about it.

anyway, take it easy there champ. don't go all turmeric on me. ;p

xoxoxoxoxo !! ;-P



[ Parent ]

really? what diary??? (nt) (3.00 / 1) (#875)
by circletimessquare on Mon Sep 08, 2003 at 02:25:02 PM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
i don't remember... (3.66 / 2) (#877)
by ninja rmg on Mon Sep 08, 2003 at 02:29:34 PM EST

oh wait.. yes.. Timo Laine wrote it... yes.. that's it.

yeah, it should be his last entry. go check it out.

in fact, i think he cites this infinitely fractal crap of yours.

good read.



[ Parent ]

thanks cute little troll dood! (3.66 / 2) (#879)
by circletimessquare on Mon Sep 08, 2003 at 03:10:04 PM EST

that fucking finn! lol ;-P


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
I've given you a 5 (4.25 / 4) (#159)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 07:20:34 AM EST

Mainly because you called circletimessquare a perl script.

Yours humbly,
Ta bù shì dà yú


---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

i'm not a perl script (4.50 / 4) (#204)
by circletimessquare on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 09:13:58 AM EST

i'm a vbscript

don't you think that's more insulting?

lol ;-P


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Hehe! :-) (4.33 / 3) (#218)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 09:47:11 AM EST

I'm giving you a 5 for the egg trollesque comment. After all, it's not an insult because they write operating systems in this, don't they?

Yours humbly,
Ta bù shì dà yú


---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

Sigils (5.00 / 1) (#356)
by rafael on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 04:18:19 PM EST

Yeah, I knew this : at least perl scripts have some punctuation.

[ Parent ]
one day mankind will escape the prison of religion (5.00 / 1) (#347)
by Prophet themusicgod1 on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 03:58:39 PM EST

but let me ask you...what is more potent...aristotle's law of non-contradiction, or descartes' evil daemon? and what do these things have in common?

like the linear algebra which im studying (again :/), these and many more ideas are merely simplifications, metephors, and symboltry to help us, the experiencing subject, comprehend and deal with reality, whatever that may be. a god to hold us tightly in the night may provide the same comfort as integral calculus against the dark cold unknown, because, lets face it, the world has an end (i've been there), and its scary out there. aren't you afraid? well, you should be. unless you don't feel anything at all, or only feel pleasure or something, because things can get really, really bad, really, really fast. for your sake i hope you never understand this fact.
one day, mankind will move beyond religion. we have the tools : cogito-ergo-sum is the first step of many. welcome, to the real world.
"I suspect the best way to deal with procrastination is to put off the procrastination itself until later. I've been meaning to try this, but haven't gotten around to it yet."swr
[ Parent ]
there is nothing to fear (1.00 / 1) (#373)
by circletimessquare on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 05:11:53 PM EST

except fear itself

we are in the teenage years of mankind and civilization

i have every confidence that mankind will shuffle off the coil of it's formative but constricting religions as it moves into adulthood


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

i'm not sure (none / 0) (#560)
by Prophet themusicgod1 on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 08:02:05 AM EST

if being alive is something desirable then there are things which should be feared, like local SWATs, NBC trigger-happy nations, the thugs & hells angels next door. and this doesn't even begin to talk about the evil daemon, which by the way, you didn't awnser the question; which is it - non-contradiction, or the daemon?
"I suspect the best way to deal with procrastination is to put off the procrastination itself until later. I've been meaning to try this, but haven't gotten around to it yet."swr
[ Parent ]
if i were hunter s thompson (3.00 / 2) (#620)
by circletimessquare on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 02:28:10 PM EST

i would fear these things too ;-)

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
ESCAPE the tyranny of the period (5.00 / 1) (#425)
by randyk on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 08:07:39 PM EST

With all apologies to Mrs FlightTest.

[ Parent ]

True Religion (4.33 / 3) (#432)
by Telcontar on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 09:07:00 PM EST

James 1:26 says: If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he decieves himself and his religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." This is all God wants from us as a religion. Other than this I don't believe that God wants us to be religious, but rather to be spiritual. Jesus came and opposed the Jewish church because it was too religious and not spiritual.
'Hige sceal e heardra, heorte e cenre, mode sceal e mare, e ure maegen lytla' Translates to: 'Will shall be the sterner, heart the bolder, spirit the greater as our strenght lessens.'
[ Parent ]
thank you thank you thank you (1.00 / 2) (#621)
by circletimessquare on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 02:31:49 PM EST

personal spirituality is nor should ever go away

i admire someone with a strong personal spirituality and detest a dogmatic atheist who is as muscular in his spirit killing as organized religion (organized religion DOES kill personal spirituality btw, as sure as drug use, etc.)

death to organized religion and its narcotic effects on the soul

churches, mosques, temples: whorehouses to the spirit, leaving you feeling temporarily and shallowly relieved, a poor replacement for true personal spiritual love of the world

long live spirituality

DEATH TO ALL ORGANIZED RELIGIONS!


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

So true... (3.50 / 2) (#495)
by toastedDonkey on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 01:14:44 AM EST

I was going to post on this story, but it seems circletimessquare has said everything that needs to be said for me.

Although I must say that such fundamentalist doomsaying as this article is an example of may not be as dangerous as it is hilarious, although its irrationality is beyond doubt.

Once again - thank you circletimessquare, voice of reason!

[ Parent ]

no end (3.71 / 7) (#102)
by adiffer on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 02:51:42 AM EST

Endings for stories tend to neatly wrap up loose ends.  For the reader they are needed or strongly desired as without them, it is difficult to determine the lesson being taught.  Most of our forms of communication come with structures for starting, pausing, and ending.  

The existance of humanity is not a story, so I do not expect an ending.

That doesn't mean we won't end some day, though I am a very strong doubter of that too.  We are learning so much, so fast that I consider it unlikely we will make any move that produces an end.  Some other force bringing about an end to us is a different matter, but we are getting a grip on some of those possibilities too.
--BE The Alien!

endings... (5.00 / 1) (#108)
by kpaul on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 02:57:33 AM EST

not an ending of everything per se, but an ending of what we are experiencing now, of how we are experiencing it, still under the curse - harsh planet, death, etc.

it's weird, but in my 'party years' there was always this feeling of completion nearing, or resolving things, getting answers, moving on, advancing to another level/stage, etc.

it's still with me today, i guess, and is hard to describe/explain in words...


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

explanations (5.00 / 3) (#113)
by adiffer on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 03:32:54 AM EST

I'm not sure you need to explain.  I think quite a few of us probably know what you mean.  We may explain WHY we feel/felt that way a little different though.

I think it is very natural for human beings to 'story-ize' our lives.  We have to do so to some degree in order to extract useful lessons we need later in life.  I have one special one I created to explain how I wasted three years of my life during my successful effort to get through grad school.  The truth of the experience and the lesson I designed into the story both have a common root, but the two things are quite different in nature and use.

Our expectation of a story into which we fit gives some of us our purpose in life.  Somewhere in the story is a role to fill, rules to live by, and explanations that tie up the loose ends we don't otherwise understand.

Some people will say what I've said above in a patronizing manner.  I have learned not to do so as I still create stories from my experiences and about the future I would like to shape from today.  Our ability to imagine these stories help us immensely to learn from disconnected bits of experience.  Whether we choose to believe these stories to be more real than the experiences no longer matters to me as a belief one way or the other changes nothing in our real world.  Whether you listen to the stories of others, fashion your own, or create amalgamations, you are doing something useful at least to you and that is good.

(I voted for your article because I hope others will think about the whole process beyond the details of the beliefs you described.  Good discussion might do that for some.)
--BE The Alien!
[ Parent ]

you should read (4.25 / 4) (#120)
by theleoncorp on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 04:24:12 AM EST

The Ingenuity Gap by Canadian political scientist, Thomas Homer-Dixon. It's a rather compelling read on how little we know about the systems we live in (environment) and the ones we've created (social, political, economical) and how little control we have over these systems.

His argument is that we don't have enough synapses in our brains to calculate our way out of the escalating complexity we've created. So bang, goes your theory, unless you can back yours up with at least equal the amount of research that he's done.

Besides, all things come to an end. That is the nature of all things in this universe. And the universe replicates itself in all its components. In the same way that bugs, trees, animals and galaxies die, so human existence will terminate. So the universe will terminate. It's the way of all things.
--
Copyright (C) The Leon Corporation 1975-2003
A consortium of organs, liquid and electrical pulses that cares for you
[ Parent ]

Question (4.00 / 1) (#140)
by Gully Foyle on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 06:10:47 AM EST

Does he give a reason why we can't add more synapses? Mo(o)re processing power would help.

If you weren't picked on in school you were doing something wrong - kableh
[ Parent ]

he doesn't (5.00 / 1) (#173)
by theleoncorp on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 08:30:12 AM EST

More processing power will certainly help us out of our quandries. Unfortunately, the author doesn't provide any useful unformation on the subject.
--
Copyright (C) The Leon Corporation 1975-2003
A consortium of organs, liquid and electrical pulses that cares for you
[ Parent ]
huh? (none / 0) (#400)
by adiffer on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 06:28:02 PM EST

I don't see how that makes my theory go bang.

I am inclined to agree that we do not have the capacity to understand the most complex systems we have created or find ourselves participating within.  That only helps to make my point, though.  In an effort to deal with the complexities of our lives and due to our need to extract useful information from experiences, we tend to fashion 'stories' that simplify and organize.  It is our stories that must have structure, though.  Beginnings, pauses, and endings are part of the simplification and need not be reflected in the reality around us.

One thing I think many people who worry most about our course into the future miss is that we ARE the system.  Whether we understand ourselves completely or not isn't required.  Even the partial understanding we've developed over the last ten millenia has produced an improvement in the lives of those living in each succeeding generation.  We know have more minds devoted to the creation of models of the many systems we perceive than ever before and the number of people is growing.  Why anyone would assume we can't think our way out of long term dangers is beyond me.  We've managed to beat many of the demons of our past and will continue to do so in the future.  We may get thrashed doing it, but I expect us to succeed.
--BE The Alien!
[ Parent ]

+1FP, JESUS LOVES THE LIL CHILREN /NT (1.75 / 8) (#110)
by RandomLiegh on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 03:02:38 AM EST



---
Thought of the week: There is no thought this week.
---
All the children of the world... sing along! (nt) (5.00 / 1) (#253)
by gilrain on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 11:24:39 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Don't you mean priests? [nt] (5.00 / 1) (#296)
by hmspgh on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 01:23:47 PM EST


---
"Aldous Huxley's 1983 has arrived." - Arthur Spada, CT Public Safety Commis.
[ Parent ]
Great Fiction! (3.22 / 9) (#115)
by megid on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 03:47:43 AM EST

I must surely admit that I adore the elaborateness of religious fiction -- after all, people have been smithing at this for thousands of years. Beautiful. +1 FP.

Unfortunately, religions "end games" reach too short -- while the message "watch out what you are doing" is certainly useful, the events described therein are so random (and vary so wildly, according to the premier salvation theories of this planet) that extracting useful information is difficult, to say the least; having ancient sources that have no credibility whatsoever certainly doesnt help, either.

Humanity is in its infancy, long before the end. If I was god I wouldnt interrupt this game for a good while; we sure must have some entertaining value for her.

And who the fuck is this Jesus guy anyway?

--
"think first, write second, speak third."

Actually. (3.00 / 4) (#119)
by Mr Hogan on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 04:22:20 AM EST

More than one religion talks about the end of time which is just that: literally the end of time when form reverts back to nothingness from whence it came. This is a theory in physics probably and also the reason why philosophy - which is just various ways to ask "why is there something rather than nothing" - why philosophy is gibberish just doesn't work: because everything is ONE which is to say NOTHING - that is: sentences which are supposed to refer to something refer in fact to nothing. Think about it - if it weren't true trolling would loose its source and force - a phenome without non is fundamentally impossible to conjure. Aha! So I guess the important question here is: who the fuck are you?

--
Life is food and rape, then tilt.
[ Parent ]

I am not circletimesquare. (3.00 / 1) (#534)
by megid on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 05:02:26 AM EST

... and that should suffice.

--
"think first, write second, speak third."
[ Parent ]
+1, Fiction [n/t] (2.33 / 6) (#117)
by GavalinB on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 03:49:09 AM EST


---
The Future is Prologue: Join Our Sagas Today!
+1 Section (4.64 / 14) (#121)
by daragh on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 04:24:59 AM EST

I'm not at all religious, though I was raised a Catholic. I've forgotten all about that now. These days I'm much more of a rationalist, being trained physicist and working as a computer scientist. But I still have an appreciation for the things we can't explain, and feel that there are a few things that we might never understand.

The reasons I voted +1 were because this was a clearly written article which at least contained some form of criticism of its own subject matter (it's nice to see the questioning of beliefs), and because I think if you are dismissing religion on the grounds of it being "fiction" or because you are a so-called rationalist, you shouldn't be. I learned something from this (i.e. what Eschatology means, and the reasons for the self-righteous behaviour of some US Christians). If you are a real rationalist, you will educate yourself about what you are dismissing (by perhaps reading articles such as this) and use your logical arguments to refute it. If you don't do this, you are as bad as the creationists/other religious types who dismiss the truths of science without actually understanding them.

I also think that people are entitled to beliefs that you don't agree with as long as they don't do you or anyone else any harm. Ok, I know that religion has been used as an excuse to commit many harmful acts, but so have a lot of other things (look at the things big business get away with today, and indeed the fact that scientists are indirectly responsible for a lot of the damage being done to the environment)

And the "fiction" joke wasn't funny the first time!

No work.

The poll is unfair (4.41 / 12) (#124)
by gadfium on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 04:40:51 AM EST

I'm not at all religious, but the only non-religious  option is very negative, so I voted "other". Perhaps you can't accept that athiesm celebrates life?

+1 SP for the article, though.


Hardly negative, (3.00 / 1) (#392)
by Anonymous 7324 on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 05:58:04 PM EST

just cynical. (Or is that realistic?)

I'm an atheist, and I'm quite sure that sooner or later, a sufficient number of idiots will be concentrated into a sufficiently small space that nukes, or more advanced weapons with greater destructive capabilities will be employed, thereby killing off a healthy proportion of humanity.

Meh.

[ Parent ]

Interesting, although apparently flawed article. (3.66 / 6) (#130)
by jonathan_ingram on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 05:03:59 AM EST

Thanks -- despite the flaws which have been noted below, I found this article very interesting. I know quite a few Christians of several different denominations (mainly Quaker and Anglican, given then I live in the Midlands of England), and no-one I've ever talked to have evinced any great knowledge of, or interest in, the textual intricacies of the end of the world.

As far as I can tell, the major difference between Christianity in the UK and Christianity in the US is that the UK sects don't feel the need to tell everyone else in great detail exactly *how* they're going to die :). This is, perhaps, one of the advantages of having a 'default' religion -- given that everyone born in this country is automatically an Anglican (unless they decide to do something about it), there's no great need to convert.

[Let's leave Northern Ireland out of this for the moment, as that's one of the two places on earth so over-polluted with religion that it would be easier to nuke them and get on with our lives.]
-- Jon

It's statements like that... (2.66 / 3) (#285)
by Stick on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 12:40:26 PM EST

That will get you a beating if you ever decide to come here.


---
Stick, thine posts bring light to mine eyes, tingles to my loins. Yea, each moment I sit, my monitor before me, waiting, yearning, needing your prose to make the moment complete. - Joh3n
[ Parent ]
Where is 'here'? (5.00 / 1) (#374)
by jonathan_ingram on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 05:13:15 PM EST

I'm here right now, and I don't see you. Really, if you're going to insult or threaten me, you should at least be a little clearer.
-- Jon
[ Parent ]
Well, that's because (5.00 / 1) (#451)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 10:28:30 PM EST

you guys are too busy eating bad food, ruining your teeth and stomping pakis.

What, you're not all like that? Well, we aren't much like our press, either. The press harps about the fundies because they're more amusing the majority of Christians who just go around helping the poor and wondering why people are so obsessed with Madonna.


--
Monkey in the middle of a metal detector... Do you have yesterday's time?


[ Parent ]
I'd say it's more because (5.00 / 1) (#688)
by leviramsey on Sat Sep 06, 2003 at 01:08:58 AM EST

the fundies and the rationalists who tend to dominate the media have one thing in common: a belief that there are simple answers.



[ Parent ]
Northern Ireland (4.00 / 1) (#687)
by leviramsey on Sat Sep 06, 2003 at 01:07:50 AM EST

Safest place in the world to be Jewish or Muslim because the Christians are too busy blowing each other up to be against other religions!



[ Parent ]
-1: Religious [n/t] (1.83 / 12) (#136)
by Xiol on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 05:45:50 AM EST


-- The Quote Machine
Nice article but misses one big point (4.50 / 8) (#137)
by S0rahl on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 05:49:12 AM EST

being that this is a definitely orthodox article. You make a pretty nice point of the fact that not everyone believes that same. Wonderful, thank you for that. However, there are scores of Christians who don't believe in a physical End Time at all. You forget about them and don't pose any of their arguments. One of the finer points is that the End Time in Hebrew is very very complicated and extremely hard to translate. 'On the last day' may very well mean 'in a very long time' or something the like. The Greek translations are pretty vague also. Still, wonderful ground for constructive and respectful discussion. +1 FP for you. Maarten

What's with the term 'orthodox'? (none / 0) (#638)
by baron samedi on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 03:32:09 PM EST

Why do these so-called 'orthodox' Christians refer to themselves that way? I know the derivation of the word, and it seems odd that people would choose to use that word, considering that there are other sects of Christianity that formally use that word, it has a definite meaning in the context of the greater Christian community, e.g. Russian Orthodox, etc.

Does it mean to imply that it is Christianity as it was practiced in the time that the Gospels were written? I don't really know what it's supposed to mean.

I do seem to notice that a lot of this 'orthodox' belief involves things like The Rapture, which really can't be supported by scripture, as well as other things. These developments are very new to Christianity, probably not even 100 years old. How can that possibly be construed as 'orthodox' in any way?

I'm curious here...
"Hands that help are better by far than lips that pray."- Robert G. Ingersoll
[ Parent ]

-1, redundant. (3.66 / 6) (#142)
by RobotSlave on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 06:23:01 AM EST

We've already read Left Behind, thanks.

Fortunately... (1.00 / 3) (#164)
by gzt on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 07:51:19 AM EST

...I haven't. I also didn't read this article. You should've known better on both accounts, you're getting slow in your old age.

[ Parent ]
Please... (5.00 / 1) (#372)
by RobotSlave on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 05:08:10 PM EST

...who's getting slow? You didn't really think I've read either, did you?

[ Parent ]
to be honest... (5.00 / 1) (#387)
by gzt on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 05:48:58 PM EST

...I thought you might have read one of the books purely to indulge your scholarly interest in contemporary dispensationalist literature, but it's obvious you only glanced at the article.

[ Parent ]
Great article, but I disagree with something (4.28 / 7) (#143)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 06:23:47 AM EST

Ain't it always the way? You write up an article that deals with a religion and people disagree with you :P

But seriously, you wrote: "good are rewarded, bad are punished" I think that there is a bit of a misunderstanding here. The whole point behind why Jesus died on the cross was because everyone is technically bad as all people have disobeyed God. It doesn't matter how "moral" they are, or how "good" they are, all have sinned and all people fall short of God's standard. This really shouldn't be surprising to a Christian though, because if you think about it God's standard is far higher than any human standard! It's only through the death of Jesus on the cross as a substitue that we are justified and the slate is wiped clean, so to speak.

My point? well, if you follow Romans you will see that it puts to rest the whole issue of being good enough for God. It states clearly that it's actually through faith in Jesus Christ that you are saved, not through any human means or standards.

Romans 3:22-24

This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference,  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,  and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

I've yet got to read through this again so I can have another look at it. I wish I'd been able to comment on this in the editing stage though!

Yours humbly,
Ta bù shì dà yú

---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה

Ack! This can't be right, surely? (4.57 / 7) (#146)
by kaemaril on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 06:36:00 AM EST

My point? well, if you follow Romans you will see that it puts to rest the whole issue of being good enough for God. It states clearly that it's actually through faith in Jesus Christ that you are saved, not through any human means or standards.

This ticks me off, assuming that there's no subtle nuance that's been missed (and since this appears to be what Jack Chick believes, I assume it's not completely accurate...)

So, what, basically if you're an evil, evil man all throughout your life but then "find Jesus" in the last years before you meet your maker you'll get to heaven...

Whereas if you're a good man for all your life, caring for your fellow man, living a basically blameless life, but you happen to be an atheist, hindu, jew, moslem, taoist, et cetera ... well, you're basically screwed?

If that were the case, well... I'd not want to believe in a God who could be that screwy.


Why, yes, I am being sarcastic. Why do you ask?


[ Parent ]
I didn't say you'd like it. (5.00 / 2) (#154)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 06:58:10 AM EST

But yes, that's basically the gist of it. Though I obviously wouldn't have put it quite like that...

Really though, I see things somewhat differently to you. I see that the problem isn't with God, it's with mankind! It's mankind who decided to rebel against God and go their own way. If you take the Christian view (which I don't think you do, but hear me out) Man rejected God and by all rights he should be punished.

To be 100% honest with you (and I'm sure to be flamed for this), I'm glad that God deals with sin through the death of his Son. When people say what you said I wonder why their hearts are so hard. It's a hard thing to say that someone should never be forgiven!

And the last point I want to make. Who's lived a blameless life? You? Me? Your best friend? I mean who here has ever lived their life so perfectly that they've never caused another person pain or never done a bad thing? I think the answer to this question is pretty simple. Noone.

Anyway, you may not agree. I kind of hope you at least listen to my argument - I'm only telling you what I believe and it probably sounds offensive. The Bible often seems like that and there's nothing I can do. For me, also, this is a hard truth but I do believe it and I tell others in the hope they'll listen.

Yours humbly,
Ta bù shì dà yú

---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

Faith and works (5.00 / 2) (#161)
by zakalwe on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 07:31:29 AM EST

Man rejected God and by all rights he should be punished.
This is a form of morality that we consider completely invalid when humans are applying it. eg. "Jews killed our saviour and must be punished". "Man" is a very abstract concept - how can a race reject God? Surely it would have to be "a man" to be capable of such a thing, and who is to say that Adam spoke for me?
When people say what you said I wonder why their hearts are so hard. It's a hard thing to say that someone should never be forgiven!
I think that the more objectionable thing to most is not that Stalin would be saved with a deathbed conversion, but that he would while at the same time someone who did good throughout his life, but did not believe, would not.

Faith seems an arbitrary way to judge people - most would consider the person who did good works a better person, and more worthy of salvation than the converting monster. The issue is not whether we have lived a blameless life, it is that doing so is irrelevant to the criteria God is judging us by.

[ Parent ]

Well... (4.66 / 3) (#166)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 08:02:03 AM EST

I would actually agree with some of your points. More specifically I would agree that man should not be the final judge of man when it came to eternity. How can he? Man is not perfect!

To me, when you say that most would consider the person who did good works a better person, and more worthy of salvation than the converted monster, this is putting things in very human terms. You're judging someone's eternal destiny (if you want to put it this way) by the way they've acted. I really don't think this is the way that God acts.

Incidently, just to make one thing perfectly clear (and I realise that you were just making an example) I think that those who kill Jews "because they killed Christ" are despicable. In fact, I would say that those who murder are clearly in the wrong. I'd also say they'd missed the point. Christ had to die to fulfill the law and justify mankind. That was the whole point of his existence! Anyway, I digress...

