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Lilmznicoleta
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2007 3:18 am    Post subject: Faith is Dangerous. Reply with quote
I know most psychologists will say that our ability to accurately remember past events in our lives is pretty limited and that our minds tend to fill in the details and in some cases completely fabricate memories that we feel so sure really occurred. Early memories are the hardest to actually tap in to as well for obvious reasons, but none the less I have a really strong memory from the first grade. The fact that it was mainly a mental memory, or in other words a simple remembrance of the thoughts going on through my mind while sitting inside my classroom one day, makes it harder to say if this happened exactly this way for sure but the memory stuck because of how intense the feeling was.

Just for some background info, I was raised Roman Catholic. My mother is not by most measures an extremely devout Christian but she loves Jesus and the Catholic Church, so even though my father is a self-described agnostic (who I think is really an atheist but just never wanted to start an argument), thanks to my mother and some extended family I had a pretty traditional Christian upbringing. Church and Sunday school every Sunday-no exceptions. If I could not attend my church I had to have the Priest of the other Catholic Church (and it had to be a Catholic one) sign the pamphlet to prove I had gone. I went to Sunday school for eight years, made all the sacraments, learned all the prayers, read the bible and all that jazz.

During the week I attended a Lutheran school, where religion and reading the Bible was taking as seriously as it was on Sundays and we were also required to attend mass once a week during the week and to pray after pledging the flag in the mornings. I was also a well behaved kid and for the most part I liked my religion and its values. My school and church seemed more accepting and peaceful compared to the surrounding neighborhood I grew up in.

But I remember one day, sitting in class and for whatever reason, this random thought popped into my head: "What if there is no God?" I was six. It was not the result of a deep discussion I had with someone or some horrible event or hypocritical stance the church took that could have led me to think it. It was a simple question, like why is the sky blue- a simple product of a child's curiosity. And what happened? I panicked. I was afraid I'd be sent to Hell for merely thinking that for one second there was a slight possibility that God did not exist. And I prayed and asked God to forgive me, partly scared for my eternal life and partly overcome with guilt for questioning God, who at that point in time seemed like a great "person" who loved me and did everything for me and made me happy.

That moment did not radically change my religious views. Even if a part of me wanted to question it further, I wouldn't have dared and everything else religious that I had been exposed to at that point was all good anyway. So, I went on with my religious upbringing and never really questioned it again until I was about fourteen. And at that point I was pissed. I felt like I had been lied to and manipulated and was fed up with the hypocrisy of the church. Since then I've reevaluated my belief(s) tons of times.

I am not against religion by any means and suppose that if there still wasn't a part of me that looked to God, I, like most agnostics or atheists I know, would never really pay attention to the issue at all. But returning officially to any church is something very hard to do because it's a short amount of time before the dogmatic preaching starts.

I took a course in my secular college on the Bible and the professor was a deeply religious protestant man. There are many things about the course I loved, and he helped me view the bible differently. However, it became apparent pretty fast that he was also not comfortable with intense questions that challenged what he had always believed. It was a huge disappointment, not because I wanted to attack any one's religious belief but because I genuinely wanted and honest and OPEN discussion on religion, if anything to increase, not decrease my faith.

But the point is outside of myself, I have honestly never met any one who was combined their religious belief(s) with their intellectualism. It's not to say that there are no intelligent religious people, just that most are content to tune out their intellect when reading the bible, or whatever their holy book is. This has always frustrated me extremely and while I don't know where my beliefs will lead me, I know I will never be satisfied with any half-minded answers, I will never be able to disregard science or history and for those reasons, will never be a traditional believer in any religion that requires submission to dogma.

And that's fine for me personally but it worries and saddens me to think how easily many people are literally frightened for their lives and/or content to not question anything. It is not something that just affects the religious minded, but seeps into all aspects of secular culture as well. It is most apparent and worrisome in politics when people who may hold different views and have different ideals, or who just merely want to question something the government does, is labeled as unpatriotic at best and as some kind of traitor at worst.

Believing in something is wonderful, but relying purely on faith in any area of life is dangerous. President Bush's quixotic, borderline insane, ideas regarding the war in Iraq are a result of this kind of faith.

