Don't dictate beliefs

Sep 5, 2012 Full story: The Star Press 11,175

No one else can say otherwise? That is basically saying those who do "believe in God" are better? Hardly.

Full Story

Since: Mar 11

Lexington, KY

#5986 Nov 15, 2012
I like that! Awesome :)
It aint necessarily so wrote:
<quoted text>
Pretty funny!
But we must translate the ancient Hebrew and Aramaic for "rock" and "biggest" properly in order to fully understand the question. To God, a rock is like a thousand rocks - a stoning. Also, in the Kingdom of Heaven, the biggest will be the smallest, and the smallest the biggest.
Did you hear about the Zen master who asked the hot dog vendor to make him one with everything?
When he asked for his change, the hot dog vendor told the Zen master that change must come from within.

Since: Nov 11

Location hidden

#5987 Nov 15, 2012
We always need to remember fraudulent science, lol:

Why Most Published Research Findings Are False

There is increasing concern that most current published research findings are false. The probability that a research claim is true may depend on study power and bias, the number of other studies on the same question, and, importantly, the ratio of true to no relationships among the relationships probed in each scientific field. In this framework, a research finding is less likely to be true when the studies conducted in a field are smaller; when effect sizes are smaller; when there is a greater number and lesser preselection of tested relationships; where there is greater flexibility in designs, definitions, outcomes, and analytical modes; when there is greater financial and other interest and prejudice; and when more teams are involved in a scientific field in chase of statistical significance. Simulations show that for most study designs and settings, it is more likely for a research claim to be false than true. Moreover, for many current scientific fields, claimed research findings may often be simply accurate measures of the prevailing bias. In this essay, I discuss the implications of these problems for the conduct and interpretation of research.
http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info:doi/...

[The fndings of the Darwin gang were also false.]

Since: Sep 12

Location hidden

#5988 Nov 15, 2012
It aint necessarily so wrote:
<quoted text>
That's a debate that once begun will never end, isn't it? Once you declare certain parts of the scripture can be called metaphor on an ad hoc basis, you open the floodgates to so for all scripture.
For example, nowhere in the Genesis creation myths does it indicate that the words are not meant to be taken literally. If one can be freely interpreted as metaphor or allegory with no apparent justification apart from expediency - and metaphor for what, one might ask ... the Big Bang theory, evolutionary theory and plate tectonics?- so can the rest of the book be reinterpreted as metaphor wherever we think it should be.
I interpret "original sin" as a metaphor for the imperfections of early man, and being "born again" as a metaphor for the reawakening of man from his long centuries long religious nightmare that began with the rise of Christianity and the Dark Ages, and continued until the Renaissance (which means rebirth, or born again) and The Enlightenment. This is also what "resurrection" symbolizes - the resurrection of secularism and reason.
Does this seems reasonable, or shall we limit the right to reinterpret scripture, once taught as literally true under penalty of Inquisition, to only non-fundie believers, and only to the parts that embarrass them since scientific revelation and confirmed prophecy have relegated them to mythology?
The way I see it, you can't understand the scriptures properly without the Holy Ghost guiding you. The scriptures were written by men as they were directed by God. It only seems right that the scriptures should be read under the same light under which they were written.

Personally, I think the interpretation that the bible says the creation had to take place in 7 literal 24 hour days is wrong. We don't know exactly how the creation took place. Days are really "creation periods." We don't know how long those periods are or which mechanisms God used to create life. Maybe life was created in an instant as he organized the elements, or maybe organizing the elements looks a lot more like evolution. We don't know.