It's interesting you bring up faith. Faith is what allows me to leave eternal judgement to God. This is part of my faith in that I trust that God is a God who is just and merciful. I can't always fathom why he does things but then again this is why it's called faith!

To address your last point:

Faith seems an arbitrary way to judge people - most would consider the person who did good works a better person, and more worthy of salvation than the converting monster. The issue is not whether we have lived a blameless life, it is that doing so is irrelevant to the criteria God is judging us by.

Why so arbitrary? It comes down to one simple thing (for me anyway): God's law is perfect. People are unable to keep it. God's standard is too high! Unless God dealt with this issue then we'll not be able to get into a proper relationship with Him.

And so I agree with you. It does come down to this problem: have you lived a blameless life? I know I haven't. It'd be a pretty horrible thought that one day I'll be judged based on what I'd done. I'm sure if the Hindus and Buddhists were right and it was all a balancing act with Karma then I'd be in a right royal fix. This is honestly one of the main reasons I'm not a Buddhist.

Sorry to be so long winded about this point, but I really want to make myself clear. It's not works or being a good peson that counts, it's grace that counts! If you want a good example, just look at the apostle Paul. When I read Acts, I'd hardly say he lived a good life. He went around slaughtering Christians! Yet he wasn't saved by his works in the end, something he wrote very clearly about. He was saved by God's grace.

Obligatory disclaimer:

Now you may not agree with me on this, that's fine. This stuff can get pretty intense and heated! I hope you understand that I'm not trying to foist this on you. I really have to say this because certain people have accused me of doing exactly this. Personally, I'd rather just have a discussion about the whole thing and let you make up your own mind.

Yours humbly,
Ta bù shì dà yú

---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

I can only judge by own standards (4.50 / 2) (#172)
by zakalwe on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 08:25:17 AM EST

More specifically I would agree that man should not be the final judge of man when it came to eternity. How can he? Man is not perfect!
Yes, but neither is God, at least as judged by my perception of justice, which finds this criteria unjust. The only concepts of goodness, justice and perfection I understand are in human terms, after all, I'm a human.

I could state that God is perfect, by some standard of perfection that we mere mortals don't understand - but if you do this you may as well be saying "God is gnarblath" - the concept we are naming perfection bears no relation to the everyday meaning of the term we understand for humans. It makes more sense to consider God to be insane, by our standards.

Faith is what allows me to leave eternal judgement to God. This is part of my faith in that I trust that God is a God who is just and merciful.
But God is clearly not just and merciful by my mortal conception of just and merciful. Whether or not he is by whatever terms apply to a God is rather irrelevant to me, since I don't understand (am not even capable of understanding) what those terms even mean.

The alternative is that God is Just and Merciful even by human standards, but has extra information that we are not privy to. Even here, I think it is harsh (human standard again of course) to judge people who failed to meet his standards due to ignorance of something that would have convinced them.

[ Parent ]

You make excellent points (5.00 / 1) (#188)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 08:50:14 AM EST

And really, I think that there could be two answers to this, as you say:
  1. God's mercy and justice is not based on human standards. I'd actually agree with this statement.
  2. God is just and merciful even by human standards, but has extra information that we aren't privy to. I'd agree with this statement also!
Huh? Aren't they contradictory? I don't think so. I think that God's standards are just that - God's standards. They're pretty high! But I think that if humans look at God's justice in the light that everyone has deliberately decided to cut themselves off from a relationship with God, then really human standards would dictate that God is really being just. Let me put it this way (remembering that this is just an analogy): your father, who loves you, gives you the finest education he can, the finest car he can buy and pays for your rent. Yet you decide to reject this, consistently. What is he to do? Well, if he loves you then he'll respect this decision. He'll let you go your own way.

I see God doing the same thing with mankind. I see the biggest difference is that God actually loved mankind so much that he sent his Son do die for us to rebuild the relationship. He's the loving father that never gave up on His people. To me, this is pretty incredible.

And of course, you say that in the second point that God has information that we aren't privy to. Well, that would be the case but it only really sort of deals with the fact that we can't know everything about God and his purposes.

Anyway, that's my take on this.

Yours humbly,
Ta bù shì dà yú


---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

But... (4.66 / 3) (#252)
by Ken Arromdee on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 11:22:31 AM EST

while you admit that your analogy is just an analogy, I think it's important to point out some of its failures:

First, one objection was that God is treating humanity collectively. Adam might have rejected God; "Man" didn't. This is more like your father offering to pay for the college education of you and your brother, your brother refuses, and Dad is no longer willing to pay for yours either because "my children" refused.

And then the important one: "Rejection" bears little resemblance to what we would consider rejection in the real world. Imagine that 10 people claimed to be your father. Only one really is, but they all sound alike to you. You pick the wrong one (having no way to tell) and the right one says you "rejected" him. That's not rejection in any meaningful sense, but it counts as rejection when dealing with God.

It also leaves no room for partial rejection. If Dad said he wanted to buy me a membership in the Republican Party and a college education, and I said "sorry, I vote Democrat", claiming that I voluntarily gave up the college education is disingenuous. I rejected part of the offer, not the whole thing. He can claim that the parts of the offer are connected, but it's his decision to connect them, not mine, and it cannot honestly be said that it was me rather than him that refused the college education in this scenario.

[ Parent ]

Ah yes... (3.00 / 1) (#502)
by esrever on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 01:44:58 AM EST

while you admit that your analogy is just an analogy, I think it's important to point out some of its failures: First, one objection was that God is treating humanity collectively. Adam might have rejected God; "Man" didn't. This is more like your father offering to pay for the college education of you and your brother, your brother refuses, and Dad is no longer willing to pay for yours either because "my children" refused.
On the contrary, every individual specifically *does* reject God when they reject Jesus Christ.
And then the important one: "Rejection" bears little resemblance to what we would consider rejection in the real world. Imagine that 10 people claimed to be your father. Only one really is, but they all sound alike to you. You pick the wrong one (having no way to tell) and the right one says you "rejected" him. That's not rejection in any meaningful sense, but it counts as rejection when dealing with God.
Ah yes, but you *do* have a method; God's Holy Spirit; a gift that he gives to all who believe (although sometimes it pays to ask ;-). Jesus talks about us *asking* for things from God repeatedly (the Bread/Stone parable, the famous 'Knock and the door will open' quote, etc), so all one really has to do is acknowledge that Jesus is Lord and *ask* for the Holy Spirit, and you _will_ know.
It also leaves no room for partial rejection. If Dad said he wanted to buy me a membership in the Republican Party and a college education, and I said "sorry, I vote Democrat", claiming that I voluntarily gave up the college education is disingenuous. I rejected part of the offer, not the whole thing. He can claim that the parts of the offer are connected, but it's his decision to connect them, not mine, and it cannot honestly be said that it was me rather than him that refused the college education in this scenario.
This is unfortunately a straw-man. You only have one thing to accept with God: Jesus. Peace.

Audit NTFS permissions on Windows
[ Parent ]
Back to square one. (3.00 / 1) (#543)
by kaemaril on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 06:25:28 AM EST

You only have one thing to accept with God: Jesus.

And so, once again, we're back to "Accept Jesus and you're fine, don't accept him and get ready to book your one way ticket to the lake of fire"

So, just to check: Everybody born AFTER Jesus died and who did not accept Jesus is screwed. Cripes. Well, I feel sorry for the Native Americans, the Incans, the Aztecs, the Chinese, the Japanese, the Innuit, the Indians, the Africans, the Aborigines etc, who until missionaries turned up didn't have the faintest idea who Jesus was. Just think, entire CIVILISATIONS condemned because they had no idea that somebody had died for them hundreds of years back and on the other side of the world.

Is that how you believe God operates? Because if it truly is the way it works, then God is a capricious being who doesn't deserve the name. So, please, somebody, tell me what I've (or hopefully, you've) missed.

Oh, wait, are we talking about specifically rejecting Jesus, that irrespective of the fact that they've not "accepted Jesus" - because they've never heard of him - they'll make their way to heaven (thus making a mockery of "you have only to accept Jesus")? Well, again, why should a person belonging to a culture that for thousands of years have followed their own beliefs be punished for not accepting - on the word of some zealous Victorian missionary with a face hairier than a yak's- that in fact their own beliefs are rubbish and that only the missionary's beliefs are correct? Why would GOD punish somebody for that? Again, the whole "Accepting Jesus is the only way to go" just does not make sense.

Incidentally, I'm sure you must realise that this argument does basically condemn every other person of every other religion regardless of their character. Four to five billion people straight to hell, irrespective of the quality of their character or their deeds? Again, if this is true: no God worthy of the name should operate that way.


Why, yes, I am being sarcastic. Why do you ask?


[ Parent ]
I love being quoted and used as a straw-man... (3.00 / 1) (#548)
by esrever on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 07:02:39 AM EST

Just to recap:
So, just to check: Everybody born AFTER Jesus died and who did not accept Jesus is screwed. Cripes. Well, I feel sorry for the Native Americans, the Incans, the Aztecs, the Chinese, the Japanese, the Innuit, the Indians, the Africans, the Aborigines etc, who until missionaries turned up didn't have the faintest idea who Jesus was. Just think, entire CIVILISATIONS condemned because they had no idea that somebody had died for them hundreds of years back and on the other side of the world.
The rest of your post continues in much the same vein. Now, I do not believe that *I* mentioned Native Americans, the Aztecs, or any other ancient or not-so-ancient race. I'm quite happy to admit that *I don't know* how God will deal with them. I certainly don't envy him the task. The issue isn't one of who's been good and who's been bad, but rather one of "Who does God know, and who does he 'not know'" (ie, who does he have a living relationship with and who does he not.) I can't pretend to discern how God will relate to those who have never had a chance to know him; I get the feeling that he would be merciful, but hey, I could be wrong.
What's more central to this discussion, however, is how he will relate to *you*, kaemaril. After all, you *have* had a world of opportunities to attempt to get to know God. Have you tried? If not, then your attempt at ameliorating the rest of the world is meaningless, as you yourself haven't taken the steps that you accuse them of not knowing about. So, just for the sake of completeness, I will repeat myself here; there is one simple way to find out if God is real or not:
Ask God for forgivenss. Thank Jesus for doing his good work and giving you the opportunity to get to know God, and then ask Jesus for the gift of the Holy Spirit. If you *actually* do this with an honest spirit, I believe that you will discover a whole world you never even guessed existed. If you don't then you are in exactly the position that God weeps for; you have the chance, but you refuse to use it.
Peace,

Audit NTFS permissions on Windows
[ Parent ]
Yikes (3.00 / 1) (#558)
by kaemaril on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 07:49:28 AM EST

Oh, I'm sorry. I thought we were having a relatively interesting conversation, I didn't realize I was speaking to an evangelist.

I didn't say that you DID mention Native Americans, Aztecs, etc. What you DID mention was "You only have one thing to accept with God: Jesus". I'm just pointing out, for all those who believe that "You only have to accept Jesus", the logical fallacy. Those who DON'T accept Jesus are screwed. Those who DON'T KNOW ABOUT Jesus are screwed. You can be the nicest, kindest, most considerate, gentlest person on the planet and if you don't "Accept Jesus into your heart", or however you'd like to put it, you're basically up shit creek. The majority of the planet (who are NOT Christian) are doomed.

Well, I'm sorry, but if that is the truth and not a horrible misinterpretation propogated by people like Jack Chick (and saner people, admittedly) than I want NO PART of it. We're given to believe that God is kind, that God is just, that God is loving and that God is forgiving. And if he's not willing to accept the jews, the Hindus, the moslems, etc into the Kingdom of Heaven just because they followed the wrong set of religious tenets (most of which are remarkably similar in spirit if not wording, that we shouldn't kill, that we shouldn't lie, that (in the immortal words of Bill & Ted) we should "Be Excellent To One Another" :) ) then he's no god deserving of honour and worship.

As for "Asking God for forgivenss (sic). Thank Jesus for doing his good work" etc... I'm sorry, have I been preaching AT YOU recently? Debate is all well and good, but preaching is right out, OK? You are in danger of being considered a (devout) troll, OK?

For what it's worth, I see no need to "ask for forgiveness". If God has a problem with me he can take it up with me when I meet him. I'll be presenting my own list of grievances, too. Number 1 being "Hey, Lord, what did the dodo ever do to piss you off?" :)


Why, yes, I am being sarcastic. Why do you ask?


[ Parent ]
Correct answer (3.00 / 1) (#562)
by esrever on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 08:08:56 AM EST

For what it's worth, I see no need to "ask for forgiveness".
Exactly. Thank you for making my point. The real issue isn't all the fluffy hypothetical people you talk about out there who may or may not ever get the chance to hear about a God that may or may not exist; I said:
On the contrary, every individual specifically *does* reject God when they reject Jesus Christ.
So therefore the real issue is one of *individual* *unique* human beings, who, (through a careful reading of the bible) you would realise are *exactly* what God is interested in. The issue isn't one of 'well there are some hypothetical people somewhere who may never get to hear about God, so therefore the whole thing is invalid' --as you suggest-- but rather that there are *specific* *individual* people, who, given the chance, refuse to even *attempt* something that would take about 2 seconds to try and certainly can't kill you. Ergo, *you* have just rejected God, and the bible describes that as sin (ie, the rejection of a relationship with God. How can he get to know you if you won't let him? It seems to me that a -rational- take on this is that God is actually *respecting* your free will; your 'right' --if your will-- to ignore him). It's not about who's been "good" or "bad", it's about how *individuals* respond to God.
Hopefully I've made myself clear; I'm not attempting to preach at you (tho it may read otherwise), I'm attempting to illustrate the 'original sin' at work in a specific, relevant example; in this case, *you* ;-)
Peace.

Audit NTFS permissions on Windows
[ Parent ]
Nonsense (3.00 / 1) (#569)
by kaemaril on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 08:41:26 AM EST

I'm sorry, how does not seeing the need for "forgiveness" mean I'm rejecting God? What is it, precisely, that I need to ask forgiveness for? What great sin have I committed? Please, elucidate. Are you suggesting that the only relationship I can have with God is as a supplicant on bended knee begging him for forgiveness? That if I'm not asking for forgiveness it is not possible to have ANY other kind of relationship with my maker? Nonsense.

Your (and others) argument is that ONLY accepting Jesus will save you (or as others have succinctly put it, "Jesus Saves"), and when I point out a logical flaw in your argument you sit back smugly and claim "It's not about them, it's about you". You also label me a sinner, but claim you're not preaching. Truly, your arrogance is overwhelming.

How, precisely, does a Jew reject God by "rejecting" Jesus?

It seems to me that a -rational- take on this is that God is actually *respecting* your free will; your 'right' --if your will-- to ignore him)

Indeed? And as your reward for exercising your freewill by not accepting that Jesus is your personal saviour (which somehow apparently equates, in your mind, to "Doesn't believe in God"), but in all other respects living a good, decent, life you get to skip the Heaven part? Is that the action of a loving god? I'll answer that question for you: no.

So, if I chose to believe that this is not the case, I'll be doing that, OK? Perhaps I believe that a person's deeds and thoughts - as well as his beliefs - should make a difference, and that a good man who doesn't "accept Jesus" can still make his way to the Kingdom of Heaven.


Why, yes, I am being sarcastic. Why do you ask?


[ Parent ]
A new concept for you... (5.00 / 1) (#672)
by esrever on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 06:31:45 PM EST

Your comments put me in mind of a different approach; I have a concept that I would like to put to you (please suspend disbelief for a moment with me and see if the following is internally consistent):
What if when God created the world, he set in place certain iron rules that preclude him from doing whatever he wants, whenever he wants? Let us say, for example, that he wanted to have a real relationship with other sentient, intelligent, *living beings*. Relationships (as any marriage counsellor can tell you) are a two-way thing; therefore, God created us with the capability for reason, free will, and creativity (just like Him...). If he takes away any of the above, he destroys the relationship.
Additionally, if _we_ don't want a relationship, it can't happen; He can't get to know us unless *we* let him (this is tied, obviously to free will). Unfortunately, it turns out that we regularly do things that hurt God and impair the relationship, and indeed we do it *so consistently* that any sort of relationship for Him with us is completely impossible.
So, what to do? Does one cast aside the universe as a failed experiment and try again? Unlikely, because the whole reason it 'failed' is the same reason he created it in the first place (free will for a real relationship). Therefore, you instead take remedial steps; you put yourself inside the universe; you 'let your guard down'. All anyone has to do at that point is agree that you really are God, and they really do want to get to know you, and it is then possible. All the hurt and pain can be erased/ignored/put aside.

And that's what it's all about. The 'end of the world' is really nothing more than the time that God finally winds everything up. Everyone that he doesn't know; what can he do with them? He can't destroy them. He can't punish them. He can't really do anything with them. So what *is* Hell? Forget about the fire and brimstone, it's probably nothing more nor less than an eternity on the 'outside', a life forever without God.
*shrugs* All actions inevitably have consequences.

Anyhow, I've said enough for a lifetime, so I shall be silent from hereon in :-)

Cheers

Audit NTFS permissions on Windows
[ Parent ]
OK (3.00 / 1) (#743)
by kaemaril on Sat Sep 06, 2003 at 06:45:55 PM EST

I was going to reply to this, but since you've "gone silent" I shan't :)

(Although I should point out that you've not answered a vital question that everyone who spouts "Jesus Saves" needs to answer: what of the jewish faith? How does their failure to accept Jesus equate to rejecting God?

Ah, well. I too weary of all this.


Why, yes, I am being sarcastic. Why do you ask?


[ Parent ]
Perhaps... (none / 1) (#773)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Sun Sep 07, 2003 at 02:04:40 AM EST

... they aren't any different to others who reject Christ. It really comes down to your understanding of the law and how it really shows up sin, not justifies one from sin! The Jews are trying to get to God by obeying the law. Yet as the law doesn't justify they're still in trouble.

Bah! not explained very well and I could write a lot more on the issue. Maybe later.

Yours humbly,
Ta bù shì dà yú


---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

huh? (5.00 / 3) (#178)
by livus on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 08:34:27 AM EST

This has all made sense to me so far except the bit about why you're not a Buddhist. Surely it's that you're not a buddhist because of faith?! You make it sound like they are rival credit card agencies or something, when your religion explicitly precludes your believing in the veracity of any other... I'm not trying to argue with you just to understand where you're coming from on this one.

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]
Well... apart from the whole monotheism thing... (5.00 / 2) (#216)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 09:45:13 AM EST

... Buddhism to me is dangerously close to being the same as working towards your salvation. As I'm right in the middle of studying Galations (K5 distracts me too much! aargh!) I think that Paul summed it up best when he said that if Christ died to the law then he died for nothing.

(I really encourage people to look at the whole of Galations 2, btw. It's a great insight into grace and how the law doesn't save people.)

For me, this is similar to Buddhism because I see that Buddhists are trying to do something similar: they're trying to reach enlightenment by doing lots of good things to increase (or to nullify - still not clear on this yet!) their Karma. The Jews were trying to do the same act (though for a somewhat different reason) - that is good works - yet they just weren't saved by it.

Hopefully this answers your question. As usual my reply is long and verbose which I suppose can't be helped when it comes to explaining your faith to others!

Yours humbly,
Ta bù shì dà yú


---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

Hmmm. (5.00 / 1) (#453)
by livus on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 10:31:41 PM EST

I see your point, and thanks for answering so well, but in my observation the boddhisatvas are the only example in these two religions who genuinely do good as an end unto itself (except for some practicioners of zen but that probably doesnt count as buddhism, does it). The majority of christians I've discussed this with seem to find the concept of unrewarded virtue very problematic.

As you are saying (and I've read Galatians, despite my dislike of Paul) that as it's only faith that will save you not works, are you saying works become irrelevant?

Furthermore don't you think this adds to my point that you shouldn't actually have the implications of beliefs other than your own as criteria for why you don't share them? Shouldnt faith be enough?

I mean, theoretically if there was another religion that was exactly like your own except in one detail (different god) then you still should choose your own as it is the one you have faith in.

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]

Faith and works (5.00 / 1) (#770)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Sun Sep 07, 2003 at 01:22:34 AM EST

Salvation by grace through faith does not mean that you can't do works. All I'm trying to say is that it's not works that saves - it's grace! Yet works is not irrelevant, and I don't think Paul says this anywhere. Works are still important but they flow from the understanding of grace. They are a result of faith, for if you have faith then you'll naturally want to let other know about it and participate in works.

As for unrewarded virtue, well this doesn't concern me. Here's how I view it: imagine being in front of God and he asks me why I should be given eternal life - what am I going to say to the Supreme being of the universe? That I worked my butt off? That God needs me because of the things I've done on earth? Now just what am I going to offer to God that he actually needs?

One more thing with the last thing you said. My religion is quite different to any other religion I've ever seen. It's different to Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam (to name just a few). To be honest with you, the question is confusing - what you're asking me is that theoretically if I find another religion that's the same in every way - same death on the cross for the salvation of others at the same time and the same place, same creation story, same history of the Israel nation, same Bible and same the same progessive revelation of that God's will to his people - and the only detail was a different God... well, to me the question seems strange. It'd be the same God, and the same religion!

Yours humbly,
Ta bù shì dà yú

---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

wow, I think I mean Satanism! (5.00 / 1) (#842)
by livus on Mon Sep 08, 2003 at 05:46:52 AM EST

I just realised that in my example the only way it could be the same in every detail but with a different object of worship would be if it was Satanism.

But that's not really what I meant, I meant if I told you your exact religion but substituted Hello Kitty for God you'd have to denounce it and remain with God because you have faith in God and not faith in Hello Kitty.

I'm fine with works flowing from grace, that makes sense, thank you. I think we're on the same page about the virtue anyway (personally I think that virtue for selfish gain is unvirtuous anyway even if it does sometimes have positive effects - this is the problem I have with many christians I meet who seem to only do right to impress God).

I suppose it's the difference between thinking something is right because god/s say so and thinking god/s say it is right because it is...

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]

Satanism... didn't think of that one... (5.00 / 1) (#844)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Mon Sep 08, 2003 at 06:09:14 AM EST

If they substituted Hello Kitty for God then where would the Japanese be? :P

But seriously, yes, I would have to deny it. Hello Kitty (or whatever you try put in God's place) is not all powerful.

Christians who do right only to "impress" God, *sigh* they are around. It'd be better if they just did it to please God! I like your last point, btw, though I'd s/god\/s/God/

Yours humbly,
Ta b sh d y

---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]
Enlightenment does not depend on karma (5.00 / 2) (#605)
by borys on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 12:03:36 PM EST

Enlightenment is not something that can be gained or lost. All the good karma in the world won't get you there (but it might give you a nice rebirth). It waits only to be realized.

It comes down to ignorance of the true nature of reality and the unfounded belief in an independant self.

So, while there certainly are Buddhists that work towards accumulating merit and good karma (Pureland?), it doesn't necessarily have anything to do with "attaining" enlightenment.

Actually, one of the unfortunate things about the doctrine of karma is that people are tempted to say, "Oh, it takes thousands and thousands of lifetimes to work out my past karma and become a buddha. I will instead spend this life accumulating good karma to secure myself a good rebirth." They fail to realize what a supreme gift it is to be born a human and that there is no better time than NOW to solve the problem of birth and death.



[ Parent ]
Karma: still somewhat hazy on this (none / 0) (#698)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Sat Sep 06, 2003 at 03:54:01 AM EST

Sir, want to reply to my thread?

