Top Ten Signs You're a Fundamentalist...
Job

Santa Clara, CA

#742 May 7, 2013
Big Al wrote:
1. <quoted text>
Christianity cannot be a “dissimilarity” from the general American cultural environment. You are simply saying that your local cultural environment was different from the overall American cultural environment.
<quoted text>

2. Atheists and agnostics vastly out number believers and believers in traditional belief systems vastly out Christians just as one would predict based on the overall cultural environment.
<quoted text>

3. True

4. but the point is that the vast majority of Chinese who do choose to be religious choose the traditional religions rather than Christianity.

<quoted text>
Those statistics are probably not all that accurate but I’m pretty confident that Christianity is not taking over the country by storm. Again I think accurate statistics would also show that those who do choose a belief system would more frequently choose one of the more tradition belief systems of that culture.
1. Again, I will have to revert back to my prior comments on mass secular media which is far more influential than seeing pictures of church steeples on post cards.

2. The thing you are missing is that Christianity is a growing religion in China. Not a stagnant minority. It really 'doesn't' matter what the statistics are. However, because so much of Christianity falls under the radar, what you're claiming based on Chinese governmental statistics would be very difficult to prove. The growth, as one would expect, is what causes concern due to fear of uprising.

3. I'm sorry, but what's true?

4. Hmmm. What happened in South Korea?

As of 2005, 46.5% of South Koreans had no religious preference. The largest religion was Buddhism, with 22.8%, followed by all Protestant Christian denominations, at 18.3%, and Catholics, at 10.9%.

http://asianhistory.about.com/od/southkorea/p...

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Christian 31.6%(Protestant 24%, Roman Catholic 7.6%), Buddhist 24.2%, other or unknown 0.9%, none 43.3%(2010 survey)

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-...

----------

The first source of course separate Protestants from Catholics. The second source combines the two which when done surpasses Buddhism. But Korea's traditional/historical religion is Buddhism.

Satanic Priest

“There is no god”

Since: Jul 12

War, WV

#743 May 7, 2013
little lamb wrote:
What are you doing on a Christian forum, trying to promote your atheistic agenda..because atheism has no hope and no future and is a dead philosophy.
Atheism is based primarily on the philosophy ..eat and drink and be merry for tomorrow you die.' and is only used by those caught up in sinful pursuits to justify a life of sin.
Since there is no god there is no sin.
Your cults beliefs are not real and have no importance in the real world.
You may choose to live how you wish but so may every one else and you do not have the right to tell them they must live as you say.
As for why am I here? I wanted some real conversation but the fundies here can not stop lying, having and bashing others to have a real conversation.
Aside from that some one has to call you on your lies.
All it takes for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing, we will not let your evil hate filled blood lusting cult flourish
Big Al

Grand Rapids, MN

#744 May 8, 2013
Job wrote:
<quoted text>
1. Long before becoming a Christian, A friend of the family was a Buddhist, and I was exposed to a number of New Agers. There was no contact with Christians at all until shortly 'before' becoming Christian. In fact, even after becoming a believer, I was handed New Age material attempting to link Jesus Christ with New Age philosophy. This theme you're trying to hang onto is paper thin.
If you live in India you come in contact with the influences of Hinduism every day of your life regardless of your personal beliefs or geographic location. If you live in Italy you come in contact with the influences of Catholicism every day of your life regardless of your personal beliefs or geographic location. If you live in Saudi Arabia you come in contact with the influences of Islam every day of your life regardless of your personal beliefs or geographic location.
Job wrote:
2. The overall cultural environment is 'secular'. This is a 'secular' nation, in the sense that there's no official religion. Even though Christianity is the 'predominant' religion, most of the larger cultural environment consists of secular media. That's what we're all exposed to. Methodist churches spread out throughout the country that I have no contact with is not going to influence me, because it's not influential to secular media. The subliminal messages that cause us to run to Taco Bell late at night also gives many anti-Christian messages.
Our system of government is secular. The system of government is not the culture in and of itself it is simply one aspect of the culture. However the fact that 75% of the citizens claim to be Christian makes our culture a predominantly Christian culture.