Since: Sep 12

Location hidden

#5989 Nov 15, 2012
It aint necessarily so wrote:
<quoted text>
Biblical evidence? The bible is not evidence of anything to an unbeliever except for which words the religion says their god gave them. The book is not evidence for the truth of any of the claims in it. The book is actually evidence that the claims in it cannot all be correct, as they contradict one another.
<quoted text>
Is that significant to an unbeliever? Why tell me? You each seem to have a personal version of what your bible means.
<quoted text>
What a proud tradition! Have you seen The Life Of Brian from Monty Python, set in Jerusalem at the time of Jesus? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v =MIaORknS1DkXX [A humorous stoning for blasphemy ... was the reality less ridiculous than this?]
Which claims do you feel are contradictory? I know of a few myself, and I do not doubt that there are errors in the bible, but I think the bible as a whole is a inspired work of scripture. Portions of the original doctrines once contained in the bible have been lost through translation and transcription. I'm interested to see what contradictions you come up with. I prefer references from the King James version of the Bible. Personally, I few the Bible as being inspired by God, but it has not been preserved in its entirety as it has been passed through the hands of fallible men. Personally, I go by the King James version of the Bible and the Book of Mormon. With two separate books witnessing of Christ and His doctrine I am able to get a clear picture of the doctrine of Christ.

Since: Sep 12

Location hidden

#5990 Nov 15, 2012
It aint necessarily so wrote:
<quoted text>
That ambiguity does mean, however, that the codification, like the bible, was not written by a god. It also means that its contents will be frequently misunderstood and misapplied.
I hold a book said to be divinely authored to a higher standard than any existing book, even a government publication. The bible doesn't come close to meeting that standard, and so is easily rejected as inauthentic. It's undoubtedly less exact than your manual. Frankly, you probably couldn't get your bible published except at your own expense if it came out today.
Parts of the bible are meant to be interpreted differently. The Bible gives us the guidelines and the spirit teaches us how we are to apply them to our individual lives in a way that is in harmony with the level of spiritual progression we are at. I feel that God is a merciful God, and that he has different expectations for us based on where we are at in our lives. 6968

“I Am No One Else”

Since: Apr 12

Seattle

#5991 Nov 15, 2012
Sambrotherofnephi wrote:
<quoted text>
Parts of the bible are meant to be interpreted differently. The Bible gives us the guidelines and the spirit teaches us how we are to apply them to our individual lives in a way that is in harmony with the level of spiritual progression we are at. I feel that God is a merciful God, and that he has different expectations for us based on where we are at in our lives. 6968
That's the same as saying you make it up as you go, exactly the same thing actually.

When something is left to interpretation it is inherently nothing more than fables, and cannot be asserted as fact. You actually degrade your bible more by saying that it needs interpretation, because you are also admitting you chose your particular christian religion just because you liked it, and that the book is not based on fact but it is nothing more than a means to an end.

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#5992 Nov 16, 2012
derek4 wrote:
I often hear the lament from anti-theists about Christian hypocrisy as the impetus behind their rejection of God
Christian hypocrisy wasn't a factor in my apostasy simply because it wasn't apparent from within. It was the bible itself combined with the failure of the god to deliver on its promises that led me to realize that Jehovah-Jesus was a mythological character, and to correct my mistake.

Your hypocrisy is now quite apparent, and serves as a continual reminder of the damage that your faith does to people, and that I made a good decision to extricate myself from it. Just look at you.

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#5993 Nov 16, 2012
derek4 wrote:
Atheist hypocrisy

I read what the woman in all her giddy-like-a-school-girl excitement had written on the tract.

On the front:“There is no God!”
On the back:“Shame on God!”

There you have it ... classic anti-theist hypocrisy:“Shame on the very thing I believe doesn’t exist.”
You're not a very smart man, are you? Do you have any idea what hypocrisy is? That was not it. Here's one definition: "The practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one's own behavior does not conform; pretense."

Now look at what you offered as an example of hypocrisy. Hypocrisy would be telling others not to write on tracts and then doing it yourself, for example. It's a specific kind of self-contradiction involving advice and a behavior that contradict one another, not expressing conflicting ideas.