Yours humbly,
Ta bù shì dà yú

---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

much in the same way... (2.00 / 1) (#243)
by Battle Troll on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 11:04:28 AM EST

how can a race reject God? Surely it would have to be "a man" to be capable of such a thing, and who is to say that Adam spoke for me?

...that a parent's abuse can turn a child into an abuser. Is the child more evil than his playmates at school? Who's to say? He's certainly inclined from youth to do more harm, the statistics tell us.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

Chick specifically mentions this. (3.00 / 3) (#181)
by McMasters on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 08:39:15 AM EST

Som enice Hoindus spend their life doing good, and are on a plane with an axe-murderer or something, and the plane goes down. The axe-murderer, though, 'found Jesus' way back in the day, and doesn't get the Faceless Fire Boot.

Remember, folks - always go for the religion where your God allows you to cheese your way out of it. -_-

(Ticking off Fundies Rule 1: Tell them that you've already been saved. But, since you are a faulty human, you gave it up to believe whatever it is you believe. Then remind them that 'Grace' can't be given away, so you can do whatever you want, and you are already safe.)

[ Parent ]

Whoa, my spelling. (4.50 / 2) (#182)
by McMasters on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 08:40:47 AM EST

That'd be "Some nice Hindus" in the beginning. Reading all of the leet speak in lesser forums may have corrupted my self-spellcheck ability.

[ Parent ]
Ticking off.. (2.66 / 3) (#207)
by The Amazing Idiot on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 09:17:20 AM EST

Fundies #2:

Some_inane_christan_scream_worshipper- You'll go to HELL! I say HELL if you dont believen in the one Jesus Christ!!!

You- I'd rather go to _YOUR HELL_ if that means I dont have to hear your endless bantering ever again!!

[ Parent ]

Yes... (5.00 / 2) (#212)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 09:31:52 AM EST

... it hardly goes with the whole speak the truth in love.

Really, 1 Peter 2:16-17 says it best: "Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God. Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king."

I myself find this quite hard to do sometimes, but nobody said that Christianity was easy!

Yours humbly,
Ta bù shì dà yú

 

---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

agreed (none / 0) (#286)
by The Amazing Idiot on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 12:40:44 PM EST

>>>... it hardly goes with the whole speak the truth in love.

I fully agree. "Love one another" is the best, no matter what religion you're in.

Still, that commandment is the hardest, expessially in the Judeo/Islamic/Christan God, each has their own core incompatible beleif about the SAME GOD. The extreme fundamentalist Muslim would rather people be severly injured or die if they dont convert to THEIR sect.

Since each sect IS saying Convert or HELL, how do you deal with those types?

>>>I myself find this quite hard to do sometimes, but nobody said that Christianity was easy!

I think anything that promotes love towards everyone is very difficult. Human nature points to reciprocity when it concerns to violence. Breaking that totally is, in my opinion, impossible. But we all try. ;-)

>>Yours humbly,
>>Ta bù shì dà yú

Thank you,
The Amazing Idiot

[ Parent ]

My take on that is (3.66 / 3) (#186)
by iasius on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 08:47:43 AM EST

having faith in Jesus doesn't mean just believing he exists. Having faith in Jesus means trying to do what he wants us to do.
Although I am more or less agnostic and therefore do not believe Jesus is the son of God I think trying to lead a life the way Jesus wants us to lead a life is not very different from believing in Jesus and doing the same. It hope it would. If God was so screwy I wouldn't *want* to believe in such a god. Which I don't. Erm. ...


the internet troll is the pinnacle of human evolution - circletimessquare
[ Parent ]
I'm not trying to troll you here... (3.50 / 2) (#197)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 09:08:24 AM EST

... but let me get this straight. You follow what Jesus says yet you don't believe he is the son of God. Yet Jesus made this claim several times. Which would mean, if you don't believe he's the son of God, then he's basically insane. Or a liar. In which case there's really not much point in following him. At least, if I thought that, then I know I wouldn't follow his lead!

Basically my question is: how do you reconcile not believing in Jesus' claim to divinity and yet still have no problems following him?

I hope you understand that this is not a troll. It's a postively bona fide question.

Yours humbly,
Ta bù shì dà yú


---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

what's more probable (4.00 / 4) (#278)
by WetherMan on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 12:19:45 PM EST

/ you don't believe he's the son of God, then he's basically insane. Or a liar./

personally I think jesus as a liar is much more plausible then jesus as god.  Times were much different back then, maybe he got fed up with the way life was back then, and started preaching a different way.  Not so far fetched you know.

I mean seriously, our entire society is founded upon truth, science, objectivity, etc, but somehow we still all believe in 2000 year old fairytales, when it comes to religion.

Christian End Times make about as much sense as Roman or Viking, and are just as much of a fairytale.

as the bumper sticker goes...

"come the rapture, can I have your car?"

-wm
---
fluorescent lights make me look like old hot dogs
[ Parent ]

I'm trying to say (3.00 / 1) (#483)
by iasius on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 12:41:09 AM EST

that I don't follow Jesus, but many or most of my personal morals or ethics are quite similar to his teachings. Which in my opinion should account for something because I would consider it *evil* if Jesus or God if they existed didn't care about that at all. In which case I wouldn't want them to exist.


the internet troll is the pinnacle of human evolution - circletimessquare
[ Parent ]
How do you define following? (4.00 / 2) (#487)
by skeptic on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 12:55:16 AM EST

I have two questions for you: What does it mean to follow, and why is the bible such a great source for exact quotes?

If by following, you mean accepting everything written about Jesus as fact and allowing for no wiggle room in the interpretation of a centuries old book which has undergone translations from various languages, then no, you can't follow Jesus without accepting him and the son of God. If by following, you mean taking Jesus' philosophy of peace and compassion and trying to live your life by it, then yes you can be a follower of Jesus without accepting him as the son of God (or even believing in a god for that matter).

Personally, I doubt Jesus made any claim to divinity. I think a big fan of Jesus writing about him years after his death took a statement along the lines of "we are all God's children, be nice to your brothers and sisters" and turned it into "I am the son of God and without faith in me you will burn in hell" (I'm paraphrasing of course). Spin doctors have been around for a very long time, don't trust everything you read. I just read in the Weekly World News that Elvis was battling Satan in his fishing tackle shop in Minnesota. Why does the bible get so much more credibility? Are there any accounts of Jesus that weren't written by fans of his, years after his death?

And this is not a troll. It too is a positively bona fide question.

[ Parent ]
Sure, I'll give the answer a shot. (none / 0) (#772)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Sun Sep 07, 2003 at 01:36:40 AM EST

I see that a lot of work has gone into the translation of the Bible and while the translations aren't 100% accurate (this is near on impossible to do) they're accurate enough that no core scripture hangs off the bits that their is disagreement. Personally I need to research the way that they put the Bible together a bit further before I can give a definitive answer on this issue as well as the issue you raise about historicity and accuracy.

As for Christ not making any claim to divinity, I can only disagree. In Matthew he says to the question "Are you the Son of God": "Yes, it is as you say. But I say to all of you: in the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of Heaven." If that's not a claim to divinity, I don't know what is.

Yours humbly,
Ta bù shì dà yú

---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

yep (2.75 / 3) (#266)
by reklaw on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 11:46:08 AM EST

I'd not want to believe in a God who could be that screwy.

This is my favourite argument against (at least theist) religion. If you spend enough time reading about different religions, you'll see that God is seriously screwy in every one, but in a different way each time.

Why would anyone believe in a God who contradicts himself within religions and contradicts himself madly if you begin to look at different religions? You can do your best to follow his teachings, but you've no idea which are the right ones and he's left no clue -- what are you supposed to do, take a gamble?

Bottom line: I believe that God's inherent screwiness disproves religion.
-
[ Parent ]

God in Three Parts (3.00 / 1) (#299)
by anaesthetica on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 01:42:14 PM EST

Maybe it's just semantics, but in Christianity God = God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.  Now, I may be wrong, but if you are a moral person because you've dedicated your life to God (be it Hindu, Jewish, Moslem, Buddhist, etc), perhaps you aren't screwed.  If Jesus is God, and you believe in God, then perhaps you're alright.  Maybe it's not technically the same God, as defined by theologians, rabbis, clerics, monks, what-have-you.  But you might still have a shot.

On the other hand, if you're an atheist, you're still screwed.

—I'm the little engine that didn't.
k5: our trolls go to eleven
[A]S FAR AS A PERSON'S ACTIONS ARE CONCERNED, IT IS NOT TRUE THAT NOTHING BUT GOOD COMES FROM GOOD AND NOTHING BUT EVIL COMES FROM EVIL, BUT RATHER QUITE FREQUENTLY THE OPPOSITE IS THE CASE. ANYONE WHO DOES NOT REALIZE THIS IS IN FACT A MERE CHILD IN POLITICAL MATTERS. max weber, politics as a vocation


[ Parent ]
Actually, no. (none / 0) (#618)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 01:38:18 PM EST

This is a classic case of mistakenly believing that syncretism is alright with the Christian God. It simply isn't the case. If you don't believe me, look up the word "jealous" on your concordance. You might be surprised by what you find.

Yours humbly,
Ta bù shì dà yú


---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

And I'll Keep Fighting Jealousy (3.00 / 1) (#757)
by anaesthetica on Sat Sep 06, 2003 at 09:39:13 PM EST

I am aware that God the Father is a jealous God, and that we are to have no other gods before him. But we are talking about the Judeo-Christian God, of the Old Testament, the New Testament, and perhaps even the Koran. Depending on how you view that religious progression, worshipping any one of those Gods may get you to heaven, although only Christianity recognizes Christ as God as well.

Christ does say something interesting regarding the trinity however, and I think it's worth repeating here, although it may not be entirely relevant. I'm paraphrasing, but he said something to the effect of: you can curse me, and you can curse the Father, but you cannot curse the Holy Spirit and be forgiven. And while Jesus said the only way to the Father was through him, he also left the Apostles saying that they would have only the Holy Spirit in his absence. And the Holy Spirit is far more amorphous and universal in its connection to the souls of the living than Jesus or God the Father. There are many conceptions, crossing many cultures, of God similar to the Holy Spirit. The point not being syncretism or reckless conflation, but recognition of analogous manifestations of God within several different regions and in several different timelines.

—I'm the little engine that didn't.
k5: our trolls go to eleven
[A]S FAR AS A PERSON'S ACTIONS ARE CONCERNED, IT IS NOT TRUE THAT NOTHING BUT GOOD COMES FROM GOOD AND NOTHING BUT EVIL COMES FROM EVIL, BUT RATHER QUITE FREQUENTLY THE OPPOSITE IS THE CASE. ANYONE WHO DOES NOT REALIZE THIS IS IN FACT A MERE CHILD IN POLITICAL MATTERS. max weber, politics as a vocation


[ Parent ]
No matter which way you slice it... (4.00 / 2) (#769)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Sun Sep 07, 2003 at 12:57:40 AM EST

... it's still syncretism. Basically the area you're going into is the Trinity: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit - each have different roles and each are seperate yet each are the one God at the same time. Contradictory? I don't think so - I see it as a paradox that I don't understand.

Really though, I can't agree with you on yoru statement "And the Holy Spirit is far more amorphous and universal in its connection to the souls of the living than Jesus or God the Father", because I just don't believe this is the case. God the Father loved us enough that he sent his Son down to earth to die as a substitute for sinful humans. After Jesus went back to heaven he left the Holy Spirit as our counsellor and helper. I just don't see that the Holy Spirit is more amorphous than God, and I certainly don't see the Holy Spirit as being more universal that God or Jesus!!!

Basically, what I believe is that there is one united God in three "persons", and there are no other Gods than this.

Yours humbly,
Ta bù shì dà yú

---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

you might be well served by having a look at some (none / 0) (#946)
by Battle Troll on Fri Sep 12, 2003 at 05:08:00 PM EST

Eastern theology.

Basically, the view among the majority of Eastern theologians is that all who are saved are saved through Christ and the Church, but not necessarily by consciously professing Christ or visibly belonging to the Church organisation.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

Saved by Grace (3.00 / 1) (#428)
by rho on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 08:23:05 PM EST

So, what, basically if you're an evil, evil man all throughout your life but then "find Jesus" in the last years before you meet your maker you'll get to heaven...

What I call "Hitler Saved at the Buzzer".

There is a great deal of doctrinal differences about how people are saved, and this issue you mention is one of the problems with the "saved by faith" doctrine espoused by many modern churches today--that Hitler could squeeze into Heaven if on his death-bed he proclaimed his faith in Jesus.

The other side of this fence is the saved-by-grace doctrine. This is where God's people (his Flock) are saved through God's grace and by the sacrifice of His Son. I.e., Jesus didn't die for everybody--he only died for His people. This is not to say that God's people are sinless--it's just that they are forgiven, while the rest of humanity are doomed to be judged for their sins.

The grace doctrine (also known as predestination) is backed up by numerous scriptures, more than I'm willing to ferret out. Google "predestination" and/or "saved by grace" and see what shows up. You'll probably get plenty of citations that way, one way (pro) or the other (con).
"The thought of two thousand people munching celery at the same time [horrifies] me." --G.B. Shaw
[ Parent ]

Re: Saved by Grace (3.00 / 1) (#519)
by isenguard on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 02:52:42 AM EST

The other side of this fence is the saved-by-grace doctrine... I.e., Jesus didn't die for everybody--he only died for His people.
Actually, "he died only for His people" is known as the doctrine of the limited atonement, and is typically one of the distinguishing elements of Calvinist theology. Predestination is distinct again, and refers to God choosing who he will save.

Even Arminians, who don't believe in a limited atonement or in predestination, believe that people are saved by grace, mostly because it is hard to avoid verses such as this one:

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God...
Eph 2:8
To broadly sum up the differences: salvation by grace is about salvation being a free gift from God, not something people earn by their behaviour or intrinsic worth; the limited atonement is about who Jesus died for; and predestination is about God predetermining who will be saved.choosing beforehand

--
Lyndon Drake
[ Parent ]
Thanks. (2.66 / 3) (#153)
by RobotSlave on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 06:55:59 AM EST

You have managed to undermine your argument with a most egregious neophyte blunder; you have based your theological argument on a single passage from scripture.

Would it be too much to ask of you, in your blithering attempt to regurgitate catechism, to refer to original sin directly, instead of prancing around the notion as if you're the first person ever to contemplate such a thing?

[ Parent ]

Um. (5.00 / 1) (#156)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 07:06:35 AM EST

I see no problem with the pasage I quoted in relation to my statements. I really wasn't trying to explain the entire Bible with this quote! You're obviously right that other passages could also answer this and yes, I believe in original sin. I just think this particular passage sums up what I believe.

Actually, I put this badly. This passage is one of the ones where I formed my thinking about this issue.

Incidently, I'm not trying to make out that I'm the first person to ever contemplate such a thing. This is entirely your own assumption. I'm sorry to hear that you think this.

May I ask how you would explain original sin, with reference to the Bible? I would actually be quite interested to hear what you have to say.

Yours humbly,
Ta bù shì dà yú

---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

Oh, come on... (5.00 / 1) (#163)
by gzt on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 07:46:45 AM EST

...give a little. He's not basing what he's saying on Scripture. It's more like he's talking within an Protestant soteriological tradition and using Scripture alongside it to illustrate. And, if it's an Evangelical tradition, you should be aware he most likely wouldn't have a catechism.

PS which doctrine of original sin do you think he should discuss?

[ Parent ]

Yipe! (4.00 / 1) (#169)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 08:12:42 AM EST

If I haven't based my argument soundly enough on Scripture this is not good. Like I said before though, I think that this passage is very important and gave somewhat of an answer to what was said!

How would you answer it, gzt?

Yours humbly,
Ta bù shì dà yú


---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

dear sir (5.00 / 2) (#171)
by gzt on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 08:23:45 AM EST

I wasn't saying you were incorrect or not based on Scripture, I was saying you weren't basing your idea on only one passage. Okay, so I literally did say it wasn't based on Scripture, but what that meant is that your argument wasn't solely from Scripture and wasn't meant to be purely an interpretation of that text, and therefore Mr. Slave was being an "ass".

[ Parent ]
Ah. (4.00 / 1) (#174)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 08:30:35 AM EST

I understand now. You're not basing it on scripture kind of threw me :)

Yours humbly,
Ta bù shì dà yú

---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

PS Was I right... (5.00 / 2) (#175)
by gzt on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 08:31:01 AM EST

...that you did not have a catechism and were speaking as an Evangelical? While I may not have "gaydar", I pride myself on my "Canuckdar", "Evangelicaldar", and "mathematiciandar".

[ Parent ]
Lol! But you were correct :-) (5.00 / 1) (#190)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 08:53:03 AM EST

I was really just saying what I understood of Christianity from off the top of my head. The Romans passage seemed particularly appropriate!

Yours humbly,
Ta bù shì dà yú

---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

not in my experience (none / 0) (#231)
by anon 17753 on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 10:23:14 AM EST

I grew up in a fundemental evangelical church and went to their private school. We learned catechisms from Bob Jones University's curriculum.

[ Parent ]
I know it's not everybody's experience. (none / 0) (#305)
by gzt on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 02:02:58 PM EST

But many, if not most, Evs don't have a catechism. Now that you mention Bob Jones U. has one, I have a slight morbid curiosity about what it's like, but I have far better things to do with my time.

[ Parent ]
yes, it's a little misleading... (5.00 / 1) (#249)
by kpaul on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 11:15:10 AM EST

i believe in salvation by grace (a gift), not works. what i meant to say, although i screwed it up, is that we will all be judged, not that we'll be saved or not saved by our works.

thanks for calling me out on this. ;)


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

God's endgame (2.75 / 4) (#165)
by omghax on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 07:53:12 AM EST

Checkmate?

I like this (3.57 / 7) (#167)
by nebbish on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 08:04:27 AM EST

It is well written and is interesting stuff. In fact, Im going to print it out to read at leisure on the train home. But I do have a problem with sentences like this one -

One of the biggest reasons I believe eschatology is important is that Jesus Christ repeatedly told us to watch for the signs

because whether Jesus Christ said that, or even existed, is debatable and a matter of opinion. He also didn't tell "us", because a lot of people don't think he exists.

I have nothing against your religion and think this is a great piece, but making a statement of fact like that in a piece of writing about any other subject would attract the same criticism, and there is no reason why a piece by a Christian about Christianity should escape that criticism. It strikes me that this is a common problem in writing by Christians. Objectivity is very important.

Im giving you a reluctant +1 section, more objectivity and it would definitely have been +1 FP.

---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee

Uhm...no... (3.10 / 10) (#176)
by thelizman on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 08:32:31 AM EST

because whether Jesus Christ said that, or even existed, is debatable
Except for extreme atheist conspiracy theorists, there's no doubt that Jesus of Nazereth existed, lived from 0 AD to 35 AD, and pissed off the establishement. It's a matter of archeological and anthropological record.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Point taken (3.50 / 2) (#200)
by nebbish on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 09:11:40 AM EST

You are probably right (I think it is likely that he existed) but there has to be doubt over it - it was a long time ago, and records are sketchy.

But I do think its very unlikely that anyone knows what he said.

---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
[ Parent ]

A point that really has nowhere to go, but... (3.00 / 3) (#208)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 09:18:29 AM EST

... if you doubt that Jesus lived, then really you'd start doubting plenty of historical figures lived, amongst them being Julius Caesar.

Just a thought.

Yours humbly,
Ta bù shì dà yú


---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

Yeah, good point [nt] (4.33 / 3) (#209)
by nebbish on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 09:19:17 AM EST


---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
[ Parent ]

The difference is (4.50 / 2) (#289)
by handslikesnakes on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 12:47:43 PM EST

that nobody comes to my door asking if I've found Julius Caesar.
You can see his picture on coins, too.

[ Parent ]
Complete nonsense (3.50 / 4) (#293)
by the on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 01:12:56 PM EST

You can read the extensive writings of Caesar himself as well as his contemporaries and compare them with archaeological evidence that you can see with your own eyes and even touch. If you think there is any similarity between the evidence for JC and the evidence for JC then you are clearly revealing that you haven't studied the subject much.

--
The Definite Article
[ Parent ]
What are you talking about? (4.20 / 5) (#283)
by the on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 12:34:03 PM EST

Just saying it's a matter of "archaeological and anthropological record" doesn't make it true. There is no archaeological evidence for Jesus. Absolute zero, unless you're talking about written records. As for anthropological evidence, I've no idea what that could possibly mean. It's very unusual for anthropological evidence to have anything much to do with the existence of a particular person.

The only evidence for Jesus is in the written record. There are the gospels, both canonical and non-canonical. I think we can safely ignore literal readings of those unless you're prepared to accept a whole pile of mythological baggage. There's a passage in Josephus that's highly suspect. It's completely out of character with anything else Josephus says. Obviously fake. There is a brief mention in Tacitus:

Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators
He could easily be just repeating the etiology that the Christians give for their own name rather than established historical fact.

And a couple of other minor mentions. And that's it. That's the entirety.

Interestingly if you look at the gospels earlier than the canonical ones, ie. the ones the Church tried to suppress, it's even more obvious than in the canonical gospels that Jesus is a mythological figure. Maybe that's your anthropological evidence.

--
The Definite Article
[ Parent ]

I'd ask the same.... (4.00 / 2) (#308)
by cr8dle2grave on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 02:06:32 PM EST

There is no archaeological evidence for Jesus. Absolute zero, unless you're talking about written records.

Since when are written documents not considered part of the archaeological record?

There are the gospels, both canonical and non-canonical. I think we can safely ignore literal readings of those unless you're prepared to accept a whole pile of mythological baggage.

There is also a fair amount of written documentation which would fall into the category of personal or official correspondence dating to the generation immediately following the era in which the historical Jesus was supposed to have lived; most famously, the letters of Paul.

The existence of the historical person Jesus cannot be ascertained with absolute certainty, but the evidence for his historical existence exceeds that of nearly all of the Egyptian Pharoahs, Solon, Mani, Socrates (or even Plato), etc... What is relatively certain is that belief in the existence of an actual person known as Jesus was widespread across the Hellenistic world by ~60 CE. Who exactly he was and his religious or spiritual significance was a matter of great dispute.

Interestingly if you look at the gospels earlier than the canonical ones, ie. the ones the Church tried to suppress, it's even more obvious than in the canonical gospels that Jesus is a mythological figure.

Which Gospels would those be? The best case for a known Gospel predating the canonical Synoptic Gospels would be Thomas and that is anything but proven. Or Q, but then Q is only supposed to exist.  

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
No, maybe, yes (4.00 / 2) (#317)
by the on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 02:50:52 PM EST

Since when are written documents not considered part of the archaeological record?
Semantic quibble. Archaeology is generally used to talk about material remains but many of these documents survive today not in material form but as copies of copies of copies, though with well known pedigrees. The study of the writings of Tacitus, or Josephus or Pliny is not generally considered archaeology. Writings that I would consider archaeological would include those from Nag-Hammadi. They don't do much for the claim of the historicity of Jesus.

There is also a fair amount of written documentation which would fall into the category of personal or official correspondence...
Which don't add much to the historicity of Jesus. The Raelians have an active movement now based on events in very recent history but I doubt the existence of the Elohim.

the evidence for his historical existence exceeds that of nearly all of the Egyptian Pharoahs
Nearly all? Certainly not. Many? Yes.

The gospel of Thomas is the earliest extant and is the only one I have read in its entirety. Doing some hunting around on the web it seems that it is variously dated from 50-150 so I probably should retract any statement about non-canonical dospels having priority. The gospel of Thomas does present a strand of thought that is quite at variance with the canonical gospels however and that strand of thought seems very likely to be contemporaneous with the gospels.