"The man who has everything figured out is probably a fool. College examinations notwithstanding, it takes a very smart fella to say "I don't know the answer!"~Inherit the Wind (1960)
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Lester
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Here here.
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Johnguitars
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2007 12:51 am    Post subject: Faith Reply with quote
Speaking as someone who did not come to faith until my late twenties, I have some sympathy for your position.
Having a Christian upbringing can be a real disadvantage in a, "Can't see the wood for the trees," kind of way. When circumstances led me to search for, "The Truth," Christianity was the last thing on my mind, it was too familiar but, of course, I eventually had to concede that it was indeed, "The Truth."

As for placing our intellects on hold, here is a tale.
I used to have this great answer for the old Creation vs Evolution debate. I had it all worked out how the two things fitted together perfectly but at one Church service the resident prophet got a word from the Lord.
"There is someone here who has a load of rubbish in his head. It is like thousands of asteroids orbiting a planet and the Lord is going to take them all away by sucking them into the center of a black hole."
Since that day I can no longer remember my wonderful arguement, the Lord has wiped it away
completely.

It goes against the grain of human nature but humbling yourself before God and letting him remake your mind is the way to go.
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exton
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2007 1:04 am    Post subject: Re: Faith Reply with quote
Johnguitars wrote:

I used to have this great answer for the old Creation vs Evolution debate. I had it all worked out how the two things fitted together perfectly but at one Church service the resident prophet got a word from the Lord.
"There is someone here who has a load of rubbish in his head. It is like thousands of asteroids orbiting a planet and the Lord is going to take them all away by sucking them into the center of a black hole."


But how many people in that same room were having stupid ideas?

Probably all of them, in one sense or another.

Quote:

Since that day I can no longer remember my wonderful arguement, the Lord has wiped it away
completely.


Or you forgot it because you dismissed it as rubbish.
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CryxicKiller
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2007 1:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
John, word dude? I almost can't believe what you said at the end. First of all, there is no "creation vs. evolution" debate. Evolution is factual and that's that. It's not debated in relevant quarters. Second of all, are you kidding???? You actually believed that "prophet"??? Dude, you can believe in god, but please be a little more circumspect intellectually. The "prophet" was obviously bsing and posturing, trying to earn a favorable response from the audience.
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Johnguitars
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 12:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
CryxicKiller wrote:
John, word dude? I almost can't believe what you said at the end. First of all, there is no "creation vs. evolution" debate. Evolution is factual and that's that. It's not debated in relevant quarters. Second of all, are you kidding???? You actually believed that "prophet"??? Dude, you can believe in god, but please be a little more circumspect intellectually. The "prophet" was obviously bsing and posturing, trying to earn a favorable response from the audience.


Aha, but here is the problem with the atheist's thinking. There is an assumption that religion is a one way street. Stupid people sit in pews, singing and praying to a non-existant God who never answers them. Wrong!

Christianity is a two way street. God speaks in many different ways as a quick glance through Acts 2 and Paul's letters to the Corinthians will show you. Now of course your easy option is to cry, "Madness!" but then the great men of science rarely went for the easy options. If a seemingly insane claim is made by an otherwise sane person then investigation, not derision, is the required course of action.
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exton
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 1:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Johnguitars wrote:

Now of course your easy option is to cry, "Madness!" but then the great men of science rarely went for the easy options. If a seemingly insane claim is made by an otherwise sane person then investigation, not derision, is the required course of action.


Insane claims made by people who normally seem sane should be investigated by a clinical psychologist, because such persons may need treatment.

Or, they may just have a very common affliction: stupid.

Stupid infects a lot of people. No one is immune. The trick is to catch it before it convinces you of something.

There's a fairly wide range of ways that people make connections that don't exist; it goes from mild to severe.

Mild is a person seeing a coincidence and thinking it's a sign from god.

Severe is a person reading newspapers and seeing a pattern that indicates foreign governments are using the media to communicate with their spies in the U.S.

They're basically the same thing. The only difference is one of severity; the people with the mild version are "spiritual", and the people with the severe version are "insane".