Many businesses are not open on Sunday and many states don’t allow the sale of liquor on Sunday we celebrate Christmas and Easter. Christianity affects our society as whole in many different ways that other belief systems don’t.
Job wrote:
To admit to a 'guilty pleasure', I used to watch a lot of professional wrestling. One of my favorite personalities was Jesse Ventura, who is an outspoken atheist. As much as I respect Billy Graham, I never watched him before becoming a believer because there was no interest (I may not have even heard of him prior to conversion), and not after becoming a believer, because his message seems to be aimed more at non-believers. The media figures I admired had lifestyles and philosophies contrary to Christianity.
I grew up in the 60s during the “counterculture movement” which has very little to do with my point that we both grew up in a predominantly Christian culture.

I fully understand that you were not indoctrinated into a religious belief system as I was. That, however, does not change the fact that we both grew up in a predominantly Christian culture.
Job wrote:
3. I fully understand what you think. But there's a problem here. I have acted out on emotion before. But when my emotion changed, as it always does usually shortly following, I changed my mind or had regrets.
4. See #2.
If you didn’t “seriously consider the tenets of Christianity” and you didn’t arrive at some emotional conviction am I to believe that you just woke up one morning and said to yourself I think I’ll believe the teachings of Christianity?
Big Al

Grand Rapids, MN

#745 May 8, 2013
Job wrote:
<quoted text>
For one, the concept you're 'basically' referring to is what can be stated in reference to the God of the Bible. The similar idea that we can 'see' Rembrandt or Picasso today on the walls of a art museum is just as valid for the God of the Bible as it is Paine's god.
What I suspect that you're getting at is that Paine's 'potential creator would be the universe itself. There are different types of deists, and some lean towards that more New Age theme that everything in the universe is tied together...we are all "one"...or, we are all 'one' with the universe, or, we are all 'one' with god...
For one, there's no scientific evidence to support such a theme. And in addition, from Paine's various quotes it would appear that he believed in a distinct divine personality. A 'creator' doesn't create himself.
Incorrect!

Thomas Paine did not believe in any type personal “God” nor was he a Pantheist.

"...the religion of Deism is superior to the Christian Religion....Its creed is pure, and sublimely simple. It believes in God, and there it rests." - Thomas Paine

"The words 'He','Himself', and 'God' are a matter of conventional language and do not refer to the Judeo-Christian deity nor do they indicate that the Creator is male or has a gender.”- Positive Deism
Big Al

Grand Rapids, MN

#746 May 8, 2013
Job wrote:
<quoted text>
1. Again, I will have to revert back to my prior comments on mass secular media which is far more influential than seeing pictures of church steeples on post cards.
2. The thing you are missing is that Christianity is a growing religion in China. Not a stagnant minority. It really 'doesn't' matter what the statistics are. However, because so much of Christianity falls under the radar, what you're claiming based on Chinese governmental statistics would be very difficult to prove. The growth, as one would expect, is what causes concern due to fear of uprising.
3. I'm sorry, but what's true?
“They guarantee freedom of religion in principle, not in practice. They have government appointed churches as a means to control Christianity.”

That most probably is true but it must also apply to the other more traditional belief systems which have many more adherents than Christianity as would be predictable based on the cultural influences.
Job wrote:
4. Hmmm. What happened in South Korea?
As of 2005, 46.5% of South Koreans had no religious preference. The largest religion was Buddhism, with 22.8%, followed by all Protestant Christian denominations, at 18.3%, and Catholics, at 10.9%.
http://asianhistory.about.com/od/southkorea/p...
----------
Christian 31.6%(Protestant 24%, Roman Catholic 7.6%), Buddhist 24.2%, other or unknown 0.9%, none 43.3%(2010 survey)
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-...
----------
The first source of course separate Protestants from Catholics. The second source combines the two which when done surpasses Buddhism. But Korea's traditional/historical religion is Buddhism.
I’m sorry but I don’t think any of this changes the fact that if you were born in India the probability that you will be a believer in the Hindu belief system are very high and if you were born in Saudi Arabia the probability that you will be a believer in the Islamic belief system is very high and if you are born in Italy the probability that you will be a believer in the Catholic belief system are very high, and this is due to cultural influences.
Job