I'm not saying Jesus didn't exist. But the existence of a character called Jesus who preached more than one tenth of what is claimed in the gospels, and was crucified, I'd give that a 50% chance.

--
The Definite Article
[ Parent ]

Re: No, maybe, yes (3.00 / 1) (#340)
by cr8dle2grave on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 03:42:00 PM EST

Semantic quibble. Archaeology is generally used to talk about material remains but many of these documents survive today not in material form but as copies of copies of copies, though with well known pedigrees.

True. In the strictest sense of term, "achraeology" does not include the study non-original documentation, but as a practice and field of study archaeology does utilize written documentation when available.

Which don't add much to the historicity of Jesus. The Raelians have an active movement now based on events in very recent history but I doubt the existence of the Elohim.

The various writings associated with the early Church do not prove beyond any doubt the historicity of Jesus, but they do contribute significantly to case for it. Yes, it is theoretically possible that the early Jersualem Church and all the other scattered Judaic and Gentile Christian communities were duped by some original fictional account of Jesus, but it seems to me to be extremely unlikely. If nothing else, were this true one would expect to find such a claim among the many first century critics of Christianity. I'm not aware of any such claims.

Nearly all? Certainly not. Many? Yes.

I beg to differ. Most of the Pharoahs are known only by their appearance in the Royal Canon of Turin and/or the history written by Manetho of Sebennytos.

The gospel of Thomas does present a strand of thought that is quite at variance with the canonical gospels however and that strand of thought seems very likely to be contemporaneous with the gospels.

Indeed, it is extremely interesting. And while it cannot be proven, I am willing to accept that Thomas was written at roughly the same the time as Mark.

I'm not saying Jesus didn't exist. But the existence of a character called Jesus who preached more than one tenth of what is claimed in the gospels, and was crucified, I'd give that a 50% chance.

Well, I made no claims for the historical accuracy of anything contained within the canonical Gospels, only the very high liklihood that Jesus was in fact an historical person.  

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Existence or not (3.00 / 1) (#351)
by the on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 04:08:12 PM EST

only the very high liklihood that Jesus was in fact an historical person.
But we need a peg onto which we can hang the coat. I have no doubt a historical person called Jesus existed. Lots of them in fact. But if we make no claims for the veracity of anything in the gospels it's dubious whether or not we are talking about the Jesus. The word Jesus means the guy identified by by the gospels (even if many of the stories are clearly false).

As for the Pharoahs. Many were contemporaneous with well documented civilizations and interacted with them on a large scale. I'm not sure anyone can seriously doubt the existence of the Ptolemies or Cleopatras. Similarly, I can't doubt the existence of any Pharoah whose tomb has been found, such as Tutankhamun.

--
The Definite Article
[ Parent ]

The Jesus or just a Jesus... (3.00 / 1) (#363)
by cr8dle2grave on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 04:38:56 PM EST

I didn't intend to suggest the historicity of just any old Jesus or, for that matter, any old James or John or Peter. I contend that it is far more probable than not that there did exist a certain religious teacher named Jesus who was put to death by the Roman authorities. I'm not making any claims about whether or not he turned water to wine, healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, was born of a virgin, or was the only son of God. That said, I'm far more comfortable identifying and examining the Jesus of the Gospels as a literary construct than in rooting those stories in an actual historical person.

As for the Pharoahs. Many were contemporaneous with well documented civilizations and interacted with them on a large scale. I'm not sure anyone can seriously doubt the existence of the Ptolemies or Cleopatras.

Agreed. There are specific Pharoahs whose existence is well documented by multiple sources from many different sources, but they are in the minority. The full chronological list of Egyptian kings has something 450 entries.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Literary (3.00 / 1) (#370)
by the on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 05:01:08 PM EST

That said, I'm far more comfortable identifying and examining the Jesus of the Gospels as a literary construct
Well I find it very interesting that so much of the Jesus story is prefigured by other writing. I'm not one for trusting anything that Jospeh Campbell or even Frazer himself says, but there is no doubt that the whole story is a retelling of the dying/reborn God story. There are plenty of other well known elements too. You can have lots of fun speculating about where those features came from. And that's also one reason why I wonder about the veracity of any part of the story. I do find vaguely plausible the hypothesis that Jesus started out as a mythological character and that later those stories were interpreted literally.

--
The Definite Article
[ Parent ]
More from Tacitus (none / 0) (#539)
by plentpakw on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 05:48:58 AM EST

The mention by Tacitus, which can be found here, also includes some pretty negative comments about Christians:
...Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular.
Tacitus' apparent contempt for Christians makes it unlikely that he would simply repeat what he heard from them.

[ Parent ]
bollocks (3.66 / 3) (#288)
by the sixth replicant on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 12:45:07 PM EST

give me one historical document that says Jesus was a real living person, I think people need to read the letters of Paul a bit more carefully.

And historical does not mean the Gospels written about 100 years after Jesus' live. I mean something that said Jesus came in today to buy some milk.

Try it I bet you can't

Ciao

[ Parent ]

Cognitive Dissonance (3.00 / 1) (#730)
by thelizman on Sat Sep 06, 2003 at 11:58:07 AM EST

I think people need to read the letters of Paul a bit more carefully....then.... And historical does not mean the Gospels written
WTF do you think Pauls letters are?

Anyway, I'm not about to drudge up all the scholarly research in the world to convince an idiot the likes of you that jesus existed.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
me an idiot (3.00 / 1) (#734)
by the sixth replicant on Sat Sep 06, 2003 at 01:22:57 PM EST

that's unpossible

But seriously, Paul talks about a mythical Christ dying for our sins in the distant past. Not about a guy he could have talked to if he went travelling a bit. He didn't talk about visiting his places of importance when he met up with Peter and James in Jerusalem (I don't know you but if I was dedicating my life to a man's teachings I would want to go and visit the places he stayed at and died and resurrected. But instead Paul just went there to "get to know Peter"). Paul talked about a "divine man", not about a Jesus in living flesh in the not-so distance past.

So the Jesus of Paul is totally different from the Jesus in the Gospels.

The closer you get to the time period of Jesus' death and birth the *less* information there is about him. Kinda the opposite for a real living important historical person. Don't you think?

Ciao

[ Parent ]

Extreme calendar theorist (none / 0) (#353)
by thaths on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 04:08:40 PM EST

There was no 0 AD in Gregorian/Julian/<your favorite western here> calendar.

Thaths

[ Parent ]

WARNING! METACOMMENT: do not read (2.25 / 4) (#915)
by felixrayman on Wed Sep 10, 2003 at 01:39:34 AM EST

Just taking this opportunity to accept your admission of defeat in the debate we were having the other day. It takes a guy with real class to admit he lost, which is what I assume you were doing when, after being soundly whipped in the thread involving this post, you responded to it twice in semi-coherent fashion, then rated it a zero, then went back and rated 10 other comments of mine to zero. When I get a post with 8 ratings of 5 and one of zero, and the zero comes from the guy whose post I responded to, I know I just kicked someone's ass. Anyway, like I said, it takes real class to admit you got your ass kicked. Cheers!

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
RAW quote (4.41 / 12) (#168)
by salsaman on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 08:06:13 AM EST

"The End of the World has been cancelled due to a lack of interest." - Robert Anton Wilson.

I guess he was at X day too (none / 0) (#576)
by Gully Foyle on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 09:14:10 AM EST


If you weren't picked on in school you were doing something wrong - kableh
[ Parent ]

Two questions (4.33 / 12) (#189)
by godix on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 08:51:19 AM EST

First off: In Revelations 22 Jesus repeats that he is coming soon (the second time) so often it almost sounds like a rap song. This idea is also mentioned in John and at least one other book that I can't recall right now. This was 2000 years ago that he said he'd be here soon. So where is he and what's taking him so long? Don't try and pull the 'time means something else to god' idea either, Jesus was speaking directly to humans and Jesus was well used to human language and misunderstandings, when he said he was coming soon there's no reason to think he wouldn't be using the human idea of 'soon'.

As a sub-question, why has God allowed Revelations to be outdated? Much of revelations, especially at the start of it, is directly related to church dealings 2000 years ago. The fact that God allowed his end of times prophecy to deal with church matters 2000 years ago strongly suggests that Revelations is tied to that timeframe, otherwise why muddy the waters by talking about things that won't exist when the world ends?

Two: Why does Satan fight? Assuming the bible is true he KNOWS he's going to lose. So what possible reason does he have to fight at all? I personally like the idea Job (by Robert Heinlein, not the bible story) put forth - Satan gets bored and won't fight because it's all predetermined and he has no motive to fight.

A sub question: Revelations 12:16 says "I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you[1] this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star." Would you care to evaluate this sentance keeping the belief that Lucifer was angel of the morning star before he was cast down in mind? If you reject that idea then can you explain how exactly Jesus is the plant Venus?


"Fuck... may be appropriate in certain venues... (Florida Elections Commission, speed eating contests, public defender offices) and may be inappropriate in

Some answers (3.57 / 7) (#201)
by RyoCokey on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 09:12:08 AM EST

1) I'll spare you the "time dialation" argument and simply mention that Jesus warns his followers that they must always be vigilant, lest the end catch them unawares. How inspiring would it be to say "I'll return in 3000 years, by that time, you and the world you know will be dead. By the way, don't murder anyone while I'm gone." How much of a "Trial" would it be to maintain faith when you saw God walk the earth in human form, perform miracles, and rise again?

It's also possible God simply didn't have a fixed time in mind (Given that humans have free will) All in all, though, a pretty good point arguing against the divinity of Christ.

2) Does Satan have free will? Humans gained it from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and evil. Surely he possesses it, since he rebelled against God before humans existed. Why would he struggle even when he knows he's doomed? Because he won't ever admit he was wrong, and his main goal is to cause God as much suffering as possible. His options come down to submitting meekly, or killing millions of God's children. I think the course seems obvious.

3) It's a metaphor. Jesus is saying that he's the inspirational light at the end of the darkness. Sheesh.



farmers don't break into our houses at night, steal our DVDs and piss on the floor. No
[
Parent ]
Another conspiracy theory shot to hell (3.80 / 5) (#211)
by godix on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 09:21:29 AM EST

3) It's a metaphor. Jesus is saying that he's the inspirational light at the end of the darkness. Sheesh.

Awww, come on. I'm proposing a giant conspiracy about how Jesus is really Satan which casts the rest of the bible in a totally different light (especially the 'false prophet' business) and you have to kill it with 3 sentances. You're no fun at all.

"Fuck... may be appropriate in certain venues... (Florida Elections Commission, speed eating contests, public defender offices) and may be inappropriate in
[ Parent ]
You're proposing it?? (4.60 / 5) (#222)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 09:56:42 AM EST

Sorry man, but there's some Southern Baptists who only believe in the King James Bible who've beat you to it.

Actually... interesting story. They came around the other day (their sect is called the "Independent Baptists" in Oz) and pointed out all this stuff, comparing my NIV against their KJV. Some of it was interesting and I need to research, but when they said the following:

Independent Baptist: <points to his KJV> "See this verse here?"
ta bu shi da yu: "Yes?"
Independent Baptist: "It says 'saviour'. <points to my NIV> See how yours says 'savior'?"
ta bu shi da yu: "Yes. And?"
Independent Baptist: "Can't you see? It's clear satanic! it's got 6 letters, not 7! don't you think that's a little strange?"

Nutty.

Yours humbly,
Ta bù shì dà yú


---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

You actually talk to these people? (none / 0) (#547)
by godix on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 07:01:35 AM EST

How strange. I personally never let them get far enough to argue about spellings. I usually just tell them I'm not a believer because I've read the bible and decided I didn't like it's morality or diety. If they question that I quote Psalms 137:9 as one example then close the door in their face. The one time I didn't close the door their reaction was to frantically look up Psalms 137:9 then try to justify it by saying 'See, the passage is only talking about children of Babylon' as if genecide was oh so much better than undiscriminating infantcide.

"Fuck... may be appropriate in certain venues... (Florida Elections Commission, speed eating contests, public defender offices) and may be inappropriate in
[ Parent ]
I talk to all sorts of people. (none / 0) (#614)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 01:05:26 PM EST

Even the Jehovah's Witnesses. I managed to tie some of them up in knots the other day. It was... interesting. I think they decided not to come back when I mentioned one of my flatmates was going to Bible college.

Yours humbly,
Ta bù shì dà yú

---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

There's a general rule of thumb .... (none / 0) (#357)
by Simon Kinahan on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 04:18:23 PM EST

... that anything in the New Testament that seems silly, inconsistent, or, indeed, incomprehensible, was probably written under Gnostic unfluence.

Given that the name "Lucifer" (Light Bringer) and the consequent mapping from Satan to the Morning Star (= Venus) is about as Gnostic as you can get, I think this would be a great opportunity to apply this rule.

Simon

If you disagree, post, don't moderate
[ Parent ]

"Gnostic unfluence" (none / 0) (#366)
by cr8dle2grave on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 04:42:34 PM EST

Freudian or intentional?

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Ok, I'll bite (assuming you're a troll) (none / 0) (#454)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 10:35:14 PM EST

One of the main problems with religions in general, is the inability to definitively name a non-corporeal entity.

Think about it, even with humans, there are cases where some fugitive lives his life as someone else, or a child missing for twenty years is discovered as an adult. It is certainly true that they either are, or are not the person they're suspected of being.. but sometimes there is no known proof. And people are left wondering.

Now, when we are talking about a god, or some other supernatural being, it gets even worse. I remember watching the Donahue show, as a child, and they had some asshat satanist on there, getting booed and hissed (though, nothing like today's Springer). He claimed that the good guy was actually Satan, and he was the one that loved us, goody-two-shoe style.

But if that's the case, then isn't he really God, in the christian sense (assuming he exists)?

A better way to look at this, is to decide what entities exist, and forget about assigning names to them. For instance, a christian perspective is that there are 2 main entities, both opposed, one the good guy, the other bad. Maybe many lesser entities taking sides.

Now, assume that said entities can and would lie to us, under certain circumstances. Is there any logical way to determine which of the 2 factions said what?

And this is further confused by the possibility that those who wrote the words down were either mistaken, had memory problems, or were pushing their own agenda.

In the end though, I feel as if I have to believe that any God as traditionally described by christians is a fallacy. He's perfect, and omniscient/omnipotent, but is so utterly contradicting?

I'm wondering if there is a "good guy" and if it's necessary to think he is all-powerful. Certainly, if I side with him because he is all-powerful, then I'm not doing it for the right reasons. Maybe scripture was mistranslated/misunderstood, and he's not omnipotent? Maybe all he wants is some faith/confidence and doesn't mean that the outcome is certain.

And if good isn't predestined to win... maybe I want to be on it's side even more.

Obviously though, I'm not christian, I'm too capable of thought and logic. Or maybe it's Ole Scratch trying to trick me?

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]

Re: Some answers (4.00 / 2) (#377)
by isenguard on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 05:31:58 PM EST

It's also possible God simply didn't have a fixed time in mind...
In Mark 13:32, Jesus explicitly claims that the Father (i.e. God) does in fact know the day and the hour when Jesus will return. Of course, it depends how much you trust the things Jesus said and the accuracy of the record in Mark, but if you'll allow those two preconditions then God does have a fixed time in mind.

--
Lyndon Drake
[ Parent ]
You're right (none / 0) (#485)
by RyoCokey on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 12:49:24 AM EST

I wrote that comment while half awake. I'm not sure why I couldn't remember the numerous references to God knowing the exact time and hour, but man not predicting it.



farmers don't break into our houses at night, steal our DVDs and piss on the floor. No
[
Parent ]
Re: free will (5.00 / 2) (#414)
by BigZaphod on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 07:33:27 PM EST

"Humans gained it [free will] from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and evil."

That's not right.  Humans always had free will.  It was the free will that allowed the humans to listen to Lucifer and eat from the tree in the first place.  The tree only contained the knowledge of good and evil, not free will itself.

"We're all patients, there are no doctors, our meds ran out a long time ago and nobody loves us." - skyknight
[ Parent ]

What kinda God is this? (none / 0) (#598)
by borys on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 11:12:21 AM EST

One of the things that comes up again and again is this idea that God somehow needs something from humans or he'll get pissed. We need to sacrifice an unblemished lamb or else... Don't take his name in vain.. All these rules & regulations.

What kinda omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent God can be so petty as to set up this situation where he creates an imperfect being and then kicks ass when he finds out?

The God of my experience needs nothing, expects nothing, requires nothing, prohibits nothing from me. If God did, God would not be omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent.

Don't believe in a limited God! (Unless you want to, I guess) I call that making God in the image of Man.



[ Parent ]
Revelations ... (none / 0) (#359)
by Simon Kinahan on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 04:24:00 PM EST

... was written by some seriously discontented member of the church, and published under the name of St John the Divine, because it was common ancient practice to use the name of a famous and reputably person when publishing anonymously. Its inclusion in the Orthodox bible nearly caused a schism, as many senior churchmen objected to it as a forgery (which it is).

Interestingly, although it is very popular with certain protestant sects, the Catholics and Orthodox virtually ignore it, and some Protestant bibles (from more liberal groups) omit it entirely.  

Simon

If you disagree, post, don't moderate
[ Parent ]

Forgery? (none / 0) (#390)
by isenguard on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 05:53:02 PM EST

I'm curious as to why you are so sure that Revelation is a forgery. Can you provide evidence for your assertion?

I must admit to doubting what you've said, because terminology like "St John the Divine" is considerably later than the generally accepted date for the book, and certainly never appears in the book itself, so it would have been difficult for the book to be published under that name. See Revelation 1:1-3 for a sort of author's preface, where he refers to himself as a servant, not a saint.

I know of doubts as to the exact identity of the author (i.e. John is not an uncommon name; which John wrote it?).

As to your assertion that Catholics virtually ignore it, the Catholic Encyclopedia article on Revelation seems to defend both its authenticity and authorship.

--
Lyndon Drake
[ Parent ]

actually... (3.00 / 1) (#412)
by rebelcan on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 07:31:49 PM EST

many parts of the bible have been proven to be forgeries ( the author you see isn't the person who wrote it ). there is a committee of people who go through the bible looking for things like this. a few years ago, a book was published called "the five gospels - what did jesus really say?". it's all about how the 'jesus seminar' go through the gospels seeing which sayings atributed to jesus weren't really said by him. it's funny how many things that matthew, mark, luke, or john put as being said by jesus.

plus when you take into account that none of the old testament and most of the new testament wasn't even written by the authors ( everything was passed down, in stories, from mouth to ear, for generations ), it's easy to see how a forgery could creep in when they finally decided to write everything down

p.s. dualism ( god vs. satan ) didn't enter into the mythos of judasim untill they became slaves of the babylonians, at which point, they incorperated certain parts of that belief into their own. it's hard to see things like this when you look at an off-the-shelf bible that you get, but there are universities and colleges which have courses on things like this


=============================
God is dead -- Nietzsche
Nietzsche is dead -- God
but Zombie Nietzsche lives! -- Zombie Nietzsche
[ Parent ]
The Jesus Seminar (4.00 / 2) (#434)
by richarj on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 09:15:19 PM EST

Are disregarded by Christians. If it was an actual Christian organisation like Zondervan or something then it would be believable.

"if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
[ Parent ]
Claiming that stylistic differences (3.00 / 1) (#445)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 10:10:33 PM EST

between sections are proof of different authorship is dubious at best.

Besides, the actual history of the new testament is pretty well understood. The first 3 books are 3 versions of the same, older (and lost) text, while the 4th, John, was an independent work written for a different audience - the Greeks, IIRC.

None of them are accurate in the modern sense because none of them were written till between 10 and 50 years after Jesus' death, so they all pretty much have to be considered more as memoirs than first-hand news.


--
Monkey in the middle of a metal detector... Do you have yesterday's time?


[ Parent ]
A few nits... (5.00 / 1) (#656)
by cr8dle2grave on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 05:00:43 PM EST

The first 3 books are 3 versions of the same, older (and lost) text, while the 4th, John, was an independent work written for a different audience - the Greeks, IIRC.

Close, but it's not quite that simple. Scholarly consensus is currently strongly in favor of some variation on the two tradition thesis. This view holds that of the canonical Gospels Mark is the earliest. Luke and Matthew both contain nearly everything contained in Mark--some of which is nearly word-for-word identical--plus additional common material which is supposed to have come from a lost source called Q. This hypothetical Gospel of Q is usually understood to have been a collection of wisdom sayings similar in style to Gospel of Thomas, but more in line with the "orthodox" views of those churches aligned with Jerusalem. The idea is that both Luke and Matthew were written relying on Mark and Q as sources. Of course, this view is not unanimous and even among the mainstream there is still a lot of debate about the particulars.

As far as the audience each Gospel was written for, scholarly consensus and tradition have long held that all four of the Gospels were originally written in Koine Greek with Mark and Matthew for a culturally Judaic audience in the Levant and Luke for a gentile audience in Rome. John, always assumed to be of a later date than the other three Gospels, was most likely written for a gentile Greek audience.  

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
more on stylistic differences. (3.00 / 1) (#615)
by wumpus on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 01:12:26 PM EST

You are claiming stylistic differences when the oldest available copies are translations? You really come up with a better evidence to bolster outlandish claims (meaning that you are aware of the actual words spoken by Jesus as opposed to what is written in the Gospels).

Wumpus

[ Parent ]

What are you talking about? (none / 0) (#689)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sat Sep 06, 2003 at 01:09:16 AM EST

What language do you think the Gospel of John (for example) was written in?


--
Monkey in the middle of a metal detector... Do you have yesterday's time?


[ Parent ]
Aramaic (3.00 / 1) (#722)
by wumpus on Sat Sep 06, 2003 at 10:43:14 AM EST

Jesus taught and preached in Aramaic, and most of the Gospels were based on Aramaic oral traditions. If John was actually written in Greek it was based on Aramaic teachings and John was unlikely to have ever met Jesus.

This tends to surprise those who believe that every word in the King James Bible is the literal word of God. There is no way to know the actual words of Jesus.

Wumpus

[ Parent ]

I thought the consensus was that (none / 0) (#444)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 10:05:57 PM EST

Revelations John was one of those wild men living around Qumran?

Hair shirt, living on insects, hallucinating from the heat, that kind of thing?<?p>

--
Monkey in the middle of a metal detector... Do you have yesterday's time?


[ Parent ]
Alternative answers (none / 0) (#382)
by isenguard on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 05:40:11 PM EST

1. One of Peter's letters addresses this question quite directly (2 Peter 3, if you want to read it in context):
They will say, "Where is this 'coming' he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation."... But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
So there are two general reasons for "soon" not being on the order of 2,000 years. Firstly, God has a different concept of time (people often suggest that he exists entirely outside of time). And secondly, he delays (from our point of view) so that more people can turn back to him.

Subpoint: the same argument holds for most of the New Testament, the bulk of which consists of letters to churches in the Roman Empire. A widely held evangelical view is that God chose to reveal himself to people and churches in particular situations, so that we can study (for example) the letters in the New Testament in order to learn the principles, which are not restricted to the period or place they were revealed in.

BTW, Revelation isn't just about the end times: as you noticed, the first clear section of the book is a series of letters to various churches. As long as we don't presuppose that the whole book is directly concerned with the end times, then parts such as the letters can be approached in a similar way to the rest of the New Testament.

--
Lyndon Drake
[ Parent ]

Bad assumptions (3.50 / 2) (#556)
by godix on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 07:42:58 AM EST

In order for Peters 'day is a thousand years' arguement to work we need to assume one of two things. Either God is ignorant and doesn't fully understand human language or God is intentionally trying to mislead people who read the bible.