Of course, such delusions aren't always the result of stupid. Sometimes they're the result of mental disease, as mentioned previously.
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christianzack
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2007 9:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Faith is Dangerous. Reply with quote
[quote="Lilmznicoleta"]I know most psychologists will say that our ability to accurately remember past events in our lives is pretty limited and that our minds tend to fill in the details and in some cases completely fabricate memories that we feel so sure really occurred. Early memories are the hardest to actually tap in to as well for obvious reasons, but none the less I have a really strong memory from the first grade. The fact that it was mainly a mental memory, or in other words a simple remembrance of the thoughts going on through my mind while sitting inside my classroom one day, makes it harder to say if this happened exactly this way for sure but the memory stuck because of how intense the feeling was.

Just for some background info, I was raised Roman Catholic. My mother is not by most measures an extremely devout Christian but she loves Jesus and the Catholic Church, so even though my father is a self-described agnostic (who I think is really an atheist but just never wanted to start an argument), thanks to my mother and some extended family I had a pretty traditional Christian upbringing. Church and Sunday school every Sunday-no exceptions. If I could not attend my church I had to have the Priest of the other Catholic Church (and it had to be a Catholic one) sign the pamphlet to prove I had gone. I went to Sunday school for eight years, made all the sacraments, learned all the prayers, read the bible and all that jazz.

During the week I attended a Lutheran school, where religion and reading the Bible was taking as seriously as it was on Sundays and we were also required to attend mass once a week during the week and to pray after pledging the flag in the mornings. I was also a well behaved kid and for the most part I liked my religion and its values. My school and church seemed more accepting and peaceful compared to the surrounding neighborhood I grew up in.

But I remember one day, sitting in class and for whatever reason, this random thought popped into my head: "What if there is no God?" I was six. It was not the result of a deep discussion I had with someone or some horrible event or hypocritical stance the church took that could have led me to think it. It was a simple question, like why is the sky blue- a simple product of a child's curiosity. And what happened? I panicked. I was afraid I'd be sent to Hell for merely thinking that for one second there was a slight possibility that God did not exist. And I prayed and asked God to forgive me, partly scared for my eternal life and partly overcome with guilt for questioning God, who at that point in time seemed like a great "person" who loved me and did everything for me and made me happy.

That moment did not radically change my religious views. Even if a part of me wanted to question it further, I wouldn't have dared and everything else religious that I had been exposed to at that point was all good anyway. So, I went on with my religious upbringing and never really questioned it again until I was about fourteen. And at that point I was pissed. I felt like I had been lied to and manipulated and was fed up with the hypocrisy of the church. Since then I've reevaluated my belief(s) tons of times.

I am not against religion by any means and suppose that if there still wasn't a part of me that looked to God, I, like most agnostics or atheists I know, would never really pay attention to the issue at all. But returning officially to any church is something very hard to do because it's a short amount of time before the dogmatic preaching starts.

I took a course in my secular college on the Bible and the professor was a deeply religious protestant man. There are many things about the course I loved, and he helped me view the bible differently. However, it became apparent pretty fast that he was also not comfortable with intense questions that challenged what he had always believed. It was a huge disappointment, not because I wanted to attack any one's religious belief but because I genuinely wanted and honest and OPEN discussion on religion, if anything to increase, not decrease my faith.

But the point is outside of myself, I have honestly never met any one who was combined their religious belief(s) with their intellectualism. It's not to say that there are no intelligent religious people, just that most are content to tune out their intellect when reading the bible, or whatever their holy book is. This has always frustrated me extremely and while I don't know where my beliefs will lead me, I know I will never be satisfied with any half-minded answers, I will never be able to disregard science or history and for those reasons, will never be a traditional believer in any religion that requires submission to dogma.

And that's fine for me personally but it worries and saddens me to think how easily many people are literally frightened for their lives and/or content to not question anything. It is not something that just affects the religious minded, but seeps into all aspects of secular culture as well. It is most apparent and worrisome in politics when people who may hold different views and have different ideals, or who just merely want to question something the government does, is labeled as unpatriotic at best and as some kind of traitor at worst.

Believing in something is wonderful, but relying purely on faith in any area of life is dangerous. President Bush's quixotic, borderline insane, ideas regarding the war in Iraq are a result of this kind of faith.