Santa Clara, CA

#749 May 9, 2013
Big Al wrote:
1. <quoted text>
If you live in India you come in contact with the influences of Hinduism every day of your life regardless of your personal beliefs or geographic location. If you live in Italy you come in contact with the influences of Catholicism every day of your life regardless of your personal beliefs or geographic location. If you live in Saudi Arabia you come in contact with the influences of Islam every day of your life regardless of your personal beliefs or geographic location.

2. <quoted text>
Our system of government is secular. The system of government is not the culture in and of itself it is simply one aspect of the culture. However the fact that 75% of the citizens claim to be Christian makes our culture a predominantly Christian culture.
Many businesses are not open on Sunday and many states don’t allow the sale of liquor on Sunday we celebrate Christmas and Easter. Christianity affects our society as whole in many different ways that other belief systems don’t.
<quoted text>

3. I grew up in the 60s during the “counterculture movement” which has very little to do with my point that we both grew up in a predominantly Christian culture.
I fully understand that you were not indoctrinated into a religious belief system as I was. That, however, does not change the fact that we both grew up in a predominantly Christian culture.
<quoted text>

4. If you didn’t “seriously consider the tenets of Christianity” and you didn’t arrive at some emotional conviction am I to believe that you just woke up one morning and said to yourself I think I’ll believe the teachings of Christianity?
1. In the San Francisco Bay Area, you come in contact with a number of religions on a daily basis.

Yes, there 'are' Christian 'traditions' that become a part of our lives. Some of them lost a foothold in society over the years, and the one's that universally remain are holidays where commercialism has become the focus. Yes, growing up we always celebrated Christmas. However some traditions that do not lend their way to commercialism, like saying 'grace' at the dinner table was never practiced in my household. It may have been done visiting some relatives with a Catholic background, but that's about it.

2. Referring to oneself for a number of Americans as "Christian" is still something one identifies themselves by 'default' as a result of 'being' American.

However, typically in more liberal regions of the U.S., a number of people on a "spiritual pursuit" will investigate, and identify themselves with eastern religions.

I understand the whole concept behind the connection between cultural influence and religious choice. But it's just a convenient box to check mark when attempting to figure out something that requires far more insight. There's too many variables.

2. As I stated before, you can't force reality to fit into someone's philosophy. I'm not implying that cultural religion 'never' effects the choices of those who choose to practice a religion. I'm sure many times is does. But many times it doesn't.

4. No. However I should probably expound. It's not that I didn't give it any thought. But the process that lead to conversion happened within a relatively short period of time. And it had nothing to do with cultural influence. Christian cultural influence alone would have only caused me to continue celebrating Christmas every year.
Job

Santa Clara, CA

#750 May 9, 2013
Big Al wrote:
<quoted text>
Incorrect!
Thomas Paine did not believe in any type personal “God” nor was he a Pantheist.
"...the religion of Deism is superior to the Christian Religion....Its creed is pure, and sublimely simple. It believes in God, and there it rests." - Thomas Paine
"The words 'He','Himself', and 'God' are a matter of conventional language and do not refer to the Judeo-Christian deity nor do they indicate that the Creator is male or has a gender.”- Positive Deism
I didn't say a "personal" God. I didn't say that he referred to the Judeo-Christian God. I didn't say that he indicated a gender.

What 'is' evident is that he believed that God is an intelligent being/force/entity. A separate personality if you will. He didn't refer to the universe itself as God like some refer to nature as "Mother Nature".