I reject the first assumption, God is supposed to be all knowing. Even if you don't assume that, God shows remarkable clarity elsewhere when he wants (IE for the most part it's difficult to misunderstand the 10 commandments or the lord knows how many commandments immediately after those 10). God also is the very person responsable for human language problems way back in the Tower of Babel incident, so assuming he doesn't understand human language is also assuming he is ignorant of the conseqences of his own actions. While I'm not a believer I have read the bible and I never got the impression God was a dumbfuck (well, at least not in language).

The second assumption is more disturbing. If God is intentionally misleading people in Revelations, what else in the bible is he lying about? Does the bible really mean it when it says the way to salvation is through Jesus? Is God joking when he says 'thou shalt not kill' (actually based on Gods later actions and orders, this could have been a joke)? Once you say that your holy book lies and tries to decieve you how can you place faith in the rest of it?

The simplest assumption, or at least the only one that doesn't make God look like a lying bastard, is that Jesus was using the word 'soon' in the same way other humans use the word 'soon'. Of course that still leaves us with the question of where in the hell is he.

Subpoint: If you were writing something meant for the people of 4003 would you start with petty details of Bush vs Chirac? Including those types of details binds you to tha timeframe, something you'd definately want to avoid if you really meant your words to apply down the ages. God may have meant for Revelations, or all of the NT for that matter, to apply over 2000 years later but assuming that means he's a bad author as well as an ignorant lying SOB.

All told Revelations is a pretty good arguement for those who believe the bible is not religiously correct but was designed to be used politically. If you were going to use a holy book as a political tool then studying Revelations almost gives you a step by step 'how to'. If instead you believe it is a divinely inspired text from God then you're left wondering 'Is God lying or just stupid?'

"Fuck... may be appropriate in certain venues... (Florida Elections Commission, speed eating contests, public defender offices) and may be inappropriate in
[ Parent ]

This was a great article (3.10 / 10) (#223)
by debacle on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 10:02:17 AM EST

...Until I read "Yes, yes, sounds like a fairy tale to you perhaps, with consumerism and the worship of Mammon running rampant, but I believe it's true."

-1, or resection to fiction

It tastes sweet.

Sir is so witty. (nt) (1.50 / 4) (#224)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 10:03:22 AM EST



---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]
Ha ha... my thoughts exactly (n/t) (1.75 / 4) (#227)
by stpap on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 10:13:11 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Seriously (3.00 / 1) (#241)
by nklatt on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 11:02:27 AM EST

After writing The Basics how can you possibly continue taking this belief system seriously?

[ Parent ]
Yet another precious example (2.66 / 2) (#424)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 08:06:11 PM EST

of western intolerance for those with different cultures and mores.


--
Monkey in the middle of a metal detector... Do you have yesterday's time?


[ Parent ]
I'd like to give this a +1... (3.60 / 5) (#236)
by randyk on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 10:51:14 AM EST

because eschatology (Christian or otherwise) is a very interesting topic, but it seems to me, kpaul, after reading the article and some of your comments, you are more interested in proselytizing than in actual discourse on the different forms of end-times beliefs.

This may be why it's in Op-ed, and I suppose this is a great way for K5ers to show how cosmopolitan and accepting they are by giving this a +1, but there's little here that's new, and the discussion and debate looks just like it did on net.religion nearly twenty years ago.

Sorry, -1.



nearly twenty years ago (none / 0) (#492)
by kpaul on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 01:04:17 AM EST

i was just a kid, not yet too concerned with all this, so i missed the discussion. ;)

to be honest, maybe it does sway too much in subjectivity - i.e. I believe this - but it is Op/Ed, as you say.

was the timing of the Rapture debate really big twenty years ago? or do you mean the whole believe/don't believe question?

thanks.


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

The Bible: The first great sci-fi novel. (3.83 / 12) (#240)
by Russell Dovey on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 11:02:04 AM EST

Jehovah, Paul and all those other guys should be up there with Niven and Pournelle as the most effective collaborative teams.

Although I've heard that the remake by the Archangel Gabriel (mass-popularised by Mohammed) is more suited to the gritty, detail-rich flavour of modern sci-fi.

"Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light." - Spike Milligan

Ya but L. Ron Hubbard beats them all! [nt] (none / 0) (#393)
by Anonymous 7324 on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 05:59:27 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Not really (none / 0) (#587)
by godix on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 10:03:14 AM EST

Niven and Pournelle make an effort to be entertaining, coherent, somewhat believable, and eleminate contradictions in their works. I wish Jehovah, Paul, and all those other guys had done the same.

"Fuck... may be appropriate in certain venues... (Florida Elections Commission, speed eating contests, public defender offices) and may be inappropriate in
[ Parent ]
They did better than Dante, too (none / 0) (#604)
by roystgnr on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 11:55:52 AM EST

Check out Niven and Pournelle's version of Inferno.  They enjoy playing some of the same "Who would we like to see in hell?" games Dante pioneered, but end up with a less tedious and less nonsensical result than the original.

[ Parent ]
God Is Dead [n/t] (2.50 / 8) (#244)
by anaesthesis on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 11:05:31 AM EST

[n/t]

no-one cares [n/t] (3.00 / 4) (#251)
by jolt rush soon on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 11:21:05 AM EST


--
Subosc — free electronic music.
[ Parent ]
If there is a Hell [n/t] (2.00 / 2) (#255)
by anaesthesis on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 11:26:30 AM EST

[n/t]

[ Parent ]
i'll see you there [n/t] (4.50 / 4) (#259)
by jolt rush soon on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 11:38:21 AM EST


--
Subosc — free electronic music.
[ Parent ]
and we have killed him. (1.75 / 3) (#292)
by ninja rmg on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 12:59:05 PM EST

god... leave it to trent reznor to completely bastardize a fine nietzsche quote...



[ Parent ]
Nietzsche didn't say it ... (3.50 / 2) (#300)
by kanin on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 01:47:13 PM EST

... a madman did. Nietzsche was the author, true, but he did not "say it" - which is to say that it does not necessarily reflect his beliefes (that a madman says it does say something about his intent).

[ Parent ]
Intent, irrelevant (3.00 / 2) (#307)
by the on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 02:06:14 PM EST

Ideas and writings last much longer than the people who speak them who soon decay into dust. If you need to keep the original people hanging around to interpret a statement then the statement probably isn't worth keeping. Nietzsche's writings are interesting in their own right regardless of what was happening inside his mind.

For example, the test of a testable hypothesis is not who said it, or why, or when, but whether or not it passes or fails the test.

--
The Definite Article
[ Parent ]

True enough, but... (3.50 / 3) (#315)
by cr8dle2grave on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 02:39:36 PM EST

...irrespective of what Nietzsche may or may not have had going on his head at the time he wrote GS 125, the fact that the phrase "God is dead" appears within a parable entitled "The Madman" and is spoken by that madman is of great importance. Yanking a single phrase out of its immediate and extended narrative context is a sure route to poor reading.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
What were we talking about? (5.00 / 1) (#322)
by the on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 03:03:35 PM EST

It is indeed a strange coincidence that "God is Dead" appears in the madman parable because I don't think Nietzsche was in fact mad when he wrote it, even if his writing is a little, let us say, exhuberant. When did the syphilis set in?

--
The Definite Article
[ Parent ]
well, well after the gay science. (none / 0) (#339)
by Prophet themusicgod1 on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 03:36:55 PM EST

chronology?

i now find it odd that my philosophy 100 prof made specific reference, to the point of printing off a *half page* with the madman stanza in it, and then explaining it. *shrug*
if i hadn't gone to the extent of trying to figure out what it meant it would be nothing more than a statistic...
"I suspect the best way to deal with procrastination is to put off the procrastination itself until later. I've been meaning to try this, but haven't gotten around to it yet."swr
[ Parent ]
Coincidental? (4.66 / 3) (#348)
by cr8dle2grave on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 03:58:45 PM EST

How so? I didn't mean to imply that Nietzsche's mental condition had anything to do with his crafting of GS 125. Here is the complete text:
The madman.-- Have you not heard of that madman who lit a lantern in the bright morning hours, ran to the marketplace, and cried incessantly: "I seek God! I seek God!" --As many of those who did not believe in God were standing around just then, he provoked much laughter. Has he got lost? asked one. Did he lose his way like a child? asked another. Or is he hiding? Is he afraid of us? Has he gone away on a voyage? emigrated?--Thus they yelled and laughed.

The madman jumped into their midst and pierced them with his eyes. "Whither is God?" he cried; "I will tell you. We have killed him--you and I. All of us are his murderers. But how did we do this? How could we drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the entire horizon? What were we doing when we unchained this earth from its sun? Whither is it moving now? Whither are we moving? Away from all suns? Are we not plunging continually? Backward, sideward, forward, in all directions? Is there still any up or down? Are we not straying as through an infinite nothing? Do we not feel the breath of empty space? Has it not become colder? Is not night continually closing in on us? Do we not need to light lanterns in the morning? Do we hear nothing as yet of the noise of the gravediggers who are burying God? Do we smell nothing as yet of the divine decomposition? Gods, too, decompose. God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him.

"How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was the holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it? There has never been a greater deed; and whoever is born after us--for the sake of this deed he will belong to a higher history than all history hitherto."

Here the madman fell silent and looked again at his listeners; and they, too, were silent and stared at him in astonishment. At last he threw his lantern on the ground, and it broke into pieces and went out. "I have come too early," he said then; "my time is not yet. This tremendous event is still on its way, still wandering; it has not yet reached the ears of men. Lightning and thunder require time; the light of the stars requires time; deeds, though done, still require time to be seen and heard. This deed is still more distant from them than the most distant stars--and yet they have done it themselves."

It has been related further that on the same day the madman forced his way into several churches and there struck up his requiem aeternam deo. Led out and called into account, he is said always to have replied nothing but: "What after all are these churches now if they are not the tombs and sepulchers of God?"

Clearly it would be innappropriate to isolate the single phrase "God is dead" and subject it to testing. Nietzsche didn't write the type of straight forward philosophical assertions that can be easily subjected to such an analytical approach. Like Plato, reading Nietzsche requires a literary or dramaturgical approach as much as a strictly logical one.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
i'm not sure what you're getting at.... (3.66 / 2) (#417)
by ninja rmg on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 07:46:30 PM EST

nietzsche often has other characters speak for him when he feels like it would be "pretensious" to say something "too right." this is very much the case with the madman. he refers back to the parable over and over again in such a way as to say that he does indeed posit that "god is dead and that we have killed him." he is being cagey by couching it in a parable like that, but that is still an assertion of his, no matter how he might try to misdirect things on the face.

but you're certainly right that you can get profoundly wrong interpretations of Nietzsche without considering the context of each sentence.

maybe i have missed your point...



[ Parent ]

Nope... (5.00 / 1) (#669)
by cr8dle2grave on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 06:11:02 PM EST

maybe i have missed your point...

Nope, you got it... my point was just that properly reading Nietzsche demands careful attention be paid to the narrative context.

Anyhow, I'm not so sure I'd agree with you that Nietzsche employs the artifice of character out of some sort of humility. Judging his work as a whole, I fail to see any fear of appearing "pretenious." Quite the contrary actually; Nietzsche was always quick to point out his prescience and made much of his own untimeliness.

I think it is a mistake to too quickly indentify the voice of any one character with that of Nietzsche's. As is the case with a well written novel, Nietzsche's personal or authorial voice should never be assumed to be identical to that of any particular character's voice--even the voice of Zarathustra. A character that is merely a proxy for the author is a poor crafted character; Nietzsche was better stylist than that. Which brings me around to my real point: Nietzsche's stylistic pluralism acts so as to draw attention to his writing as writing. It is not enough to simply analyse what he wrote, you must also inquire into how he wrote.

With an eye toward the stylistic choices made in the case GS 125, it should be apparent that more is at stake than a simple assertion of atheism. We are not being told that "God does not exist," rather we are informed that "God is dead" and, moreover, that is we who have done the deed. Now, we just can chalk this up to a little bit of overheated rhetorical flourish or we can choose to engage the text seriously. If God has, in fact, died, then it stands to reason that God did actually exist at some point. Yet, what kind of God is it that is mortal? At the very least, it must be acknowledged that GS 125 is demanding that we consider the question of God's existence according to a theologically unconventional ontological framework. Taking GS 125 seriously means entertaining an ontological framework in which God both exists and is mortal.

The application of a dramaturgical approach in analysing GS 125 proves helpful, perhaps even necessary, to the task of understanding what it is that Nietzsche might be getting at. The madman enters the market seeking God and is mocked not by believers, but by non-believers. The scene is similar to the response an account of crisis in faith would recieve here at K5. The non-believers are smug and flippant in their response. It is this flippancy that the madman reacts so strongly against. The crowd jeers as if God did not exist. The madman insists instead that in fact God is dead, that we are his murderers, and that his corpse rots all around us.

If the madman is really mad, we must ask to whom he would appear as such. That is, in relation to whom is he mad? It is not among the believers that he is mad, but among the non-believers. Where the non-existence of God is of little importance to them, a joking matter, the madman is convinced of  its monumental importance. And when he departs proclaiming:

. "I have come too early," he said then; "my time is not yet. This tremendous event is still on its way, still wandering; it has not yet reached the ears of men. Lightning and thunder require time; the light of the stars requires time; deeds, though done, still require time to be seen and heard. This deed is still more distant from them than the most distant stars--and yet they have done it themselves."

it is not the knowledge of God's non-existence that has yet to arrive--he is, after all, in a crowd of non-believers--but that a proper awareness of the enormous consequences of God's death remain unrecognized.

Also consider Nietzsche's discussion of the Pale Criminal who proved unequal to the magnitude of his deed, who was diminished by the greatness of his act because he was not its equal. Are we, the murderers of God, in the same position as the pale criminal? Does the greatness of the murderous act, in fact, diminish us? Are we as yet unequal to the greatness of our deed?

p.s. Nice to see that a discussion about ole Neech is still enough to draw you out from under that quasi-trollish exterior.  

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
hair splitting. (2.33 / 2) (#386)
by ninja rmg on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 05:43:51 PM EST

even if we grant this, it does not change the fact that nietzsche wrote it, which is precisely what a quote is. more than that, it is ultimately irrelevant to the content of the comment, which is essentially that trent reznor bastardized the phrase by placing it in a juvenile context.

but you seem to have started a thread of intelligent discourse, so that's a plus.



[ Parent ]

it is not a juvenile context. (5.00 / 1) (#533)
by anaesthesis on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 04:49:35 AM EST

no text

[ Parent ]
not to disrespect you here, but... (3.57 / 7) (#258)
by reklaw on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 11:35:44 AM EST

... well, believing in the Bible completely literally is pretty absurd.

I'm not a Christian, but I can see that the Bible and the Christian faith have good bits. They're obviously intended to make you feel better about things and give you some rules to help you lead a moral life.

The best explanation for what I believe about the Bible would be that it's a metaphor. I don't think God exists, but some people sat down thousands of years ago and wrote this Bible as a series of teachings, lessons -- instead of regarding the story where Eve eats the apple as absolutely true, ask yourself what you can learn from it as a metaphor. Ask yourself what parts of the Bible are intended to encourage or discourage.

What I think I'm saying is that treating the Bible as truth is a matter of faith (if you think about it deeply for any length of time then it's obvious it can't be literal truth, from my point of view anyway) but it deserves to be learned about and treated with respect, as one would treat the wisdom of the ancient Greeks and Romans or Shakespeare or whatever. Thanks for writing this article.

Wow, this post went nowhere, didn't it? Oh well [hits Post].
-

Jesus as a historical figure (3.00 / 1) (#531)
by plentpakw on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 04:35:14 AM EST

While parts of the Bible is certainly not literal, there are significant parts which are historical in nature, the most significant probably being the ones referring to Jesus. And the Bible is not the only ancient text to refer to Jesus... some of the others are:
The Annals by Tacitus
Some letters from Pliny the Younger

Probe Ministries has a detailed list of other non-Christian sources, if you're interested.

[ Parent ]
Last Poll Option (2.25 / 3) (#262)
by Rasman on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 11:38:52 AM EST

"none of the above (see below)"
Is that some kind of joke? Should I be looking above or below?

---
Brave. Daring. Fearless. Clippy - The Clothes Pin Stuntman
Write a comment (none / 0) (#264)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 11:42:05 AM EST

I think it means, write-in, e.g. write a comment explaining what you believe.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
A question -- The Christian 'vi/emacs' debate. (4.00 / 5) (#269)
by jonathan_ingram on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 12:02:02 PM EST

This isn't directly related to the article, but is probably the best place for a sensible answer I've been able to find.

As someone only peripherally interested in religion, but very interested in old books, I am actually interested in reading the Bible -- but as an *accurately translated* document, rather than a work of religion. Which would be the best translation to read? Anyone who answers 'King James' gets slapped ;). I've heard various people say, for example, that the 'virgin' Mary is no virgin, but a mistranslated 'young woman', and that the 'camel' which should go through the eye of the needle isn't the animal, but instead a thick rope. I'd love to be pointed at a decent, religion- and tradition- neutral translation.
-- Jon

There isn't a neutral translation (4.80 / 5) (#282)
by dr zeus on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 12:34:00 PM EST

I suggested getting an interlinear Bible - Greek and English transliteration together. I have one, and find it immensely useful. The Old Testament is more difficult with the Hebrew and Aramaic, but it still helps. If you are really serious, get a Strong's Concordance and the English version that goes with it (Probably KJV, New KJV, or NIV), and look up the words that you want to get a deeper meaning of.

Incidentally, the Eye of the Needle was a gate into the old city of Jerusalem. To enter it, a camel would have to be completely unpacked, and walk through on it's knees.

The symbolism is that we must humble ourselves before God, and remove the earthly treasures that keep us from Him, to come before Him.

[ Parent ]

i find it best (4.00 / 1) (#291)
by kpaul on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 12:56:56 PM EST

to read as many different translations as i can, with a concordance (SP) to look up the original words - both Hebrew and Greek, etc...

if i remember correctly, Darby (i think!) is one of the more 'literal' translations. i may be wrong on this, though.

someone feel free to correct me. ;)


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

young woman vs virgin (none / 0) (#336)
by ObviousTroll on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 03:34:50 PM EST

One point before we get to the meaty question:

Since the assumption was that any unmarried woman who is not a proven whore is therefore a virgin, I wouldn't be surprised that the word for "unmarried young woman" has virginal connotations, or vice-versa.

As for which translatin is best, the answer is "the original greek and aramaic, coupled with years of study". I'm not being snide - there are basic problems with translating ideas as well as words, with stripping the bias of the translator (let alone the bias of the reader) and often a one-to-one correspondance isn't possible.

The next best thing is to find a research bible - these will often have notes indicating what various translations say about a particular passage.


Somewhere in America / There's a street named after my dad / And the home we never had.


[ Parent ]
Translations (5.00 / 1) (#342)
by Rich0 on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 03:46:28 PM EST

You're probably fine with any major modern translation (NIV, NASB, or something along those lines).  Different translations have different goals - some are definite paraphrases, some try to translate comments, and some try to be word-literal (and some of these fail miserably).  No translation is perfect.  I'd just stick with the NIV for the 90% of the biblical text which is translated without controversy.  You can find lots of material on passages which are difficult to translate - either due to disagreement in source documents, or difficulty in understanding how the original text was understood at the time.

Some have recommended using concordances with english-hebrew dictionaries.  I'd shy away from this.  My experience with too many Christian teachers is that a little hebrew is a dangerous thing.  There are some good online lexicons which will give you a page or two on most major biblical hebrew words - those are better.  The dictionaries in most concordances are VERY brief.  Imagine translating the US Constitution into spanish by simply looking up each word in a 100 page english-spanish dictionary and using the corresponding definitions.  Now compound this with the fact that the definitions themselves are sometimes controversial - an issue more likely to get decent treatment in a one page definition than a 1 sentance one.

Your best bet is probably to read various commentaries, and look at the footnotes in most major translations.  Where there is a footnote there is some reason the translators felt there was enough controversy to point it out.

[ Parent ]

I like Harry Potter (2.33 / 15) (#276)
by the on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 12:16:29 PM EST

Those wizards sure are cool and Hermione is a babe, or at least she will be when she grows up. Try as I might though I can't find platform 9¾.

Wingardium Leviosa! Damn. It never seems to work for me. I guess I just have to keep practising.

--
The Definite Article

You'd love to hear what I believe, and why (3.00 / 5) (#303)
by atheist on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 01:56:20 PM EST

Well, I don't believe in god, because everything I've been taught about god has been filled with lies, and every attempt for someone to 'save me' by filtering out the lies, or teaching me the real truth has also been riddled with deceit and lies.

Read my diaries for more fun filled atheism.



ooo
Unlike religion, the freedom to think cannot be imposed on anyone.
If you tell (none / 0) (#790)
by Sesquipundalian on Sun Sep 07, 2003 at 05:05:40 AM EST

anyone where Father touched you, you little bastard, you know he'll kill your parents!


Did you know that gullible is not actually an english word?
[ Parent ]
It's the end times! (3.83 / 6) (#304)
by ENOENT on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 01:57:05 PM EST

Look! War! Rumor of war! Earthquakes! Floods! Fires!

Oh, wait. The "wars and rumors of wars" have been going on since Moonwatcher picked up a hefty thighbone. The rest are (obviously) even older than the joke about the chicken crossing the road.

So nyah.


don't forget - (none / 0) (#333)
by tetsuwan on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 03:29:11 PM EST

"people getting killed for their beliefs"

Njal's Saga: Just like Romeo & Juliet without the romance
[ Parent ]

Yeah, but with dubya in office..... (5.00 / 1) (#379)
by gr00vey on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 05:34:37 PM EST

Just kidding! /sortof

[ Parent ]
Obligatory Ghostbusters reference (4.00 / 2) (#380)
by Frijoles on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 05:39:00 PM EST

"Look! War! Rumor of war! Earthquakes! Floods! Fires!" Cats and dogs living together! Mass Hysteria!

[ Parent ]
they're picking up, though (3.00 / 2) (#489)
by kpaul on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 12:58:34 AM EST

rumors of war is an interesting phrase to me - will we invade Iraq? Will we invade Iran? Will India attack Pakistan? Will China attack Taiwan? Will North Korea try to kill 'em all?

One analogy is that the process leading up to the Day of the Lord (the return of Jesus Christ) is like a woman giving birth. The contractions will become stronger and closer together as the moment nears.

Jesus, I believe, also specifically mentioned people saying roughly the same thing you're saying above.

in any case, look for the pace to pick up considerably as the Day of the Lord gets closer...

oh, and thanks for the contribution.


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

Perhaps... (3.00 / 1) (#503)
by israfil on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 01:45:05 AM EST

They may be picking up.  On the other hand, it could simply be that a global communication media has allowed us to personally have access to way more information than before.  In such a case, we may merely have a more accurate picture of how bad it always was, globally speaking, than our forebears.

i. - this sig provided by /dev/arandom and an infinite number of monkeys with keyboards.
[ Parent ]
Yeah, hence rumours of wars. (none / 0) (#580)
by Gully Foyle on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 09:30:38 AM EST


If you weren't picked on in school you were doing something wrong - kableh
[ Parent ]

No they aren't (4.00 / 2) (#586)
by godix on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 09:54:25 AM EST

If you compare the past to today you'll see the world is actually improving, at least the civilized part of it anyway.