We call that a logical contradiction, such as when you claim that a god grants free will, yet still knows in advance what you have always been fated to "choose," or when somebody tells you about a perfect god with absolute morals that updates them with new laws nevertheless.

Do you call that hypocrisy? I guess you do. I don't. I call that human fallibility - exactly what you would expect from random individuals not well versed in either logic or philosophy that created a mythology without the benefit of an editor.

This how you Christians reaffirm my choice. You demonstrate repeatedly how poorly you think, and how much more I see than you do. You missed this point, or you wouldn't have posted that. I wouldn't. I know better.

You make too many mistakes, as did the author of that piece. He thought he had a good argument, and you agreed. I saw your mistakes. Obviously, am more discerning and think better than you or that author, and that I understand and assess idea better than either of you do. The implications regarding faith are obvious.

==========

Worse, you have misrepresented what the woman likely meant by "God." It likely meant Christianity. Consider Nietzsche's famous declaration that "God is dead." It's pretty clear that he meant that Christianity is dead. He obviously didn't believe that that god existed. We call this metonymy, as when we refer to the passage of time as "Father Time." From Wiki:

"Metonymy is a figure of speech used in rhetoric in which a thing or concept is not called by its own name, but by the name of something intimately associated with that thing or concept. Metonyms can be either real or fictional concepts representing other concepts real or fictional, but they must serve as an effective and widely understood second name for what they represent. For instance, "Hollywood" is used as a metonym for the US cinema industry, because of the fame and cultural identity of Hollywood, a district of the city of Los Angeles, California."

Calling Christianity "God" - as in "Shame on God," meaning shame on the Christian church or shame on Christianity - is also metonymy.

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#5994 Nov 16, 2012
derek4 wrote:
They also spend a lot of time mocking Christians who actually live according to the principles set forth in Scripture
Are you referring to yourself? You don't follow Christ's teaching.

Furthermore, I don't mock you nearly as much as I oppugn and censure you. You could also say that I reproach and upbraid you. You need a new dictionary.
derek4 wrote:
those Christians who strive to follow the commands of Christ.
You're not even close. You are repugnant.
derek4 wrote:
You can’t on the one hand accuse Christians of hypocrisy for not practicing what they preach, and then, on the other hand, mock them when they do.
Of course we can,and it's legitimate. If what you preach is ridiculous, like "abstinence only," and you still can't follow it, you get called on both counts - first for offering a bad and untenable idea, and then for demonstrating with your hypocrisy why its advocacy is a ridiculous plan in the first place.

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#5995 Nov 16, 2012
derek4 wrote:
So I ask you this day, which would you rather see, Christians following their Lord’s commands, or those shallow, Sunday-only Christians who claim to follow Christ but who live just like you?
I'd rather you were more like me. For starters, stop demeaning science and humanity.

What I'd like to see are more humanists. And regarding Christians, when I see one, I'd rather he didn't wear his religion on his sleeve. I'll tell you who my favorite Christians were: they were my patients that I knew for years, but didn't know that they were religious until I became Facebook friends with them. Now that I know what they believed,I thank them for keeping it to themselves. Now that's a good Christian.

[QUOTE who="derek4"Choose this day who you’ll mock ... then remain consistent.[/QUOTE]

Deal.

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#5996 Nov 16, 2012
derek4 wrote:
" Even the US House of Representatives have felt the sting as they have been told that they are not allowed to wish their constituents “Merry Christmas” if they are using their congressional mailing privileges.”[Yet, the atheists sing Christmas carols – hypocrisy, lol.]
This is why you get mocked. Where is the hypocrisy there? It is un-American to use the government to promote religion.
derek4 wrote:
“But more often than naught, atheists focus much of the holiday humbug towards any public displays of Christmas and nativity scenes."
Wrong again. Feel free to put Santa, Frosty, Rudolph and the elves all over your personal property and businesses. Just keep it off of our common property.

Please note that the word "public" has several meanings.