And this distinct personality, albeit in his view not the God of the Bible, is an unseen entity. Yes...we 'see' His creation. When we go to an art museum, we don't see the personality Rembrandt, Picasso, etc. We see what they created.
Job

Santa Clara, CA

#751 May 9, 2013
Big Al wrote:
<quoted text>
1.“They guarantee freedom of religion in principle, not in practice. They have government appointed churches as a means to control Christianity.”
That most probably is true but it must also apply to the other more traditional belief systems which have many more adherents than Christianity as would be predictable based on the cultural influences.
<quoted text>

2. I’m sorry but I don’t think any of this changes the fact that if you were born in India the probability that you will be a believer in the Hindu belief system are very high and if you were born in Saudi Arabia the probability that you will be a believer in the Islamic belief system is very high and if you are born in Italy the probability that you will be a believer in the Catholic belief system are very high, and this is due to cultural influences.
1. How can you prove that specifically in the case with China?

Obviously, like South Korea, the number of Christians could potentially, eventually, outnumber Buddhists...right? Or is there some cosmic law that demands that statistics remain in favor of the established cultural religion?

2. Well here is an example where that rule of thought obviously did not apply. In many countries, it's becoming more unlikely that people will fervently practice their cultural religion. It's more like secularized cultural Christianity, secularized cultural Buddhism, secularized Hinduism, etc. Modernization tends to drown out religious practice.
Big Al

Grand Rapids, MN

#753 May 9, 2013
Job wrote:
<quoted text>
1. In the San Francisco Bay Area, you come in contact with a number of religions on a daily basis.
Yes, there 'are' Christian 'traditions' that become a part of our lives. Some of them lost a foothold in society over the years, and the one's that universally remain are holidays where commercialism has become the focus. Yes, growing up we always celebrated Christmas. However some traditions that do not lend their way to commercialism, like saying 'grace' at the dinner table was never practiced in my household. It may have been done visiting some relatives with a Catholic background, but that's about it.
2. Referring to oneself for a number of Americans as "Christian" is still something one identifies themselves by 'default' as a result of 'being' American.
However, typically in more liberal regions of the U.S., a number of people on a "spiritual pursuit" will investigate, and identify themselves with eastern religions.
I understand the whole concept behind the connection between cultural influence and religious choice. But it's just a convenient box to check mark when attempting to figure out something that requires far more insight. There's too many variables.
2. As I stated before, you can't force reality to fit into someone's philosophy. I'm not implying that cultural religion 'never' effects the choices of those who choose to practice a religion. I'm sure many times is does. But many times it doesn't.
4. No. However I should probably expound. It's not that I didn't give it any thought. But the process that lead to conversion happened within a relatively short period of time. And it had nothing to do with cultural influence. Christian cultural influence alone would have only caused me to continue celebrating Christmas every year.
"If we had been born in Constantinople, then most of us would have said:'There is no God but Allah, and Mohammed is his prophet.' If our parents had lived on the banks of the Ganges, we would have been worshipers of Siva, longing for the heaven of Nirvana." -Robert G. Ingersoll

Of course that is not 100% true but 80% of the people who live in India practice some form of Hinduism and 99% of Turks are Muslim.
For most of the people in this world George Santayana was absolutely correct in saying…

"What religion a man shall have is a historical accident, quite as much as what language he shall speak."
Big Al

Grand Rapids, MN

#754 May 9, 2013
Job wrote:
<quoted text>
I didn't say a "personal" God. I didn't say that he referred to the Judeo-Christian God. I didn't say that he indicated a gender.
What 'is' evident is that he believed that God is an intelligent being/force/entity. A separate personality if you will. He didn't refer to the universe itself as God like some refer to nature as "Mother Nature".
And this distinct personality, albeit in his view not the God of the Bible, is an unseen entity. Yes...we 'see' His creation. When we go to an art museum, we don't see the personality Rembrandt, Picasso, etc. We see what they created.
I think you have it partially correct. There are many things that “God” might be (entity, consciousness, intelligence, force of nature) but I don’t think that Paine believed “God” was necessarily any of those previously mentioned possibilities. Many modern Deists use this quote from Einstein and I think Paine would have agreed with it...

“We know nothing about [God] at all....Possibly we shall know a little more than we do now. But the real nature of things, that we shall never know, never.”

According to Thomas Paine we can only know that “God” exists by observation of the natural world and reason. Thomas Paine did not believe in any sort of invisible supernatural being, entity or force!