Historically Europe has had viking raiders, roman legions, crusades, Machiavellian power games, wars of conquest on Africa and the Americas, hundreds of years fighting between France, England, Germany, Spain, and other powers of the time, two world wars, etc. Compare that to Europe today, can you imagine the EU producing anything remotely like past violence?

The US, Canada, Brazil, and other civilized countries in the Americas are improving as well. For the US, compare the Iraq war to the civil war, various indian wars, conquests of other nations (Mexico most notably), etc. The US has developed the less lethal methods of warfare ever designed, can you imagine any other nation in history taking over Iraq without causing MANY more deaths? Central and South American countries a damned near utopias compared to what they went through with European colonization and rebellion to that. Canada generally follows along with the US but to a much less degree, at least as far as wars are concerned.

China and the US have brought peace to much of Asia. The shoguns of Japan are defeated, it's in their very contitution that they can't commit warfare (yes, it was forced on them but Japan has been capable of changing that for decades now and they haven't). China has made Mongrel hordes history. North Korea is threatening war, but they're surrounded by China and American allies so it's doubtful there will be a war unless provoked (although with American diplomacy the way it is provoking them to war is always possible). When India and Pakistan rattle their sabres damned near everyone tries to stop it and between American involvement in Pakistan, China sharing a border with both, and native fears of nuclear war relative peace is being maintained.

Africa is mostly a violent clusterfuck. That isn't new however, it's been mostly a violent clusterfuck for centuries now. It's interesting to note the least violent nations of Africa also are the ones with the strongest governments, another sign the civilized world is improving.

The middle east is actually somewhat peaceful between nations. The violence there is between relgious groups fighting for control rather than one nation attacking another. Granted, Iraq and Isreal are the exception to this but that's two nations out of a large region.

The great Russian empire has been disolved and for the most part it did it peacefully. None of the Russian sattelites have had near the violence problems that plauged Europe when the Roman empire fell apart for example. To a large degree this is because the EU, US, and others stepped in to make sure things didn't fall apart that badly. Compared with the traditional response by neighbors after nations fall apart (WOOHOO! More land! Send in the troops!) this was a fine example of brotherly love amoung nations.

Basically my point is that worldwide the civilized societies are less violent than they have been. There's more potential for mass violence and has been ever since the nuclear bomb, but that potential seems to have actually curbed violence in wars between nations rather than increase the death count. The backwards nations of the world are quite violent but they always have been and most likely always will be until they advance beyond the third world stage. Wars have actually decreased so much that violence from non-government groups is considered a problem while in middle of WWII a bus bombing in Israel wouldn't even get in the paper much less on front page. You aren't seeing contractions in the world today, what you're seeing is a headache with it's pain horribly exagerated because people have forgotten there has been much worse.


"Fuck... may be appropriate in certain venues... (Florida Elections Commission, speed eating contests, public defender offices) and may be inappropriate in
[ Parent ]

less lethal methods of warfare (none / 0) (#607)
by kpaul on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 12:20:15 PM EST

like Depleted Uranium?

the world has never been on the brink of total annihilation as it is today with a proliferation of nuclear/biological weapons that would wipe out huge swathes of people if they're used.

Thanks for your opinion, though.


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

We're talking different things (none / 0) (#609)
by godix on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 12:35:48 PM EST

I'm talking about how things actually have been going and you're talking about how things could go. Yes, there is a potential to kill millions with nuclear/biological weapons. This isn't new, we've had nuclear weapons for ~60 years now and the world has actually taken a step back from the brink once Russia transformed. We've had chemical/biological weapons damned near forever and the time when we spead smallpox on blankets or lobbed mustard gas into trenchs is history. Our nations are taking steps, small though they be, away from ever using these types of weapons. The real threat comes from small extreme religious groups who think that not only the end of the world is coming but that it should be hastened along however possible. Hopefully one of these days religious doom and gloom prophets will become civilized.

NOTE: I'm not refering to you here. 99% of christians, or any religion really, would find these types of mass attacks morally repugnant and I'm sure you're one of them. I'm refering to that small % that thinks anthrax in the mail, sarin in subways, or other forms of mass murder are a good idea.

"Fuck... may be appropriate in certain venues... (Florida Elections Commission, speed eating contests, public defender offices) and may be inappropriate in
[ Parent ]

could happen == rumors of war? (3.00 / 1) (#758)
by kpaul on Sat Sep 06, 2003 at 09:47:19 PM EST

yes, i see your point re: worse wars that could happen. i wonder what the stats for people killed look like throughout recorded history.

on the subject of nukes, though, isn't the U.S. administration thinking about looking into so ccalled 'battlefield nukes' of a 'small' variety? and also that report (a year ago) about countries we have plans laid out if we ever need to nuke them?

sadly, there is no way to hasten or slow it down. my job, from what i can gather, is to love God and help others.

and rather than all doom and gloom, i'd have to say, at least for me, it's a rather bittersweet feeling. on the one hand things are going to get quite rough here for a while. on the other hand, Jesus has conquered death for me.

as for the percentages, i fall into an even smaller percentage, i imagine - those who don't think it's right to kill even in self defence. if it's my time to die, it's my time to die. Christ didn't fight back and He never said He wanted us to fight back, even to save our own life...

it scares me when those who say they believe in Jesus Christ start talking about war and death.


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

Truth Speckled Doggerel (3.22 / 9) (#309)
by CheeseburgerBrown on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 02:13:03 PM EST

A dream of Jesus keeps men good,
But knowing it's just a dream keeps them wise.

(...And you quote me on that.)


___
I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weekend de ski. Personally, I pref
Gets my 0 (2.20 / 5) (#318)
by Vesperto on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 02:55:15 PM EST

Simple reason: it's interesting, it's well written, but i don't care. The latter implies a 0, the two former imply a not -1.

As far as my faith goes, i'm probably between an agnostic and an atheist. I don't believe in a god almighty who created everything and will end everything, for several reasons. Therefore, i don't believe in heaven or hell. When if comes to dying, i'm sorta divided: i think i have a hard time believing when you die, you're dead because it's difficult, no one wants to believe there's no part II. Reincarnation is a way, but i'd have to beleice in a soul and although that isn't necessarily a religious item, it doesn't really convice me. Anyway i haven't thought much about it. some other unexplained passing would be better, not necessarily death, but rather a passing. Not to heaven, not to another animal, but... somewhere else, some place that because it's something we've never seen before, we cannot imagine. Kinda like John Livingston Seagul (actually seaguls are obnoxious beings but i meant the part the bird rocks its way into another level of existence). Well, i could go on and on about why i don't beleive in god nor do i like most religions out there.

Eitherway, my 0 is assured. Good article.

If you disagree post, don't moderate.

Implications of Atheism (3.00 / 1) (#488)
by Guncrazy on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 12:57:31 AM EST

Question to you and all the other atheists reading this. And I'm not trolling or being obtuse, as I really want to know. If you do not believe in the existence of a god, do you believe in an afterlife? And if you do not believe in an afterlife, how can you believe in any form of ultimate justice, in which there is reward or punishment? And if you cannot believe in ultimate justice, why do you not rape when you're horny, rob when you're broke, or kill when you're angry? Is it because you're hedging your bets? Or is it that you don't believe yourself clever enough to avoid our current mechanisms of justice?

Race is irrelevant 99.999% of the time. And the 0.001% of the time it is relevant, someone is looking for a donated organ.
[ Parent ]

Re: Implications of Atheism (4.25 / 4) (#510)
by handslikesnakes on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 02:17:08 AM EST

Question to you and all the other atheists reading this. And I'm not trolling or being obtuse, as I really want to know. If you do not believe in the existence of a god, do you believe in an afterlife?

No. As with God, there is no evidence to support it's existence.

And if you do not believe in an afterlife, how can you believe in any form of ultimate justice, in which there is reward or punishment?

There is no such thing as ultimate justice, and you are guaranteed no reward or punishment for good or bad behaviour.

And if you cannot believe in ultimate justice, why do you not rape when you're horny, rob when you're broke, or kill when you're angry?

I find it very disturbing that the only thing that keeps you from raping, pillaging and razing cities is fear of punishment.

Is it because you're hedging your bets? Or is it that you don't believe yourself clever enough to avoid our current mechanisms of justice?

Neither. Why should I? If I were to commit rape, not only would my gain be minimal, I'd detest myself thereafter. I think most people would feel the same way.



[ Parent ]
The Golden Rule (2.50 / 2) (#521)
by shigelojoe on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 02:58:36 AM EST

I do unto others as I would have done unto myself. I would not want someone to rape me (or someone I love) if they were horny, therefore I don't do it myself. I would not want someone to rob me when they are broke, so I don't do it myself. I would not want someone to kill me when they are angry, so I don't do it myself.

I guess the Golden Rule only ultimately works if everyone follows it, but, regardless, I still follow it because it's the best rule I can follow with a clean conscience.

[ Parent ]

I want to kill myself (5.00 / 1) (#544)
by richarj on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 06:46:10 AM EST

And there is no reason i can't take you with me is there?

"if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
[ Parent ]
Well, there you go. (none / 0) (#932)
by Happy Monkey on Wed Sep 10, 2003 at 08:10:16 PM EST

That's what happens sometimes, isn't it? Of course, it's in everyone else's best interest not to promote or allow them to carry it out.
___
Length 17, Width 3
[ Parent ]
Implications of Agnosticism (4.00 / 2) (#532)
by mrchaotica on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 04:44:22 AM EST

Just FYI, I'll explain how (IMHO) this applies to Agnosticism as well.

If you do not believe in the existence of a god, do you believe in an afterlife?

I haven't died (as far as I know), so how can I tell?

And if you do not believe in an afterlife, how can you believe in any form of ultimate justice, in which there is reward or punishment?

Who knows if there is or not?  It might be useful for me to assume there is, and "hedge my bets", but that's not a good enough reason in and of itself...

And if you cannot believe in ultimate justice, why do you not rape when you're horny, rob when you're broke, or kill when you're angry?

...but the Golden Rule is.  I live in society just like everyone else.  If I start raping and pillaging, there's no reason for others not to do the same to me.  On the other hand, if I was a hermit, there'd be no reason not to rape and pillage... but there'd also be nobody to victimize!

There may or may not be spiritual consequences for my actions, but they don't really matter anyway, because the coporeal ones are enough to determine my behavior.  All morality (but not religion) can be derived logically using the Golden Rule as the only postulate.

On a more personal, rambling note...
I have some friends who are fundamentalist Christians who try to convert me every once in a while, saying things to teh effect of "you'll only be saved if you believe that Christ died for your sins!  We don't sin out of respect and worship for Christ."  To this I reply, "Why would Christ insist I believe in him, especially since I have better reasons for being a moral person?  It seems rather prideful of him... isn't hubris a sin itself or something?" - in summary, I'm basically arguing that either faith is NOT required for salvation, or Christ is a hypocrite, and therefore a false god, so, either way, there's no reason for them to try to convert me - at best, they're misguided; at worst, they're cultists!

By the way, I have nothing against Jesus.  By most accounts (except the Romans') he seemd like a pretty nice guy... there's nothing to prove that he was the son of God though (and nothing to prove he's not).  I just shrug and get on with my life (and/or post on K5 about it!)

[ Parent ]

Atheist response (5.00 / 2) (#600)
by Nursie on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 11:16:13 AM EST

"If you do not believe in the existence of a god, do you believe in an afterlife?"

I have seen no evidence for either, so no. The fact that other people do is no incentive to believe. It's a nice idea, but the world could be so much of a better place if people concentrated on making this life better for everyone. Because as far as we know this is all we have. Even if it isn't, it's all we'll ever know about, which comes down to the same thing.

"If you do not believe in an afterlife, how can you believe in any form of ultimate justice"

I don't. Why should I believe the universe has any sort of justice built in? The after-life justice was a useful construct of religion as a control mechanism.

Peasant:Why am I poor and live in the mud, yet the clergy and the lord of the manor live in luxury?
Clergyman:You will be rewarded after you die! Work your life away for us, it's worth it, believe me!
Peasant:Praise be to god!


"why do you not rape when you're horny, rob when you're broke, or kill when you're angry?"

This is what consistently scares me about christians. If someone wasn't metaphorically holding a lake of fire over their heads, would they be running round, covered in goats blood, murdering and raping everywhere they went?

On a serious note, (and I'd quite like an answer to this, if any christians are reading):
If (and I know this is not possible) god was proven not to exist, would you rape/murder/steal? If you realised that there was no higher authority, would you run amok?

I don't do these things because I wouldn't like it to happen to me, or my girlfriend, or my mother, or my friends etc etc, and in the case of rape, I would have to kill myself afterwards, as living with that on my mind would not be possible. Causing pain to others is not acceptable, to an atheist or anyone else.
The difference between atheists and the religious that I see, is that the religious sometimes make exceptions to this rule for people like "unbelievers" because they see them as lesser or different, and often it's even supposed to be for their own good!

Satisfy your curiosity?

Meta Sigs suck.

[ Parent ]
A Christians opinion (4.00 / 1) (#861)
by Cro Magnon on Mon Sep 08, 2003 at 12:17:08 PM EST

The difference between atheists and the religious that I see, is that the religious sometimes make exceptions to this rule for people like "unbelievers" because they see them as lesser or different, and often it's even supposed to be for their own good!
Apparently, you know the wrong kind of "Christian". A true Christian would never harm anyone, believer or otherwise. Many people DO do very bad things and try to justify it with religion, but I'm sure the people behind the Crusades are sharing a very hot room with suicide bombers and Hitler & Stalin.
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
The wrong kind (none / 0) (#901)
by Nursie on Tue Sep 09, 2003 at 12:15:18 PM EST

Maybe I do know or think of the wrong kind of christian, but the problem seems to be that they are in the majority, or at least the public eye.

I'm sure the wrong sort of atheists exist too, as I am often one of them when on a bit of an anti-religious tirade.

Ah well, gotta work out the stress somehow, it's bizarre being a rather staunch atheist with a very material/scientific/faithless outlook on the world, but also being head over heals in love with a wiccan who believes in magic......

Meta Sigs suck.

[ Parent ]
Not the majority (none / 0) (#902)
by Cro Magnon on Tue Sep 09, 2003 at 01:53:28 PM EST

But they ARE the loudest.
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
Thinking about what happens after... (none / 0) (#517)
by plentpakw on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 02:49:22 AM EST

   Even if you don't care now, it might be important to think about what happens when you die.
   If there is a god, then the truth should be out there, and findable. If there is an afterlife, and if there are eternal consequences from this life, then it would probably be a very good idea to find out as much as you can about it.
   And if after looking for yourself, you decide there's nothing to be found, or that when you die, that's it, at least you've gained some insight and understanding into people. And all you've lost is time (which, if there's no afterlife, won't matter after you die anyway).

   As for me, I believe God exists for the same reasons I believe life exists, or beauty exists, or truth, or freedom, or love -- because I've experienced him. (And I do believe in him, too.)

[ Parent ]
If there is (none / 0) (#789)
by Sesquipundalian on Sun Sep 07, 2003 at 05:02:52 AM EST

even the remotest hint of any of this heaven bullshit when we die, I'll give you $73,271.00CND. Hows that for putting my money where my mouth is?


Did you know that gullible is not actually an english word?
[ Parent ]
999. (2.00 / 6) (#319)
by e polytarp on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 02:55:49 PM EST





My buddies


Is that the number of the dyslexic beast? [nt] (3.00 / 2) (#329)
by ObviousTroll on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 03:25:54 PM EST


Somewhere in America / There's a street named after my dad / And the home we never had.


[ Parent ]
Nah. [nt] (3.00 / 2) (#344)
by e polytarp on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 03:51:22 PM EST

It's the year when everyone got upset because of the last Apocalypse. Or at least it's the year when they should've got upset had their calendars been calenbrated.



My buddies


[ Parent ]
They accuse ME of talking nonsense! (2.18 / 11) (#323)
by Mr Hogan on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 03:03:38 PM EST

This story - and perforce the commentary under it -- pure gibberish pure exploded fiction! As instructive and illuminating as cats shedding mewls a chorus of musical dogs barking opera birds a twitter Vangelis chitter every other word refers to ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

--
Life is food and rape, then tilt.

Glad to see you've learned so much tolerance! (3.00 / 1) (#328)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 03:22:22 PM EST

and thanks for sharing that heartfelt and insightful message.


--
Monkey in the middle of a metal detector... Do you have yesterday's time?


[ Parent ]
What are you talking about tolerance? (2.25 / 4) (#360)
by Mr Hogan on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 04:29:31 PM EST

Perhaps you are merely inarticulate but believe you me friend I tolerate 100% your belief in fairies in the matrix and in a million other words dance on the head of a pin refer to absolutely nothing -- NO THING MOTHERFUCKER -- turtles all the way down - Jesus it's wasn't me sic-ed the inquisition after your ass the time you impiously threatened to cut off God's nose - the heresy can you imagine God having a nose!!! He is faceless he is timeless he is essence bark etc. bark!

People born on the other side of the planet reinvent the world after a different set of fundamentally ineffable abstractions - did so yesterday will do so again tomorrow long after the last bible has turned to dust its memory flitted away into outer-space - so it don't make no difference to me what are the exact sentences you erect not suspecting as you wander into absurdities your head filling up with platonic and moral absolutes your philosophers and theologians their airy fairy dialectics semantically identical to borderline personality disorders spend their lives studying chess instead of exploding Jewish folk tales into a towering Babel of gibberish inventing truth in inverse proportion to the possibility of measuring it - your free will fate the infinite etc -- you are too stupid to realize the ontology of rocks and humans is exactly the fucking same particles whiz differently is all that is there is no "soul" no "rationality" no "irrationality" there is not even "intelligence" there are but dogs and dog food. Then tilt.

Do I care? I don't care. I care about milkshakes I believe in tits hanging out of pretty dresses and in oil paint - those are the THINGS I do believe in. You? RHETORICAL QUESTION I just done told you I don't care what you believe -- whatever makes your worthless life more bearable is A-OK++ with me motherfucker -- Jesus what's wrong with you people -- worse than Hitler you are stay out of my way or by God I'll beat you with a stick

--
Life is food and rape, then tilt.
[ Parent ]

There's definitely a touch of the poet in you... (2.33 / 3) (#369)
by cr8dle2grave on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 04:56:00 PM EST

...but the rest of you is just plain touched.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
By three girls at the same time once. (none / 0) (#371)
by Mr Hogan on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 05:04:51 PM EST

Hey we're all sinners -- at least the best of us are.

--
Life is food and rape, then tilt.
[ Parent ]

if you don't care (none / 0) (#423)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 08:00:59 PM EST

why did you waste that much breathe telling me about it?<?p>

--
Monkey in the middle of a metal detector... Do you have yesterday's time?


[ Parent ]
IHBT. (1.00 / 1) (#427)
by Mr Hogan on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 08:13:59 PM EST

Again. Fuck.

--
Life is food and rape, then tilt.
[ Parent ]

Not deliberately. (none / 0) (#439)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 09:49:15 PM EST

If I was trolling I would have used my special-purpose TrollAccountTM.

You have to take responsibility for this all on your own.


--
Monkey in the middle of a metal detector... Do you have yesterday's time?


[ Parent ]
You're the last straw. (1.00 / 1) (#443)
by Mr Hogan on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 10:05:46 PM EST

I'm leaving this place no one can be trusted here forked tongues probing me with sloppy kisses fuck you fuck your jealous J. Dawg fuck Hulver and fuck this noxious pile of steaming troll dung kuro5hin -- ALL I WANTED WAS A PEPSI!

--
Life is food and rape, then tilt.
[ Parent ]

announcing that your leaving is sooo last week. (none / 0) (#446)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 10:13:47 PM EST

I mean, even *I* left. But, nobody noticed, so I came back.


--
Monkey in the middle of a metal detector... Do you have yesterday's time?


[ Parent ]
You won't tease my lack of resolve if I stay? (none / 0) (#449)
by Mr Hogan on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 10:25:44 PM EST

It's so nice here in the penis garden maybe I rushed to judgment.

--
Life is food and rape, then tilt.
[ Parent ]

I swear. (none / 0) (#452)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 10:30:46 PM EST

Would I lie to you?

I mean, would I lie to you with a straight face?


--
Monkey in the middle of a metal detector... Do you have yesterday's time?


[ Parent ]
Suicidal Tendencie? [mt] (none / 0) (#486)
by kpaul on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 12:51:38 AM EST


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]
Just a little depressed I guess. (none / 0) (#490)
by Mr Hogan on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 01:00:53 AM EST


--
Life is food and rape, then tilt.
[ Parent ]

i meant the 'all i wanted is a pepsi' bit... (none / 0) (#493)
by kpaul on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 01:08:53 AM EST

as that line is from a suicidal tendencies song from the 80s? maybe called independence? can't remember. anyway, i was just wondering if you'd got it from the song or had come up with it on your own or gotten it from somewhere else.

just curious, i guess. i caught the tail-end of a documentary on the Cola Wars tonight after workworld drudgery. i'm thinking there might be an article there, with Coke convincing the U.S. Govt. that they should be the sole providers of sugar water during WWII. almost put pepsi out of business once too. interesting story...

but i digress...


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

Oh yeah that song. (none / 0) (#497)
by Mr Hogan on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 01:31:27 AM EST

Boy is my face red I thought maybe you were cruising me.

--
Life is food and rape, then tilt.
[ Parent ]

cruising you? (none / 0) (#499)
by kpaul on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 01:39:35 AM EST

lost me on that one.


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

"Suicidal tendencies?" (none / 0) (#508)
by Mr Hogan on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 02:07:53 AM EST

That's a pick up line isn't it? I naturally assumed you were a goth.

--
Life is food and rape, then tilt.
[ Parent ]

Curious (2.83 / 6) (#324)
by zephc on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 03:06:01 PM EST

kpaul: I notice you have a Jefferson quote in your sig.  What do you think of the Jeffersonian Bible?  I rather admire it's idea of sticking to the teachings without getting into the hocus pocus.

It's a strange border, between Jefferson and (none / 0) (#327)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 03:21:04 PM EST

a more traditional believer. I mean, I'm a lot closer to ol' Tom than to Pat Robertson, but I reserve the right to be proven wrong. :-P

My final assertion, though, is that it doesn't matter. Belief in the Rapture is not a scriptural requirement for salvation...


--
Monkey in the middle of a metal detector... Do you have yesterday's time?


[ Parent ]
Jefferson (none / 0) (#484)
by kpaul on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 12:47:12 AM EST

to be honest, don't know much about the Jeffersonian Bible. i don't like what the majority of modern media does, though, hence the quote inclusion.

he had some other good quotes as well.


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

Fundamentalist mythology (4.10 / 10) (#346)
by IHCOYC on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 03:56:11 PM EST

Fundamentalist mythology is a perversion of Christianity.

It teaches believers that they have no obligation to be peacemakers, because human history is wholly foreordained and that a nuclear Armageddon is inevitable, and indeed, something to look forward to. Most believers in That Sort of Thing hope also that they will sit on the sidelines, magically poofed to Heaven before any of the plagues rain down on the unsaved remnants.

According to this belief system, when Israel was founded in 1947, a fuse was lit that cannot be extinguished, and started a one-way countdown to the end of the world. We have no responsibilities for peace in the region; it's impossible, and anyways war in the region is part of God's plan. All we can do is rejoice, and arm Israel in hopes it does something drastic to provoke or oppress its neighbours. We need not tell them that we actually hope that the surviving Jews will be converted, and Judaism destroyed, by events foretold by our prophetic timetables.