[1] One means out in the open and seen by others, as in the phrase "out in public" or "public nudity." In this sense, public displays are fine.

[2] Another refers to the government, such as "public sector"and "public property." It is in this last sense that "public displays" are illegal.

[3] For completeness sake, we might note that another refers to the people collectively, as in "public parking," "the public domain," or "public opinion." One special usage in this category means supported by taxes and contributions rather than through advertising, such as "public television."

Your thinking is not rigorous enough. Plus, you need a better dictionary. That's the wrong "naught." The phrase is "more often than not."

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#5997 Nov 16, 2012
derek4 wrote:
Every year at Christmas, the city displays a nativity scene in the lobby of city hall
That's illegal. Take it down or we'll take it down for you.
derek4 wrote:
Marshall told the local media,“If a person wants to express their beliefs in their homes, in their church, they are more than welcome to, but in the public square, which I’m paying for with my taxes, there shouldn’t be belief systems.”
That's the law. Do you care about the law, or do you think that you and your church above it?

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#5998 Nov 16, 2012
derek4 wrote:
Marshall and the Freedom From Religion Foundation have demanded that if the city insists on keeping the nativity display, that they post an anti-religion sign in the lobby with the traditional Christmas scene. The front of the sign reads,“At this season of the Winter Solstice, let reason prevail. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.”
What possible legitimate objection could you have with that. I'd also like to see every other coin and bill say, "We Trust In No Gods" if we must advertise our personal beliefs on the money. Do you object to equal protection and representation for atheists? Of course you do.
derek4 wrote:
Atheism is a religion because it is a belief system.
No, atheism is a conclusion. The belief is in the validity of rational skepticism and reason. And atheism is just one of its ramifications.

Furthermore, atheism is but a single idea, not a system. The other two offspring of rational skepticism, science and secular humanism, are systems.

Finally, if atheism is a religion, it is the only correct one. It stands alone form the others. It offers no metaphysics, no mythology, and no ethics. It has no rituals, mythologies, superstitions, magic, or dogma, and it does not involve imagined creatures or realms.

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#5999 Nov 16, 2012
derek4 wrote:
[The fndings of the Darwin gang were also false.]
Nobody cares about you Christians' criticisms of science except other Christians. We also don't care what rodeo clowns, porn set fluffers, or crack whores think about science, either.

Darwin's ideas are confirmed. They are unshakably established as correct. Shaking your scary Jesus chicken on a stick at it won't change that. Move on.

http://nirmukta.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/1... [The "debate" continues]

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#6000 Nov 16, 2012
Sambrotherofnephi wrote:
<quoted text>
The way I see it, you can't understand the scriptures properly without the Holy Ghost guiding you.
Then at most one of you has that, since no two of you can agree on what the words mean. I think that what you meant is that there is a state of mind wherein you accept the scriptures as divine revelation, and you call that being filled with the spirit or ghost.
Sambrotherofnephi wrote:
The scriptures were written by men as they were directed by God.
I doubt it. There's not much evidence of superhuman intelligence, wisdom, or prescience there.

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#6001 Nov 16, 2012
Sambrotherofnephi wrote:
Personally, I think the interpretation that the bible says the creation had to take place in 7 literal 24 hour days is wrong.
Me, too. But several of your fellow Christians disagree. Are they not guided by the Holy Ghost?
Sambrotherofnephi wrote:
We don't know exactly how the creation took place. Days are really "creation periods." We don't know how long those periods are or which mechanisms God used to create life. Maybe life was created in an instant as he organized the elements, or maybe organizing the elements looks a lot more like evolution. We don't know.
Maybe your god doesn't exist. As you say, you don't know.

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#6003 Nov 16, 2012
Sambrotherofnephi wrote:
I do not doubt that there are errors in the bible, but I think the bible as a whole is a inspired work of scripture.
That's an puzzling juxtaposition of ideas. Those very errors are what allows to rule out that the words are of divine origin, or that if some are, they have been contaminated by error. How can you trust such a book?