"The only idea man can affix to the name of God is that of a first cause, the cause of all things.”- Thomas Paine

"It is only by the exercise of reason that man can discover God.”- Thomas Paine
Big Al

Grand Rapids, MN

#755 May 9, 2013
Job wrote:
<quoted text>
1. In the San Francisco Bay Area, you come in contact with a number of religions on a daily basis.
Yes, there 'are' Christian 'traditions' that become a part of our lives. Some of them lost a foothold in society over the years, and the one's that universally remain are holidays where commercialism has become the focus. Yes, growing up we always celebrated Christmas. However some traditions that do not lend their way to commercialism, like saying 'grace' at the dinner table was never practiced in my household. It may have been done visiting some relatives with a Catholic background, but that's about it.
And you probably never even heard of Ramadan or Durga Puja. I think Christianity had a bit of an advantage.
Job wrote:
2. Referring to oneself for a number of Americans as "Christian" is still something one identifies themselves by 'default' as a result of 'being' American.
However, typically in more liberal regions of the U.S., a number of people on a "spiritual pursuit" will investigate, and identify themselves with eastern religions.
I understand the whole concept behind the connection between cultural influence and religious choice. But it's just a convenient box to check mark when attempting to figure out something that requires far more insight. There's too many variables.
It's mathematically predictable.
Job wrote:
2. As I stated before, you can't force reality to fit into someone's philosophy. I'm not implying that cultural religion 'never' effects the choices of those who choose to practice a religion. I'm sure many times is does. But many times it doesn't.
I’m not forcing anything I’m just going by the numbers. the numbers show that culture is the determining factor more often than not.
Job wrote:
4. No. However I should probably expound. It's not that I didn't give it any thought. But the process that lead to conversion happened within a relatively short period of time. And it had nothing to do with cultural influence. Christian cultural influence alone would have only caused me to continue celebrating Christmas every year.
If your conversion wasn’t the result of deliberating the merits of Christianity versus the merits of other religions it had to be on the basis of a feeling (emotional conviction). The only other possibility is indoctrination from childhood and you said that was not the case. Since you celebrated Christmas regularly but probably never heard of Ramadan or Durga Puja. I think Christianity had a pretty good head start over the other two.
Reality

San Diego, CA

#756 May 9, 2013
Job wrote:
<quoted text>For one, there's no scientific evidence to support such a theme.
1. Deism is supported by the evidence in nature using the common sense and rational thought we were born with..

The evidence in nature shows the brutal predator/prey design of life which is not constant with a creator God of love told about in that old book you believe in..

You bible believers say this brutal design we see was not created by the bible God, it happened after two humans ate a piece of forbidden fruit..To believe this, you must obey Proverbs 3:5 which tells you not to use the common sense you were born with..
Job wrote:
<quoted text>And in addition, from Paine's various quotes it would appear that he believed in a distinct divine personality. A 'creator' doesn't create himself.
2. "The declaration which says that God visits the sins of the fathers upon the children is contrary to every principle of moral justice." [Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason]
Job

Santa Clara, CA

#757 May 10, 2013
Big Al wrote:
<quoted text>
"If we had been born in Constantinople, then most of us would have said:'There is no God but Allah, and Mohammed is his prophet.' If our parents had lived on the banks of the Ganges, we would have been worshipers of Siva, longing for the heaven of Nirvana." -Robert G. Ingersoll
Of course that is not 100% true but 80% of the people who live in India practice some form of Hinduism and 99% of Turks are Muslim.
For most of the people in this world George Santayana was absolutely correct in saying…
"What religion a man shall have is a historical accident, quite as much as what language he shall speak."
There's a difference between pursuing spirituality, and adjusting to cultural religion. As an example, the majority of the Japanese are not devout Shintoists or Buddhists. Materialism has become the substitute. And the one's who do pursue spirituality, or religion, may 'try' religions outside of their historical culture. The Japanese are, generally speaking, into trying things new. Particularly anything 'western' related.