When the actual Last Judgment comes around, I suspect that those Christians who made this mythology an important part of their faith will be surprised to learn that they have renounced the blessings and volunteered for the curses. "No, we didn't feed the hungry. We thought that the international relief agencies might be pawns of the Antichrist!" That ain't what the Judge wants to hear.
 --
Quod sequitur, sicut serica lucis albissima tingere rogant;
Quod sequitur, totum devorabit.

if there is going to be some sort of end-game (2.00 / 4) (#354)
by Prophet themusicgod1 on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 04:10:09 PM EST

and the jews were god's chosen peoples (thanks to their deal/covenant with him)... ...then whats really keeping hitler as a bad guy? i mean, he sent a lot of jews to heaven, right?...then the world ended for anyone who was important (read : gypsies, jews, homosexuals, and to a lesser extent catholics and rationalists), right?

in the meanwhile, if you beleive in heaven, and if you beleive by faith your going to heaven, can i first kill then fuck you? (or at least use your corpse to construct some sort of poser goth blood shrine?) :)
"I suspect the best way to deal with procrastination is to put off the procrastination itself until later. I've been meaning to try this, but haven't gotten around to it yet."swr
"Kill them, let God sort them out" (4.25 / 4) (#381)
by jonathan_ingram on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 05:39:21 PM EST

In 1210 AD, Pope Innocent III unleashed "orders of fire and sword" against a group of heretics throughout Europe, mostly remembered as Cathars. Of special note, at the great city of Beziers, France there was a terrible massacre of heretics. Though the actual count will never be known, it is thought that perhaps 100,000 people were ultimately slaughtered. The papal forces besieged Beziers and all inside were commanded to surrender and repent. The heretics inside, also known as Waldensians or Albigensians, were believers in a widespread form of gnosticism which threatened the greedy and materialistic goals of the Papacy.

According to a Catholic source, "Caesarius of Heisterbach: Medieval Heresies," after the city was taken, at a cost in life of thousands of defenders, about 450 heretics were "examined" by the inquisitors and many of them claimed to be Christians rather than being heretics and would not repent. Others claimed to be good Catholics and did not want to die. Fearing the possibility that these were lying, must have caused the infamous phrase to first be uttered. In Latin, "Neca eos omnes. Deus suos agnoset" or "Kill them all. God will know His own." This was a misunderstood reference to 2 Tim. 2:19 which in part reads, "The Lord knoweth them that are his" (KJV). About fifty were hanged, the rest were burned to death. At this time, most Catholics felt that life on earth was simply a brief interlude to prepare for the hereafter. If one led a godly life, God would know of it, and the reward would be eternal paradise. So, this statement made perfect sense according to the concepts of Catholic righteousness. If every single soul in Beziers were killed, the good would go to Heaven and the evil would go to Hell, and so the papal killers were doing God's work. The New Testament says, John 5:22, "For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son," (NKJ) And, obviously, man is not to murder (Luke 18:20; James 2:11).

(from here — the first relevant Google result)
-- Jon
[ Parent ]
Zorostrian influence (4.00 / 4) (#358)
by rafael on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 04:23:56 PM EST

Interesting fact : the Christian eschatology has been deeply influenced by the Zoroastrian religion, one of the very first monotheisms, and notably the figure of the Saoshyant.

Jive/Jibe (3.00 / 2) (#368)
by ocrow on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 04:50:42 PM EST

I see a glimpse of how it could be interpreted that way here and there, but when you put all the pieces of the puzzle together, it doesn't jive with the info we've been given.

I believe the word you were looking for is jibe, not jive. Unless perhaps you feel that this interpretation is a jazz quartet. Then it might jive with it.

as an agnostic (2.66 / 2) (#375)
by gr00vey on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 05:29:00 PM EST

I have to ask, why on earth do you believe this? And what do you thnk about carbon-dating? I am sure you are familiar with "st anselms theory", so maybe you base your faith on that? Just curious.

Carbon dating? (2.40 / 5) (#479)
by nuntius on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 12:24:11 AM EST

Here goes my pre-packaged carbon dating rant.

Please fasten your safety harness, its a long ride.

I.) What is carbon dating?
As plants and animals breathe, they absorb chemicals out of the air.  They also obtain chemicals from the soil and from the consumption of other plants and animals.  Carbon is an interesting chemical because certain processes cause a fraction of the airborne carbon to become radioactive (C14), while carbon in the ground generally isn't (C12).

When an organism is alive, it will intake and store C14 from the air.  When it dies, there will be no more carbon uptake.  Since the C14 decays into C12, we can measure the ratio of C14/C12 in a sample to estimate how long ago the organism quit receiving air.  In other words, we can estimate when it died.

II.) The math
The decay of C14 to C12 follows a very stable exponential decay.  Therefore, given a current quantity of C14, we can easily calculate how much C14 we would have had at any time in history.

To find out how old the organism was, we need only one more piece of information.  We need to know how much C14 was in the atmosphere at various times in history.  To do this, scientists like taking samples from trees.  As you probably know, trees grow a new ring every year.  Also, each ring quits receiving C14 when the next ring grows.  Thus, by sampling big old trees that died at a known time, we can calculate the C14 ratio back until the tree started growing.  This technique gets us back several thousand years.

Once we know the decay curve and the initial conditions, we can find the intersection of them.  That year should be when the organism of interest died.

III.) The extrapolation
Up until here, not many people should complain.

However, our tree records only give us a small sampling of initial conditions back for several thousand years.  Beyond that, we have no data from prime sources.  Hence, any data before then must be found by extrapolating back to estimate the initial conditions.

If you've ever watched a weather forecast or talked to a stock broker, you will know that estimation is critically based on models of how things work.  It is also often just plain wrong.  Usually, there are different viable models which work at least some of the time.

Geologic evolutionists generally assume that everything is essentially steady-state.  Therefore, the C14 level (a big number of) years ago was roughly the same as it is now.  Therefore, if a sample has an unusually low amount of C14, is must be very old.

Creationists (aka literal Christians) believe that God created the earth in a week.  Therefore the steady-state assumption is invalid.  Working from the "garden of Eden" to "the Fall" progression, they also assume that the early earth was a healthy place - i.e. it had rather low radiation levels.  Their model would expect a rapidly increasing level of C14 (due to volcanic action and modern-day processes) which would then converge to what is recorded in the tree rings.  Therefore, a sample with an unusually low amount of C14 is assumed to have died shortly after the earth was created - not necessarily that long ago.  Since there are a lot of fossilized organisms with approximately the same levels of C14, they happily point to a mass death which nicely correlates with the Biblical flood.

IV.) Other stuffs
Take a few courses in numerical analysis and you will soon say, "Once sample is nothing!  I need several to at least get a feeling for the average and statistical variation!!!".

That is true.  The samples we have may be unusually high or low.  Water flowing through rocks may selectively leech C12 or C14 from samples (it is not uncommon for different isotopes to slightly favor different compounds).  We have almost no data on the current variation of C14 levels about the globe, much less historical variations.  And there are always the snails in England which, although currently living, frequently date to several million years ago.

V.) Conclusion
I'm not trying to preach at you; I just hope that you can now see that, believing in a young earth is not necessarily un-scientific.  Yes, its un-trendy with popular science, but that doesn't really count for much anyway.

Basing one's faith purely on the trends of science is folly.  Note that Christ never tried using "proofs" in His sermons.  Some say that's because He was a hoax, but I believe that He simply knew better.

Please feel free to ask (non-trolling) questions.

[ Parent ]

errata (3.00 / 1) (#482)
by nuntius on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 12:35:52 AM EST

C14 decays to N14 - NOT C12.
http://www.c14dating.com/int.html

[ Parent ]
Please take your rant (3.33 / 3) (#540)
by fhotg on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 05:51:33 AM EST

and put it where the sun doesn't shine.

It's mostly bullshit.

Find out about C14 - dating at a good source, for example www.c14dating.com.
~~~
Gitarren fr die Mdchen -- Champagner fr die Jungs

[ Parent ]

Ad hominem attacks are pointless (3.00 / 1) (#545)
by richarj on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 06:48:20 AM EST

Debate properly you are not a Troll.

"if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
[ Parent ]
spouting lies in authorative disguise (none / 0) (#550)
by fhotg on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 07:05:34 AM EST

when the facts are so obvious makes me angry. I give all info you need to convince yourself who talks bs and who not.

There is nothing to 'debate' here.

I didn't post my assumptions about the intellectual capabilities of the original poster, so there's hardly any 'ad hominem' here.
~~~
Gitarren fr die Mdchen -- Champagner fr die Jungs

[ Parent ]

Much bigger errata (4.00 / 2) (#584)
by Nursie on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 09:44:38 AM EST

This is a blatant falsehood. What in fact happens is that we date samples of wood by using the amount of C14 in a sample of modern wood as a comparison. The percentage of C14 in living wood is considered to be equal to the percentage in the sample at the time it was living.
Now, if we know the half life of C14 (which we do) and we can measure how much is in the sample(which we can) then we can tell how long the sample has been dead.
There are fluctuations in the amount of C14 in the air, verying small amounts, which affect the age given by C14 dating. However a calibration of carbon dating can be carried out by using samples of a known age. These have been extended back to 10,000 years. By using living trees. You seem to ridicule the idea of using living trees as a comparison (and have their use wrong). We have trees older then the bible says the earth existed, and they can be used to accurately date other samples.

Thus the view of an earth only 6000 years old is not only not trendy in scientific circles, it is completely unfounded on any scientific principle, and purely in the realm of religion.

Unless anyone would like to dispute that trees grow a ring every year?

Carbon dating beyond that is by extrapolation, and it has been shown that there are fluctuations in the level of C14, so may be an uncertain science beyond 10,000 years. Even so it is a useful tool to probe into the further past, but not taken as 100% accurate beyond then. This is not to say it will be wrong, and say something is 250,000 years old when in fact it is but 5000 years old, because we know when something is older than that with relative certainty.

Nothing is proved beyond doubt, revision or disproof, it's just that to take a stance of disbelief is not valid when presented with the evidence, unless you have a compelling alternative explanation.

Oh yeah, one last thing:-
Jesus didn't use proof because (as far as we have any proof) he was a man living in the middle east around the year 0, he may have been a kind and wise man, and a good teacher, but back then they didn't have as much in the way of scienctific research, and definitely no carbon dating.

Meta Sigs suck.

[ Parent ]
An author's defense (5.00 / 1) (#655)
by nuntius on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 04:53:30 PM EST

First, when did I state an exact number of years? Nowhere. Since tree rings are caused by seasonal fluctuations; I also believe that its possible to form multiple rings each year due to unusually fast seasonal fluctuations; right now, I don't remember where I got that impression. Second, comparing an old C14 sample to one in current trees makes the blatant assumption of a constant atmospheric C14 level. I believe I touched on why some people readily challenge that. Please be more specific in defining what exactly I said was false. Thanks.

[ Parent ]
Oh dear (none / 0) (#900)
by Nursie on Tue Sep 09, 2003 at 12:07:31 PM EST

Second, comparing an old C14 sample to one in current trees makes the blatant assumption of a constant atmospheric C14 level.

No, No, No, No, No!!!!!!!!

Did you miss the part where I said that you use samples of a known age to compensate for fluctuations? There is no assumption that the C14 levels remained the same. They started out doing that and found it was inaccurate, so now they compensate for the changes over time!

There's not a lot of point reading a rebuttal of your argument if you're not going to take it on board.............

Meta Sigs suck.

[ Parent ]
st anselms theory (3.00 / 1) (#480)
by kpaul on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 12:30:39 AM EST

not familiar with it. can you give a summary or should i google it?

carbon dating says the earth is really, really old, doesn't it - that is, it's a method to date things going way back. i often wonder that the days in Genesis weren't necessarily days as we know them now. not entirely sure, though.

why do i believe this? i guess i go with the Intelligent Design logic - that what we see didn't spring forth from nothing. More importantly, though, i believe it via faith, the Holy Spirit here to comfort me.

i don't know. i guess i look around and see exactly what He said those many years ago.

it is a leap of faith. of that there's no doubt. ;)


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

This is what I don't get (none / 0) (#528)
by kvan on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 04:10:20 AM EST

Why invest yourself intelectually and emotionally in Intelligent Design, as opposed to just resigning yourself to the fact that we don't know yet (and might never)? This is, I think, at the core of what I Just Don't Get(tm) about religion.

My personal take on this: Every triumph of human intellect over the unknown is glorious, not only because of the increase in our body of knowledge, but also because it shows us new things we don't know; reveals further uncharted lands for us to explore.

"Many people would sooner die than think; in fact, most do." - Bertrand Russell


[ Parent ]
Intelligent Design logic (none / 0) (#637)
by gr00vey on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 03:29:32 PM EST

*IS* st anslems theory. You need some theology classes there... Jebus ;)

[ Parent ]
and I also want to mention (none / 0) (#639)
by gr00vey on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 03:33:21 PM EST

the fact that you did not know this, only furthers why I am agnostic. Most religious folks are too lazy to learn... ;)

[ Parent ]
not laziness, rather... (none / 0) (#665)
by kpaul on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 05:59:44 PM EST

lack of time to tackle (and know) everything. ;)

i think i've said it, but i'll say it again - my belief is primarily / entirely faith based. that is, it's hard to put into words exactly why i believe what i believe other than i look around and see God everywhere and the bible meshes the best with what i see around me.

i'm not too much into science - more of a literature/poetry type of guy. ;)


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

The average Christian (none / 0) (#690)
by leviramsey on Sat Sep 06, 2003 at 01:14:37 AM EST

...knows far less of theology and the nature of the Christian conception of Deity than the average atheist or agnostic.

At least in my experience.

Kinda tells you something that those who study the Bible the deepest are the ones who reject (or at least reject significant portions of) it.



[ Parent ]
Huh? (4.00 / 2) (#376)
by SPYvSPY on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 05:31:41 PM EST

This being, the creator, God, first made the angels, a vast amount of superior beings. Some of the angels rebelled, led by one who was called Lucifer.

After the angels, God decided to create humans, beings made in His own image (whatever that might truly mean).


A side point, but one that utterly undermines your whole article: you missed the whole idea behind Lucifer's tale. Lucifer, like all angels, was created and told to love God. Then God created man and told the angels to serve man. Lucifer loved God too much to allow himself to divert any attention to man, and thereby Lucifer disobeyed God and was cast out of Heaven. That is also the source of Lucifer's mixed relationship to man. I think it's one of the most interesting parts of the biblical tradition, actually. There are many other examples of excessive devotion leading to ruin in literary traditions.
------------------------------------------------

By replying to this or any other comment in this thread, you assign an equal share of all worldwide copyright in such reply to each of the other readers of this site.

Re: Loving God too much (4.33 / 3) (#396)
by isenguard on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 06:10:02 PM EST

Lucifer loved God too much to allow himself to divert any attention to man, and thereby Lucifer disobeyed God and was cast out of Heaven.

That's an interesting construction on the events, but to claim that it's part of the "biblical tradition" is surely stretching things a bit? My knowledge of the Bible isn't perfect but is reasonably comprehensive, but I am completely unable to think of any passage in the Bible that even suggests this.

Anyway, the biblical idea of love isn't primarily about feelings, it's about actions: see James 2, for example, or this quote from Jesus:

If you love me, you will obey what I command. (John 14:15)


--
Lyndon Drake
[ Parent ]
Qur'an (5.00 / 1) (#459)
by Bridge Troll on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 10:44:12 PM EST

The view of Lucifer as the too-loving, too-devout angel comes mainly from the Islamic tradition.


And besides, pounding your meat with a club is a very satisfying thing to do :) -- Sleepy
[ Parent ]
Aaah (none / 0) (#520)
by isenguard on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 02:54:46 AM EST

Most enlightening - I've learned something this morning already :-)

--
Lyndon Drake
[ Parent ]
Anyway... (none / 0) (#650)
by SPYvSPY on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 04:28:12 PM EST

...your quotation supports my reading of Lucifer. God tells Lucifer to obey (i.e., love) Him. Then God tells Lucifer to attend to man. Lucifer is trapped in the conundrum of having to obey God vs. wanting to devote himself to God out of the non-action kind of love (maybe better expressed as 'coveting' God).
------------------------------------------------

By replying to this or any other comment in this thread, you assign an equal share of all worldwide copyright in such reply to each of the other readers of this site.
[ Parent ]

Interesting article, fascinating comments! (4.12 / 8) (#378)
by mjs on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 05:32:52 PM EST

The thing which strikes me most forcefully here is the number (according to a brief, incomplete and unscientific scroll through the comments,) of hateful comments about Christianity in general and/or Christians in particular. In contrast, a recent article on Buddism generated no comments negative toward that faith at all (indeed, the only negative comments I found were directed at Christians and Christianity.) Some comments were positively foaming-at-the-mouth rabid rants at which I sat back wondering what possible events in a life could have caused such unreasoned rage? Sure, Christianity as a faith and some Christians in particular have been responsible for some of the most barbaric and disgusting episodes in human history -- but then the same could be said of any other faith*. Islam, Hindus, Buddists -- you name it, they've all been used as the cover of some psychotic mass-murderer, at some point in time. There are no clean religions.

Taking the article as written, I thought it reasonably successful as a basic primer to some of the different variations on biblical eschatology and I enjoyed reading it. The only flaw that jumped out at me was failure to mention that these interpretations are by no means universal among Christians; one rather gets the impression that it was an all-inclusive list when possibly a majority of Christians don't follow any of these interpretations. Still, useful and interesting.

mjs

* Might start some interesting discussion with this. Aum Shinrikyu mambers claimed to be Buddist, their actions "defending" Buddism. Lots of Japanese claim Buddist faith: I wonder what Chinese or Korean survivors of World War II think of their gentle, loving nature? Ask a Dalit or a Sikh what they think of Hindus. Islam -- do we need to go there? Others: this isn't intended to be a comprehensive encyclopedia of religious-inspired atrocities. Look them up, if you're curious. Bottom line: there are no clean hands, athiests and agnostics included.

Not surprising (none / 0) (#395)
by zillydonkey on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 06:03:08 PM EST

Considering how despite being a pacifist, many "christians" (i suspect everybody knows at least one) are not. Many "christians" merely become part of the church structure, taking part in the ritual of "service" like a "good christian", yet going about their lives with hate and bigotry on their minds.

Couple this with (note parent post) the various atrocities commited by "christian" "governments" citing "religious" reasons, such as the russian pogroms and Stalin's early "cleansings".
-- my sig is wank
[ Parent ]

Well... (5.00 / 1) (#431)
by niku on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 08:45:46 PM EST

I don't hate christians, but at times they can grate on my nerves, simply because of the prevalance of their culture and their evangalism. Comparing Christianity to buddhism is a flawed comparison, as one is a religion and one is a philosophy.

Also, I think it is worthwile to consider the cultural context in which the article was written. I would imagine that if a similar article was written about islam in a predominantly islamic culture on a site that has a good sized contingent of libral and people from a scientific/engineering background, there would be an equal amount of critism towards that religion. Since most of the readers of this site come from a "western" worldview experience with buddhism is much less than with christianity, and I don't think most people from the west have had experience of buddhist authority figures telling them not to do things.

anyway, forgive the spelling, I'm tired.


--
Nicholas Bernstein, Technologist, artist, etc.
http://nicholasbernstein.com
[ Parent ]
So, exactly what is the difference (none / 0) (#442)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 10:00:46 PM EST

between religion and philosophy?


--
Monkey in the middle of a metal detector... Do you have yesterday's time?


[ Parent ]
Claimed authority, IMO (5.00 / 1) (#466)
by KnightStalker on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 11:21:58 PM EST

And a shared set of traditions. What makes the difference to me is that a philosophy is just your opinion, but a religion is Revealed Truth. It's true because someone with authority says so. Also, a religion contains traditions that are to be followed. While Buddhist cultures may have ancient traditions, as I understand it, they aren't necessarily a part of Buddhism. Unless I'm wrong, Buddhists don't claim any authority for their views. You accept it if you think it makes sense, not because God or the church says so.

[ Parent ]
Dunno about that. (5.00 / 2) (#472)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 11:36:39 PM EST

Buddhism, to use your example, has authorities (how 'bout that Buddha?) rituals, traditions and aspects of "Revealed Truth" (What else is the 8-fold path?)

Meanwhile, there are Christian sects that don't require a belief in the divinity of Christ, and many branches that argue that what, exactly, you believe is a matter between you and God.

All I'm really trying to say here is that you're creating a binary situation out of what's really a spectrum. Obviously, orthodox judaism is a religon. Equally obviously, utilitarianism is a philosophy. But they are two ends of a spectrum. Buddhism is somewhere in the middle between them, and most of Christianity isn't far from that.


--
Monkey in the middle of a metal detector... Do you have yesterday's time?


[ Parent ]
The 8 fold path (5.00 / 1) (#585)
by Gully Foyle on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 09:53:57 AM EST

Is what worked for the Buddha. It isn't revealed truth, since he discovered it himself through long meditation.

If you weren't picked on in school you were doing something wrong - kableh
[ Parent ]

And all those Buddha statues (none / 0) (#686)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sat Sep 06, 2003 at 01:06:23 AM EST

aren't idols and aren't prayed to by the people bowing before them?


--
Monkey in the middle of a metal detector... Do you have yesterday's time?


[ Parent ]
Sure, but that wasn't my point. (none / 0) (#705)
by Gully Foyle on Sat Sep 06, 2003 at 07:33:55 AM EST


If you weren't picked on in school you were doing something wrong - kableh
[ Parent ]

Definitions: (none / 0) (#624)
by niku on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 02:40:59 PM EST

The Following definitions are from WordNet ala the kdict program. The primary difference (imo) is religion is a philosophy but a philosophy is not necessarially a religion. The requirement for a belief in a higher power in religion is what seperates the two.
philosophy, n
1: a belief (or system of beliefs) accepted as authoritative by some group or school [syn: doctrine, school of thought, ism]
2: the rational investigation of questions about existence and knowledge and ethics
3: any personal belief about how to live or how to deal with a situation; "self-indulgence was his only philosophy"; "my father's philosophy of child-rearing was to let mother do it"
religion, n
1: a strong belief in a supernatural power or powers that control human destiny; "he lost his faith but not his morality" [syn: faith, religious belief]
2: institution to express belief in a divine power; "he was raised in the Baptist religion"; "a member of his own faith contradicted him" [syn: faith]

--
Nicholas Bernstein, Technologist, artist, etc.
http://nicholasbernstein.com
[ Parent ]
Bah. There are religions that do not (5.00 / 1) (#710)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sat Sep 06, 2003 at 09:12:40 AM EST

have a controlling entity - animism, for example.

And there are philosophies that very much revolve around control - fascism, for example.

As I said, it is very much a spectrum and not a simple either/or distinction.


--
Monkey in the middle of a metal detector... Do you have yesterday's time?


[ Parent ]
bah yourself (none / 0) (#874)
by Wah on Mon Sep 08, 2003 at 02:19:23 PM EST

one small exception versus 4,000,000,000 believers in an exception that proves the rule, rather than breaks it.

And 'control' wasn't mentioned, it was the belief in a higher power and/or 'revealed Word' that makes the definition difference.  It is a spectrum, but it is not too hard to tell which bucket to put a particulr set of beliefs in.
--
kewpie
[ Parent ]

The negativity isn't against Christians... (5.00 / 4) (#450)
by seraph93 on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 10:26:51 PM EST

...it's directed at bigots and closed-minded assholes who just happen to prefer using Christian mythology to explain the universe. Any group of people, regardless of religious preference, is still just a group of people. There will be a percentage of them who are wonderful, loving people, and a percentage who are petty and mean. Most of the people on K5 live in places where Christianity is the dominant religion, and have therefore met far more asshole Christians than asshole members of other religions.