"The man who has everything figured out is probably a fool. College examinations notwithstanding, it takes a very smart fella to say "I don't know the answer!"~Inherit the Wind (1960)[/quote]

if you were looking for an intellectual view of christianity than you didnt look that hard. one of your biggest problems is that you were raised roman catholic which have some pretty UNTRUE views of the bible and creation. you must be willing to accept that there is much use of HYPERBOLY in the bible as with any piece of literature. I am a preterist which simply means i believe all biblical prophecy has been fullfilled, in fact the bible even says it was supposed to be fullfilled in the generation of the apostles and it was.

to many people jump to conclusion about things in the bible and what they mean but if you take a dip into history and study the languages you will see that the english version of the bible is a VERY BAD translation and was manipulated to say something different than what was actually meant.

I believe that creation in genesis is a parabol. Keep in mind god was explaining creation to basically a bunch of cave men. How would that make sense to us being scientific??????? it doesnt when taken literally but if you apply the concepts behind genesis it does logically make sense and if you would like to hear more id love to show you the explanation but i dont feel like pasting 100 pages right now. Please ask me if you have contridictions or questions because i can give you intelligent answers for all of them.

I recently changed my beliefs because of some of the same questions that you had and rediscovered god in an amazing way. Trust me he does exist and i have good arguements to support it let me if you want to hear them. peace
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christianzack
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2007 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
[quote="CryxicKiller"]John, word dude? I almost can't believe what you said at the end. First of all, there is no "creation vs. evolution" debate. Evolution is factual and that's that. It's not debated in relevant quarters. Second of all, are you kidding???? You actually believed that "prophet"??? Dude, you can believe in god, but please be a little more circumspect intellectually. The "prophet" was obviously bsing and posturing, trying to earn a favorable response from the audience.[/quote][b]

Yes evolution is factually but can also harmonize with the bible. Evolution does not explain creation of both life and the universe though, only how we got to where we are from existing organisms. I will agree with you though on this so called prohpet. Chruches are often filled with people like this who make general statements that are relavent to many people that hear it but is that god working maybe, maybe not but that certainly is not a good source of evidence to somebodyelse and i dont mean that in an impolite manner.[/b]
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Lester
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2007 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Hey christianzack, umm wow you have the word christian in your name, anyways onto the actual point, if you take the creation story as a parable then why can't jesus be a parable? or the ten commandments? or anything else? and the problem with parable is that everyone believes they have the *true* interpretation, which of course is impossible cause their all different!
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queerxnation
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2007 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I defense of Christianity, lester- Jesus, the 10 commandments... they ARE parables. Parable doesn't mean "BS story that isn't real and has no pertinance to real life." Parable means "a story that teaches values and morals."

Jesus, the story of Mount Sinai, the creation myth... they're all parables used to instill Christian morality.

Which is okay, I think, but only if people realize what they are and what they mean, and don't pretend that it's factual evidence they can use to support an argument.
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christianzack
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2007 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
genesis what written as it was told to them by god and had to be a parable because their small mind couldnt even begin to comprehend what really happened so god gave them a brief summary of what happened so they wouldnt wonder about it. It is also written differently than the rest of the bible and it has been speculated than genesis 1 is actually a song (which there are more than a few of in the bible) and was written after genesis 2.

jesus was not a parable if you bothered to read about jesus in both the bible and secular history you would see he was very real and there is more than enough evidence to support his existence. Even courts have ruled that he was a real person. besides his existence has never really been in question by anyone till this century. The biggest question has always been was he really god in the flesh? which he was.

and dont start saying i cant prove he existed because i cant because i wasnt there and neither were you. It is impossible to prove anyone who was not of royalty existed from that long ago but we do have paintings(some of which are secular), the bible and other documents that talk about jesus as a real person. the people of his time [b]never [/b] questioned if he was real only if he was god.

WHY would the ten commandments be a parable???????? do you have a good reason why they would be?
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exton
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 3:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
queerxnation wrote:

Jesus, the story of Mount Sinai, the creation myth... they're all parables used to instill Christian morality.


I wouldn't say so. You can always draw lessons from a story - any good story is like that. But that's quite different from that story being intentionally written to bring out a moral message.

Jesus did a lot of the moral message stuff, but most of the bible is not.
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exton
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 3:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
christianzack wrote:
genesis what written as it was told to them by god


God told them?

Okay, prove it.

Quote:

and had to be a parable because their small mind couldnt even begin to comprehend what really happened


Prove this.

Quote:

so god gave them a brief summary of what happened so they wouldnt wonder about it.


What god supposedly gave them is not a brief summary - it's entirely made up. There's not a shred of physical truth in it.