Many Americans experiment with eastern religion. I think it falls into the category of exotic. Some of these quotes are a bit too outdated. What Robert G. Ingersoll said may make sense back then, but that was before globalization as we have known it the past few decades.
Job

Santa Clara, CA

#758 May 10, 2013
Big Al wrote:
<quoted text>
I think you have it partially correct. There are many things that “God” might be (entity, consciousness, intelligence, force of nature) but I don’t think that Paine believed “God” was necessarily any of those previously mentioned possibilities. Many modern Deists use this quote from Einstein and I think Paine would have agreed with it...
“We know nothing about [God] at all....Possibly we shall know a little more than we do now. But the real nature of things, that we shall never know, never.”
According to Thomas Paine we can only know that “God” exists by observation of the natural world and reason. Thomas Paine did not believe in any sort of invisible supernatural being, entity or force!
"The only idea man can affix to the name of God is that of a first cause, the cause of all things.”- Thomas Paine
"It is only by the exercise of reason that man can discover God.”- Thomas Paine
1. For one, Paine was not a modern deist. As I said, there are a number of beliefs 'within' deism. The views, modern and historical, range from the more new age belief that god is everything, which coincidentally includes us; to believing in the God of the Bible minus church oriented doctrines.

We also can't read Thomas Paine's mind, so we don't really know who he would, or wouldn't agree with. I think there's too much attempted mind reading when it comes to history.

If Paine's god isn't invisible, then that must mean that he believed the universe 'is' god. Is that what you think?
Job

Santa Clara, CA

#759 May 10, 2013
Big Al wrote:
1. <quoted text>
And you probably never even heard of Ramadan or Durga Puja. I think Christianity had a bit of an advantage.
<quoted text>

2. It's mathematically predictable.
<quoted text>

I’m not forcing anything I’m just going by the numbers. the numbers show that culture is the determining factor more often than not.
<quoted text>

3. If your conversion wasn’t the result of deliberating the merits of Christianity versus the merits of other religions it had to be on the basis of a feeling (emotional conviction). The only other possibility is indoctrination from childhood and you said that was not the case. Since you celebrated Christmas regularly but probably never heard of Ramadan or Durga Puja. I think Christianity had a pretty good head start over the other two.
1. No I hadn't, but I also hadn't heard of Purim or Shavuot. In addition, I didn't claim to have had contact with Muslims or Hindus growing up.

2. They don't do much in answering questions pertaining to conversions outside of the U.S. And they don't deal with issues like religion in communist countries, and countries where a specific religion is law.

3. I think this to be an interesting article. And I think it speaks volumes when it comes to alleged experts:

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/saving-no...

Big Al

Grand Rapids, MN

#760 May 10, 2013
Job wrote:
<quoted text>
There's a difference between pursuing spirituality, and adjusting to cultural religion. As an example, the majority of the Japanese are not devout Shintoists or Buddhists. Materialism has become the substitute. And the one's who do pursue spirituality, or religion, may 'try' religions outside of their historical culture. The Japanese are, generally speaking, into trying things new. Particularly anything 'western' related.
Many Americans experiment with eastern religion. I think it falls into the category of exotic. Some of these quotes are a bit too outdated. What Robert G. Ingersoll said may make sense back then, but that was before globalization as we have known it the past few decades.
I don’t pretend to be able to judge the sincerity of the beliefs of people in general and as I previously mentioned cultures do change and globalization certainly is playing a part in changing many cultures. None of that, however, changes Ingersoll’s basic premise. Today India is 80% Hindu and Turkey is 99% Muslim. The influences of globalization will certainly affect those numbers in the future but that will merely be due to the change in the culture.
Big Al

Grand Rapids, MN

#761 May 10, 2013
Job wrote:
<quoted text>
1. For one, Paine was not a modern deist. As I said, there are a number of beliefs 'within' deism. The views, modern and historical, range from the more new age belief that god is everything, which coincidentally includes us; to believing in the God of the Bible minus church oriented doctrines.
We also can't read Thomas Paine's mind, so we don't really know who he would, or wouldn't agree with. I think there's too much attempted mind reading when it comes to history.
Modern Deists look to Thomas Paine’s Age of Reason as basic reading.