Sikhs, Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, Jews, Scientologists, etc., etc... I'm sure these religions all have their share of idiots who would be all too happy to explain to me why I am inferior and hellbound because I don't share their delusions. But so far, none of them have done so, mainly because they are not in the majority where I live.

On the other hand, Christians have been telling me this sort of thing for my entire life. It gets old after a while, and I think that might explain why it's easy to start foaming rabidly whenever the same old bullshit comes spewing out of a new mouth.

It's a shame, really. There are probably far more good Christians out there than bad, but it's the negativity that leaves the greatest impression. So when I think of Christianity, I tend to think of the arrogant, fuming zealots that have done so much to piss me off throughout my life, instead of all the humble, generous, loving people who live their everyday lives following in the footsteps of Christ.
--
Ph-nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.
[ Parent ]
Buddhist Rebirth for the Record (5.00 / 3) (#494)
by igny ignoble on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 01:11:10 AM EST

Like I fucking care. I mean come on. Reincarnation? That's extremely easy to actually disprove compared to Christianity. Human neural patterns couldn't be grafted onto lesser creatures. That whole theory is just taking dejavu and thinking about it as a religious manifestation before anyone had a word for it.

Buddhist rebirth mentions nothing of the sort. Only karmatic results move on to new beings, not neural patterns.

[ Parent ]

Neural patterns (5.00 / 1) (#554)
by rafael on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 07:30:01 AM EST

On the other hand Christianism teaches that neural patterns continue to survive the death of the physical brain. That's extremely easy to actually disprove compared to Buddhism.

[ Parent ]
It does? (none / 0) (#626)
by gzt on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 02:45:46 PM EST

Good grief, then no Christianism for me! What a relief.

In case you can't tell, I'm being sarcastic. You, sir, are attacking a "straw man". It's getting so that I'm almost prepared to not call myself Christian, given the horribly inane things people will suppose I believe...

[ Parent ]

don't worry (5.00 / 1) (#649)
by Battle Troll on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 04:25:40 PM EST

People will believe horribly inane things no matter what you call yourself.

Ever had that feeling that someone is stupid that you want to kill yourself? It's not worth it, though. Much better to kill him instead.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

Umm... The Bah&aacute;'&iacute;s? (5.00 / 2) (#498)
by israfil on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 01:34:24 AM EST

    "...they've all been used as the cover of some psychotic mass-murderer, at some point in time. There are no clean religions."
I've got one for your list: The Bahá'í Faith.
  1. They've got no clergy. They have an elected and democratic internal governance. There is no individual authority for any member (only elected councils have authority).
  2. It's got explicit prohibitions against coercive conversions by any means IN THE ORIGINAL, authenticated text. This includes not only violent threat, but coersion, incentive (financial, etc.), or withholding service (join or we won't help build that well-pump and feed you)
  3. Original texts, so no nasty arguments about what books are, or aren't valid
  4. No sects or denominations to fight and argue and slaughter each other.
  5. Highly educated, and self-motivated world-wide community, harnessing the best of local culture, in a global meta-culture.
  6. Explicit scriptural tolerance and acceptance of others' Faiths and right to believe. Investigation of the truth is (normatively) an independant process, so one baha'i can't tell another what to think
  7. Consultative model for problem solving (looks like concensus model, but is more practical) that avoids contention and politicking.
  8. A historical track-record of looking at itself and re-adjusting its course to fit the needs of the age, without compromizing its principles.
  9. Avoidance of partisan politics and factionalism of any kind.
None of the above necessarily makes it true, but, among others, they address some of the main causes of religious war, historically - especially the individual power trip. The evaluation of the truth or falsehood of The Bahá'í Faith is left as an exercise to the reader. But it hasn't been used to justify any sort of "holy-war" or any such thing. It answers the claim that "there are no clean religions" in that respect.

My friend Mishkín has posted several from a collection of short writings of the founder of the Bahá'í Faith, Bahá'u'lláh, in his diary. They're very encouraging, and go-a-little-something-like-this:

    O SON OF SPIRIT!
    Noble have I created thee, yet thou hast abased thyself. Rise then unto that for which thou wast created.

i. - this sig provided by /dev/arandom and an infinite number of monkeys with keyboards.
[ Parent ]
Bah' Faith disqualified (none / 0) (#538)
by fhotg on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 05:39:19 AM EST

if only for the reason that their web-page is the first one for a looong time, that manages to crash my browser (Moz 1.3).

Maybe they use a spell against evil onlookers though.
~~~
Gitarren fr die Mdchen -- Champagner fr die Jungs

[ Parent ]

Works in 1.5b (5.00 / 1) (#720)
by israfil on Sat Sep 06, 2003 at 10:40:42 AM EST

I like your style. I laughed my behind off after the setup.

It would be appropriate to the style of Bahá'í presentation to suggest that getting the latest version of the browser would be wise. (See progressive revelation to get that one)

In general, you can try Bahai.com for an alternate source - it contains various concepts, links to the source texts, etc. Also you can find better organized material at A Bahá'í Faith Page.



i. - this sig provided by /dev/arandom and an infinite number of monkeys with keyboards.
[ Parent ]
Too new (none / 0) (#846)
by Viliam Bur on Mon Sep 08, 2003 at 06:48:14 AM EST

give them some time (and power), and then see what happens.

Of course, there are also younger religions, whose hands are no longer clean. So far, good luck to Baha'is! I guess the denominations will appear soon, but they may handle each other peacefully.

[ Parent ]

Yes, yes, yes... (none / 0) (#881)
by DavidTC on Mon Sep 08, 2003 at 04:52:46 PM EST

...none of the seventeen members of the Bah' Faith have ever been evil.

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]
That's easy.... (2.75 / 4) (#501)
by YelM3 on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 01:42:36 AM EST

Buddhism doesn't promote war and genocide and hatred.

Christianity has a fairly questionable record in these areas.

Plus, a lot of Christians are close-minded sheep. Now maybe a lot of Buddhists are as well, but we don't have to deal with the radical Buddhist Right or anti-abortion Buddhist murderers.

Indeed, Judeo-Christian values are the basis of our wonderful little Western society, is it so suprising that people pick on Christianity a lot? It's easy (and maybe correct) to blame most of our problems on our society's moral background.

[ Parent ]

Buddhism doesn't? (none / 0) (#724)
by Estanislao Martnez on Sat Sep 06, 2003 at 11:06:22 AM EST

Really?

--em
[ Parent ]

I love fascist liberals... (2.00 / 1) (#727)
by debillitatus on Sat Sep 06, 2003 at 11:26:57 AM EST

Buddhism doesn't promote war and genocide and hatred.

Sorry my friend, but this is utter bullshit.

Unless you're arguing that Southeast Asia and India have been utterly peaceful, genocide-free, and loving. Which I'm thinking you're not.

Now, you could say that when Buddhists do this, they are not really Buddhists but just using the name of the faith. I'll let you figure out how this invalidates your own argument.

Christianity has a fairly questionable record in these areas.

Does it? Has Christianity ever committed genocide? Please show me a case where any of these things happened, and Christianity was the clear and only cause.

Plus, a lot of Christians are close-minded sheep.

You know, I bet you're one of those people who prides himself on his open-mindedness. Some bigoted bullshit would never come out of your mouth...

Damn you and your daily doubles, you brigand!
[ Parent ]

fascist liberals? wtf? (none / 0) (#818)
by YelM3 on Sun Sep 07, 2003 at 05:08:01 PM EST

Sure, vote me a 1 because you don't agree.
In any case, I was thinking of Tibetan Buddhism, which I should have stated.
And, um, the Crusades?

[ Parent ]
Crusades were not genocide (n/t) (none / 0) (#828)
by richarj on Sun Sep 07, 2003 at 08:35:22 PM EST



"if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
[ Parent ]
Hate what you know (5.00 / 2) (#573)
by godix on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 08:58:17 AM EST

They hate christianity because they can not escape it's influence. The vast majority of K5 readers are from christian nations. As such they've been exposed to Chistianity and it's ideas since birth and it's influence plays a large part in their lives. It's possible to love or hate Christmas, the 10 commandments, Easter, politicians using God to get elected, abortion arguements centered about biblical belief, etc. but it's hard to ignore it and not be influenced in some way. OTOH Non-christian religions are easy to ignore, Buddhism and ideas inspired from Buddhism has little role or influence in their daily life unless they choose to put it there.

I'm quite sure if these same rabid anti-christians were born elsewhere they'd be posting about how Buddha was a rich fat fuck, Islamics are a bunch of violent assholes, or Hindu is nothing but taking porn into religion. The religion of your birthplace has influence, sometimes it just isn't a good influence.

"Fuck... may be appropriate in certain venues... (Florida Elections Commission, speed eating contests, public defender offices) and may be inappropriate in
[ Parent ]

An atheist's reply (3.66 / 3) (#577)
by Nursie on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 09:16:41 AM EST

Nice Troll by the way, I hope those aren't really your opinions, if they are then I pity one with a mind so closed.

Now let us begin:
Atheists are just "I hate Church" people.

Now I know a lot of atheists whose viewpoints have grown from boredom with an established religion, but it's not that they hate going to church, it's that they realise one day that they don't believe in anything they're being told, so they examine why they are there. After examination they realise they are there for the sake of tradition/family or some other non spiritual reason. Thus they realise they are not actually christian.

The thing is I also know a lot of wiccans who had the same awakening, but instead of the realisation that they believed nothing, it was just that they believed something else.
Anyway, point is, Atheists (in general) are not just lazy christians. They actually don't believe in your god.

Think about that simpsons episode where Homer decided to not go to church and almost burned down his own house? That's the idea.

Nope, that is an american, who lives in a society so obsessed with being a looking good to others and so obsessed with doing what everyone else thinks is right that he is demonised for a lack of belief. That episode kinda disgusts me (and I love the simpsons) because it appears to be giving people the message that if they don't believe in anything then they are going to suffer, but otherwise pick a religion, any one will do, doesn't matter about them all claiming exclusive domain over the truth and that other stuff.

Basically it's just an attitude like: "I will beleive anything as long as it isn't Christianity". That explains satanism and goths.

What is? this appears to be in response to text about Buddists. Are you saying buddists are just rebellious christians? Come on!

Also, a big "fuck you" on the goth thing, It's not a reaction against your god, I'm a goth, and it's not a religion, it's a way of dressing, and it's generally got a bit of hedonistic philosophy thrown in there, and a viewpoint that the world sucks and I don't want to be part of it. But it's NOT a religious standpoint. I know wiccan goths, atheist goths (like me), christian goths, and even I think 1 muslim goth. Do not speak of what you do not know, god boy!

Slavery was developed by pagans

And carried on by christians I believe?

Europe was absolutely violent and barbaric before Christianity.

Europe was always a violent place, I'll agree, but some of the worst wars and violence we've ever seen were over which flavour of god was believed in. That wasn't even christians killing unbelievers, that was one sect trying their best to commit genocide on another. Great stuff, christians really are loving and forgiving people huh?
Can I mention witch trials too? Nasty Nasty christian idea those, took place throughout europe, done in gods name. Anyone that questioned them was of course ungodly and in turn a witch. Burning people alive isn't nice.

The whole worthless Meso-American world was awash in killing for the hell of it ideas.

Yes, yes it was. Then the christian spanish came along a killed or enslaved them all! And spread syphilis too! Marvellous these christian values getting about.

If anything killing on average *decreased* because someone finally said that humans are like god and that they are made in his image as well as their inate dignity and respect of human life.

Is this the same respect for life that kings and the gentry used to crush, oppress and murder the common folk of much of europe for centuries? The same respect and dignity that was used to tell the populace that they were born poor and in servitude of their gentrified masters and should stay that way because thet's what your god intended? Much respect and equality there.

People have their reasons but I still maintain that most extremely antisocial behavior was present in higher quantities before religion and would have been had religion not been there.

When was this? Religion has been around since records anywhere began? We can trace the beginnings of some religions, but all we find before them is more, different belief systems. At some point in the past of course, religion and science were not different, as the anger of the sky god would be the only available explanation for a hailstorm. Now we know differently. Show me a society with no superstitions and no religion, no personal deities it wishes to push on to/defend from other people, and I will show you a peaceful living.

" There are no clean religions."

Maybe but that is because even murderers like to get a little salvation as best they can.


You missed the point entirely. murderers wanting some salvation and forgiveness is one thing. Mass murder, torture and oppression in the name of religion is entirely different. A murderer suffering remorse is surely still a murderer, but he feels remorse and knows his wrongdoing. Death, suffering and war inflicted by one who thinks he has the god-given right to do so and is commiting no "sin" is an entirely more scary and psychotic proposition.

If you fight a war it's justified killing and you don't go to hell for it in any non-cult Christian denomination.

All war is just then? There is no crime in war? Goverments can sanction killing and god says this is ok? what if two christian countries go to war? Does that make one of them actually a country full of satanists? I'm scared of you now.

" Ask a Dalit or a Sikh what they think of Hindus."

I frankly don't care what extremists think of the norm.


I think you're getting out of your depth now. Do you know what a Sikh is?

And your final comment on atheists killing people.... well all I can say is yes, Stalin killed loads of people, so did hitler. But they didn't do it in the name of atheism they did it in the name of another ideology, communism/Self glorification/dictatorship for Stalin, Fascism/genetic purity/Dictatorship/Whatever else for that mass murdering fuck-head Hitler.
Your point would be valid if atheists went around killing people because they weren't atheist. Mao Zedong, maybe fits that category.
Again, a communist nutcase as well though.

Bye now, Hope to here from you soon!


Meta Sigs suck.

[ Parent ]
Most. Ignorant Statement. Ever. (none / 0) (#725)
by debillitatus on Sat Sep 06, 2003 at 11:14:16 AM EST

" Ask a Dalit or a Sikh what they think of Hindus."

I frankly don't care what extremists think of the norm.

Look, when you see words you don't know the definition of, it's perhaps better to not reply to that line, and let it go.

Trust me.

Look, you make some good points, especially: "Actually atheist killing is far more extensive than anything that Christians and religious do. How many did Stalin kill as of last check 100,000,000 and still going up! He was the leader of the largest communist movement up to that time. Add in good old chairman Mao and well were at least 130,000,000 more (all that glorious "Cultural Revolution" and rice taxation as well).", but you should stick to what you know, my friend.

Damn you and your daily doubles, you brigand!
[ Parent ]

To hate christians and christianity.. (2.50 / 3) (#739)
by Magnetic North on Sat Sep 06, 2003 at 05:57:21 PM EST

it only takes spending some quality time with their kind from time to time.

I've been so unfortunate as to have to socialize with christians through most of my adolesence, and the majority of them are very unpleasent people.

Their arrogance and double standards make me cringe. I guess it must do something to you if you are brought up with the notion that you are better than everybody that's not like you.

Some of the vilest (socially speaking) deeds I've ever witnessed were performed by christians. While harassing and taunting people are a way of life for them, they have the guts to tell ME that I'm damned if I don't join them. All with a smug, sickening smile on their face.

Tolerance is a word I hear a lot from christians. Very ironic considering that I have yet to meet any christian who can even begin to fathom what tolerance is all about.



--
<33333
[ Parent ]
hi, i'm kpaul. (5.00 / 1) (#756)
by kpaul on Sat Sep 06, 2003 at 09:34:01 PM EST

i try to be tolerant. i'm far from perfect, though.

and yes, many are smug, as if giving up a few hours on Sunday was a freepass into Heaven. gets to me too.

i have to wonder sometimes if when people say Christian they think about what it truly means or how most of them who claim to be one act.


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

Of course.. (none / 0) (#796)
by Magnetic North on Sun Sep 07, 2003 at 09:17:11 AM EST

there are a lot of exceptions :) While I know many christians, I might just have been unlucky in my experiences with them. Generalisations are always bad.



--
<33333
[ Parent ]
the 'image' of Christianity... (none / 0) (#812)
by kpaul on Sun Sep 07, 2003 at 04:04:22 PM EST

if i were satan, one thing i would definitely try to do is tarnish the image. when you think of Christians today most (there's an awful generalization again;) think first of bad examples - pedophile priests, killing abortion doctors in the name of God, etc. i imagine satan is one badass PR person.

in any case, it's been nice chatting with you. :)


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

Identifying iscrucial (none / 0) (#965)
by Steeltoe on Sun Sep 21, 2003 at 06:13:16 PM EST

It's when people identify with a specific religion, country or politics that they create problems for themselves and others.

Just like a gun, religion has never killed anybody, people have.

Identify with yourself and others as human beings, or spirits/souls first, then it'll all make sense and you get your priorities straight.


Explore the Art of Living

[ Parent ]
What if you believe all of it is BS? (2.75 / 4) (#384)
by xutopia on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 05:42:13 PM EST

Just because a lot of people believe in something doesn't mean that it exists. Just look at how Santa Claus is so popular around Christmas time yet he was created by Coca Cola! (never mind the fact that you shouldn't bear false witness but so many christian parents use this story to make their kids behave, how Christian of them).

I'm sure if you read a bit more Sagan or Dawkins you'd stop believing so hard.

Sagan. (2.33 / 2) (#408)
by tkatchev on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 07:20:44 PM EST

Now that's a true champion of science.

Remind me again, how many Nobel prizes the man has won?

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

None (none / 0) (#433)
by xutopia on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 09:13:27 PM EST

Obviously I'm not a true diplomat here, and my words seem to cause anger.

Isn't it weird that the stuff we can't prove and really just is a question of opinion is what we hold deerest?

[ Parent ]

It's OK. (none / 0) (#530)
by tkatchev on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 04:30:26 AM EST

It just seems weird to me when people view Sagan as some sort of great authority in science -- sort of like if somebody were to claim that Jack Chick is an accomplished theologian or something.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

Sagan was not a nobel prize laureate however.... (none / 0) (#593)
by xutopia on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 10:28:49 AM EST

his arguments stand. As a professional astronomer he researched the history of astronomers and the relationship they had with the church. Time and time again you see that the prevailing religion did everything they could to discount theories that didn't require God to explain things. Just like it happened with Darwin, God is less important in explaining things and believers have a hard time with that so they double their efforts.

If you look at things from a Darwinist point of view you will look at a flower and see something that exists today because it can reproduce. It isn't there to be pretty for us humans, but for bees to have better targets (yes bees help in great part the reproduction of flowers). And actually most flowers are seen in all their beauty in different lightwaves than we can see. The ones that bees see.

I'm not saying that you don't agree with me about flowers and bees and perhaps you are quite well versed in the art of science. But as Sagan points out when someone sticks his neck behind a theory in the scientific world he'd better have material to back things up with. With religion we just throw some trinity, eternity, immensity or some other mind-boggling-"ity" at you to make you forget questionning. When you say it isn't logical you are told it's because you don't understand the "ity".

Now for my real point, genes are the pieces of information that make up a being. Memes are pieces of information that make up a story (wether factual or not). Beings that stand the test of time are the ones that have a well adapted survival and reproduction system. Stories that stand the test of time work the same way. They need a good way to survive and they need a good way to reproduce. Eschatology serves both essential factors to make the story a success in time. Revelation is actually scary if you are in doubt about your beliefs. It tells you that you will go to hell or suffer a lot if you don't believe at the right moment. What we are most scared of we warn others about. It's a matter of natural propensities we have. It turns out that the book of Revelation wether true or not could potentially scare people into believing just out of fear. Revelation is nothing more than a double edged sword serving the purpose of survival and reproduction.

Does it make it truthful? I happen to believe that we have to see how stories similar to that one are being born every day. Read up on any contemporary sect such as the Raelians. Rael borrows from other existing religions and creates himself a 50000 strong following. Yet people that knew him before the Raelian movement know him for what he really is - a guy making money and a name by trading hope for cash. In 20 generations from now don't you think that his name will be associated with great feats and wonderful miracles? Rael the bringer of hope will not be remembered as the guy who became a millionaire by giving hope to people but the wonderful magnanomous Rael we love.

[ Parent ]

well, you certainly vanquished that straw man. (none / 0) (#596)
by Battle Troll on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 11:07:17 AM EST

As a professional astronomer he researched the history of astronomers and the relationship they had with the church.

Well, I guess that makes him a absolutely amazing scientist, does't it?

Time and time again you see that the prevailing religion did everything they could to discount theories that didn't require God to explain things.

Listen, only a blockhead would claim that the Catholic Church ca. 1500 AD is the greatest and final arbiter of Christian philosophy. Don't claim this and make yourself a blockhead.

With religion we just throw some trinity, eternity, immensity or some other mind-boggling-"ity" at you to make you forget questionning.[sic]

Do you have any idea how much work has gone into the intellectual defense of Christianity? A certain C. Lewis wrote around thirty books on the subject, for one thing. You'd do well to consult Kreeft and Tacelli's Handbook of Christian Apologetics, as while you probably won't agree with their conclusions, you'll be able to see that they are attempting rigorous, rational arguments. Criticising them intelligently will get you a lot farther against Christians than just pointing out that Christians have been barbarous. We know, it's old news, so has been everyone else on earth, get over it.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

Apparently you don't really care about what I say (none / 0) (#613)
by xutopia on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 01:04:51 PM EST

I never said Sagan was a great scientist because he actively researched the cohabitation of science and religion in our society. Obviously you miss the point and you act just like a little kid that gets into a fight in the school yard because someone told him Santa Claus doesn't really exist.

Again with my theory that christianity is just a story that has survival value is the fact that apologetics exist. If the story was logical and flawless it wouldn't need apologetics. However it looks like a fairy tale promising hope for the people fearful of dying.

Apologetics show how great christianity is. I've heard many of their arguments, how christianity brought education and medical attention to people in dire needs. Well what better way to survive for a system than to take over the education of people?

If religion had the scientific method apologetics wouldn't be needed.

[ Parent ]

please, please don't say memes. (none / 0) (#619)
by Battle Troll on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 01:54:42 PM EST

I never said Sagan was a great scientist because he actively researched the cohabitation of science and religion in our society.

Point is, his scientific qualifications were not astonishing - he was no Einstein, Newton, Faraday, Lavoisier - but he's often trumpeted by scientific positivists as "a great scientist who was opposed to religion." Who says he was such a great scientist? He was a great populariser and polemicist.

If the story was logical and flawless it wouldn't need apologetics....I've heard many of their arguments, how christianity brought education and medical attention to people in dire needs.

You don't seem to know what 'apologetics' is. So I'll explain: 'apologetics' is the field of argumentation defending the claims of a philosophy or religion. The purpose of Christian apologetics is to support and defend Christian metaphysical claims. Similarly, the purpose of talk.origins or the Internet Infidels is anti-fundamentalist apologetics. Every philosophy that has ever been attacked has an apologetic discipline. Christians do sponsor many social programs; thank you for noting this.

Well what better way to survive for a system than to take over the education of people?

Indeed. A system that was of no use to anyone would not survive, and thank God - if they did, we'd be wasting time on useless games instead of attacking the world's problems.

just a story that has survival value...

What do you mean by this? Please don't say 'memes.'
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

obviously we are not communicating (none / 0) (#628)
by xutopia on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 02:52:26 PM EST

I've been around apologetics before. Heck I have been emailing back in forth with one of the Catholic apologetics.

I believe you misunderstood me regarding the medical and educational wonders that religion brought to people (here catholicism is known for this). I'm not saying that religious leaders have deliberately decided to take care of people and educate them to give their doctrines more weight. What I