Quote:

jesus was not a parable if you bothered to read about jesus in both the bible and secular history you would see he was very real and there is more than enough evidence to support his existence.


Really? Okay. Show us some of the evidence that proves that jesus existed.

Quote:

Even courts have ruled that he was a real person.


Wow, courts!

You know what else courts did?

They acquitted OJ simpson.

Quote:

besides his existence has never really been in question by anyone till this century.


Then again, people didn't question geocentricity for quite a while too. And look how that turned out.

Quote:

The biggest question has always been was he really god in the flesh? which he was.


Okay. Prove it.

Quote:

and dont start saying i cant prove he existed because i cant because i wasnt there and neither were you. It is impossible to prove anyone who was not of royalty existed from that long ago but we do have paintings(some of which are secular),


No, we actually can prove that some people existed in those times.

Jesus is not one of those people.

Quote:

the bible and other documents that talk about jesus as a real person.


The bible (and "other documents")....which was written decades after his supposed death. No, that doesn't cut it.

Quote:

the people of his time never questioned if he was real only if he was god.


Really? Okay. Prove it.

Quote:

WHY would the ten commandments be a parable???????? do you have a good reason why they would be?


I think they're a fairy tale, but i don't think they're a parable.
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christianzack
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 5:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
[quote="exton"][quote="christianzack"]genesis what written as it was told to them by god[/quote]

God told them?

Okay, prove it.

Sorry i wasnt there but your welcome to disprove it if ud like


[quote]
and had to be a parable because their small mind couldnt even begin to comprehend what really happened
[/quote]

Prove this.

prove what? ancient man wasnt that smart and why would god use an explanation they couldnt even comprehend?????

[quote]
so god gave them a brief summary of what happened so they wouldnt wonder about it.[/quote]

What god supposedly gave them is not a brief summary - it's entirely made up. There's not a shred of physical truth in it.

PROVE THIS


[quote]
jesus was not a parable if you bothered to read about jesus in both the bible and secular history you would see he was very real and there is more than enough evidence to support his existence.[/quote]

Really? Okay. Show us some of the evidence that proves that jesus existed.

the writings of JOSEPHUS and a roman historian both of which were not christian acknowledged he existed the link below will provide you with the stand and references.

http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/1764

[quote]
Even courts have ruled that he was a real person.
[/quote]

Wow, courts!

You know what else courts did?

They acquitted OJ simpson.

not a valid arguement.

[quote]
besides his existence has never really been in question by anyone till this century.[/quote]

Then again, people didn't question geocentricity for quite a while too. And look how that turned out.

history is far different from science and theory because the older text, stories and events get the harder it is to prove what actually happened. thats why it is a fairly recent arguement besides jesus is a person not a theory.

[quote]
The biggest question has always been was he really god in the flesh? which he was.[/quote]

Okay. Prove it.

your welcome to disprove it.

[quote]
and dont start saying i cant prove he existed because i cant because i wasnt there and neither were you. It is impossible to prove anyone who was not of royalty existed from that long ago but we do have paintings(some of which are secular),[/quote]

No, we actually can prove that some people existed in those times.

Jesus is not one of those people.

yes he is read above.

[quote]
the bible and other documents that talk about jesus as a real person.
[/quote]

The bible (and "other documents")....which was written decades after his supposed death. No, that doesn't cut it.

nothing will ever cut it for you if what i provided is not sufficient.

[quote]
the people of his time [b]never [/b] questioned if he was real only if he was god.[/quote]

Really? Okay. Prove it.

all the meetings and debates i know about from that time period were about his divinity not his existence. if you have text that say otherwise i would love to see them.

[quote]
WHY would the ten commandments be a parable???????? do you have a good reason why they would be?[/quote]

I think they're a fairy tale, but i don't think they're a parable.[/quote][/u][u]

well they are written in the old testament which makes them very real whether or not you believe in them and if you are saying how they came about is a myth then i would like to see evidence that supports that conclusion because the only person there when they were given was MOSES and his account is the only one. which is written in the old testament and we do know that suadem was a real place and that people were there so that further adds to the proof. your welcome to research suadem and gemorra i would mind seeing any text that say otherwise but im not sure if i spelled those right so you may want to refer to the bible to get correct spellings before searching them. talk to you later.[/u]
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