“…Thomas Paine's outstanding book on God, Deism, Nature, Christianity, the Bible, Judaism, etc., The Age of Reason. It is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand Deism. With this important book, Thomas Paine took Deism out of the intellectual parlors and brought it directly to the people!”– World Union of Deists
Job wrote:
If Paine's god isn't invisible, then that must mean that he believed the universe 'is' god. Is that what you think?
What makes you think those are the only two possibilities? The real world manifestation of “God” might be right under our noses only we haven’t as yet recognized it just like atoms and germs were there long before we recognized it. Of course it is also possible we may never recognize it. That’s what both Einstein and Paine believed about “God”; we don’t know now and we may never know.
Big Al

Grand Rapids, MN

#762 May 10, 2013
Job wrote:
<quoted text>
1. No I hadn't, but I also hadn't heard of Purim or Shavuot. In addition, I didn't claim to have had contact with Muslims or Hindus growing up.
So then by virtue of the fact that you grew up in a predominantly Christian culture you must admit that you were more familiar with and therefore more influenced by Christianity than any other belief system.
Job wrote:
2. They don't do much in answering questions pertaining to conversions outside of the U.S. And they don't deal with issues like religion in communist countries, and countries where a specific religion is law.
That is of course correct. If you live in a country where religious belief is dictated by law you cannot openly profess a contrary belief. However that has nothing to do with the fact that the vast majority of people who are raised in the predominant believe system of a society tend to remain in that belief system for life and the vast majority of those who were not raised in any belief system will tend accept the predominant belief system if they later choose a belief system. That’s not just some crazy thing non-believers thought up; that is demonstrated by the numbers.
Job wrote:
3. I think this to be an interesting article. And I think it speaks volumes when it comes to alleged experts:
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/saving-no...
Absolutely! As Epictetus put it…

“You can’t learn something you think you already know.”

…but that doesn’t mean that we do not know that 2+2 = 4 in the base 10 or that the Earth revolves around the Sun.

"A religious creed differs from a scientific theory in claiming to embody eternal and absolutely certain truth, whereas science is always tentative, expecting that modification in its present theories will sooner or later be found necessary..."- Bertrand Russell
Job

Santa Clara, CA

#763 May 10, 2013
Big Al wrote:
<quoted text>
I don’t pretend to be able to judge the sincerity of the beliefs of people in general and as I previously mentioned cultures do change and globalization certainly is playing a part in changing many cultures. None of that, however, changes Ingersoll’s basic premise. Today India is 80% Hindu and Turkey is 99% Muslim. The influences of globalization will certainly affect those numbers in the future but that will merely be due to the change in the culture.
My point is that the future you are referring to is already here in the western/free world. There are countries like those you've mentioned where little has changed, but the U.S. and Europe is another story. Young rebels in Europe vandalize Christian churches. If young rebels attempt to do that in Muslim and Hindu nations the penalty is far more severe. In the U.S. and Britain the media can mock Christianity. That cannot be done to the Islamic religion in Muslim nations. Even in Thailand which is Buddhist, a Thai rapper came under fire (and feared for his life) for just a slight criticism in one of his songs towards Islam. The Muslim did not take too kindly to it at all.
little lamb

Perth, Australia

#764 May 10, 2013
Big Al wrote:
<quoted text>
Modern Deists look to Thomas Paine’s Age of Reason as basic reading.
“…Thomas Paine's outstanding book on God, Deism, Nature, Christianity, the Bible, Judaism, etc., The Age of Reason. It is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand Deism. With this important book, Thomas Paine took Deism out of the intellectual parlors and brought it directly to the people!”– World Union of Deists
.
As Christians we can thank God that Jesus came as messenger of a new covenant [ malachi]

And all his message is written in the new testament [covenant]

And as Jesus said " Everyone who comes in place of him, is a thief and a robber.'

So God never sent us Thomas Paine..that name didn't come with any wisdom from God..just another false prophet in a more sophisticated guise..but not from God.

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