Besides, inspired isn't nearly good enough for a god. West Side Story is inspired by Romeo and Juliet, The Flintstones were inspired by the Honeymooners, and Clapton's Crossroads was inspired by Robert Johnson's original version. In each case, the pairs are so dissimilar that you might not have noticed that they were even related. That's how much latitude the word "inspired " allows.

If you have an omnipotent god with a life or death message, and he lets unsophisticated goatherds ghost write it in part for him, well, you've got a lazy and irresponsible god there. Lazy isn't even the right word if it's no harder to write the words yourself than not. That's indifferent and negligent.

Let me rephrase it. If I wrote a will for you (I am not an attorney, and am not qualified to do that), told you that it was inspired by a will written by an attorney, and you found mistakes in it, would you risk your children's inheritance on that document?

That was an apt analogy, BTW, since most Christians are giving a large portion of what would have been their estate at death if they still had it and the interest it could have earned. I did the calculation for myself based on a 10% tithe, which amounts to a years income every eight to ten years depending on the return. I left the church around 1980, and retired in 2009 - about three decades. That's at least five years income before taxes, since the dollars from the eighties, which would have been compounding the whole time, would have tripled to quadrupled by now, the dollars from the nineties doubled, etc..

I retired with about five years income total. I'd say do the math, but I just did it. And I expect to leave most of it behind, since I am living just fine on the interest from it - not in America, of course, where interest has now dropped to nothing. And once Social Security begins, we'll be bringing in more than we spend.

Anyway, if I hadn't rejected the claims of the bible, the church would have ended up with most of that, and I'd still be working.

You can't convince me that I should have given all of that to the priests and their children based on the claims in a book full of errors.

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#6004 Nov 16, 2012
Sambrotherofnephi wrote:
Parts of the bible are meant to be interpreted differently.
Where does your god tell you that? That sounds like a rule invented by men for the sake of expediency.
Sambrotherofnephi wrote:
The Bible gives us the guidelines and the spirit teaches us how we are to apply them to our individual lives in a way that is in harmony with the level of spiritual progression we are at.
You all seem to have different guidelines, too. Earlier, you posted, "Personally, I go by the King James version of the Bible and the Book of Mormon." You must be aware that Catholics, for example, reject the Book of Mormon, and have their own bible. That also tells us that this is all man made, as I'm sure that the Catholics pray just as sincerely and diligently as the Mormons.

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#6005 Nov 16, 2012
Sambrotherofnephi wrote:
I feel that God is a merciful God
How do you figure that he is merciful? Because he deigns to forgive us for being human and not having godlike qualities - his own handiwork - if you'll grovel before him? If anybody needs forgiveness, it's the god that did that and then blamed its creation for its own manufacturing failures.

Besides, do you know what he does to unbelievers? He delivers them to an evil beast in a torture pit to be tortured for eternity. There is no mercy in that, because there is no mercy in hell, and no hope for a reprieve. How could a loving god be so cruel and unforgiving?

There's a contradiction for you, BTW - number ten on this list of contradictions about the god that I compiled :

[1] An omniscient being that grants free will
[2] An omnipotent being incapable of being in the presence of sin
[3] A perfect being needing worship
[4] A perfect being that changes its mind, as with new laws and covenants
[5] A perfect being that makes mistakes or contradicts itself
[6] A perfect being that creates or alters anything
[7] A non-spacial being being omnipresent
[8] An all-loving, omnipotent being that allows suffering.
[9] A perfectly just being that punishes innocents like firstborns.
[10] A merciful being that damns without hope of forgiveness from hell.
[11] Anything existing, persisting, thinking or acting outside of time. Those words all imply an interval of time.
Adam

Stoke-on-trent, UK

#6006 Nov 16, 2012
IANS, another series of great posts. Enjoyable reading. Cheers

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