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 Religious Discussion

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Go to page : Previous  1, 2, 3

Which do you belong to?
Catholic
25%
 25% [ 3 ]
Protestant/Christian
8%
 8% [ 1 ]
Muslim
17%
 17% [ 2 ]
Mormon
8%
 8% [ 1 ]
Jew
0%
 0% [ 0 ]
Buddist
0%
 0% [ 0 ]
Agnostic
8%
 8% [ 1 ]
Atheist
25%
 25% [ 3 ]
Other
8%
 8% [ 1 ]
Total Votes : 12
 

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Everlong

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Number of posts : 156
Age : 26

PostSubject: Re: Religious Discussion   Fri May 01, 2009 5:08 pm

SmashedBrother wrote:
Quote :
Jesus? The Buddha? Muhammad? Abraham? Zoroaster? All good guys in my book....

Judiesm (Sp?) and Catholicism are one and the same with the one key difference being that Catholics (and all Cristians to my knowledge) believe that Jesus was the messiah (and son of God). In other words, Abraham and Jesus didn't start two seperate religions. Abraham had certain truths revealed from God, then Moses etc., and each time God kept bringing the Jews to a higher standard. Then when they were ready, Jesus basically brought them to the next level. So yes, both good guys! Wink Very Happy .
I was speaking along the lines of the fact I was more or less just listing random people. I'm well aware that Abraham is the patriarch of all three major monotheistic faiths, my friend.

SmashedBrother wrote:
Anyway, while it's definetly more believable than relativism, the faiths still contradict each other. (Protests EXIST because they disagreed with some doctrine of the church, Jews exist because they did not believe Jesus was the messiah, and ironically Islam is one of the most polarized faiths there is.)
And this I chalk up to everyone being human. Muslims, for example, acknowledge that at one time or another, all prophets everywhere were directly connected to God (they make, as you probably know, no special distinction between Yahweh, Jehovah, or Allah; 'Allah' is just the distinction they give because it gives Him an 'identity'), but people being people, they lost this message and have stratified what God intended. Muhammad was meant to come to earth and set the record straight, but unfortunately, as with all religions, once the leader passes away, it becomes broken apart.

SmashedBrother wrote:
Anywy, why would God chop his believers into thousands of differant sects? To quote Jesus - "A house divided against itself cannot stand". It seems pretty clear he wasn't ok with the idea of tearing God's house into pieces, (and that's even easier to see in the old testament) but even more he made it clear that he was God's son and one in him (either that, or he was one heck of a liar.)
Because God gives humanity free will? Surely, you would say that the people who aren't Catholic in the world are like that because, either consciously or subconsciously, they reject this, even if it is 'the truth.' But God doesn't force people to choose to follow Him/Her/It because it recognizes our right to make our own decisions about life.

As for Jesus' quotings, I would argue I have no idea if he said that or not because, quite frankly, Jesus never directly talks in the Bible. All we have are second-hand accounts that, frankly, may be tinted with the biases of their writers.

SmashedBrother wrote:
So from here, all I can see (although I'm not perfect and so I'd really like to hear back from you on this to hear what you think about this!) is that either you believe Jesus(which doesn't fit with HU) or you don't.....or something I missed entirely.
I think I reject the notion that Jesus is the 'one true son of God' or however you might put it. I believe he was a good person, and a prophet of God, but I do not believe that Jesus himself was begotten by God Himself through the Virgin Mary. So I guess that makes me a lot more like the Jews and Muslims; I more fall in line with the Muslim notion of Jesus was taken directly to Heaven by God after he was crucified. Jesus wished to linger no more with the rest of us at that point, because his job was done, and God knew this.


SmashedBrother wrote:
I DO believe that each religion contains at least an element of the truth, some more than others, and no one has the full truth (God being too much for anyone to comprehend) but only the Catholic Church contains all the truths revealed by God.
And this is where you and I depart because I think something similar, but I'm starting to believe it could be Islam that holds that truth (what sect though, on my part, requires more research).

SmashedBrother wrote:
Does that mean I think my "opinion" (belief) is better than those who believe in other faith? Well, why would I believe it otherwise? Not because I believe I'm so much better/smarter than everyone else, but (like with my cold fusion generator ex. in my post to Cory) there are certain pointers, which although I'm still learning, that I believe give Catholicism an edge over the others.
What separates your notion from my notion, though? I have come to my own individual truth that Muhammad came to correct the errors brought about by Christian and Jewish scholars because of man's inherent err. Why should I accept your own opinion as supreme when I feel my heart knows more than your overall assumption? You could make the same argument against me, which is why I believe most of it is moot.

SmashedBrother wrote:
Basically, to say every faith is equal.....just doesn't work. There are too many contradictions, and some (like the Protestant faiths) exist precisely because someone's beliefs contradicted with the Church's. Either one is wrong, or both are.
That is your paradigm, and you're entitled to it, but as I mentioned: we are human and therefore we make mistakes. Have you ever played the game 'telephone'? You start with a story and then tell it to the person next to you, the person next to you passes it on, and by the time the story gets back to you, it's completely different. You are asserting a superiority of opinion when you say to me 'just doesn't work.'

SmashedBrother wrote:
One last question -

Then why do you believe it?
Why do I believe it? Because I want everyone to get along, and whether you agree with it or not, I believe that if you're a good person Jew, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, whatever sort of pagan, Sikh, Shintoist, etc. you will be rewarded for what you've done. I doubt any sort of being that apparently professes love for all of humanity, even its disgusting and sometimes wretched underbelly, would damn those people just because they don't accept one angle of the prism.
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SmashedBrother
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PostSubject: Re: Religious Discussion   Tue Jun 02, 2009 4:04 pm

Quote :
Under that logic, Sotomayor's remarks should be every bit as offensive as Alito's hypothetical remarks...however in this particular case, that is simply not the fact. All in all, I believe what we need to take from this is the fact that there is no such thing as an absolute truth on every given matter...truth is subjective, and varies from person to person, as well as from situation to situation. In this given situation, the former argument seems to adequate...in my mind at least.



That's true Wink (Sorry, I couldn't resist Wink Very Happy )

I already talked about this in the "Religious Discussion" thread. I don't know if you want to continue our discussion there or not, but I thought I'd let you know. (though I'd really appreciate. I spent a lot of time writing up that post, lol!)

First, I'd like to point that, by definition it's opinion is subjective, while truth is absolute. Anyway, my two cents -

What about science? Mathmatics? Those are based off of objective truths. Why should the universe suddenly become subjective? (Which as my joke above points out is self-contradictory) Just because a problem is difficut, and has strong arguments on both sides doesn't mean reason is invalid. The fault is with us, being the limited and imperfect beings we are, not reason, (which is working with logic based off of objective truths) it would be impossible to have a good argument if there was nothing to work with other than opinion. At best you could only have an appealing argument.)

Let me try this another way (Starting with where subjective reasoning is accurate, and then point out where it stops.)

Suppose you tried mint-chocolate chip ice cream, and decided you didn't like it, that's your opinion since no flavor of ice cream is inherently good or evil. (you'd be crazy, btu not wrong Wink Very Happy ). However, for other people, it would be a fact that you didn't like it, because you determine who and what you are, in as you can do so with interfering with others "Inner space" or the universe's. (More on this later, but basically you can't determine things outside of your internal 'sphere of influence' (or "inner Space") such as others opinion of you.)

The problem with saying that truth is subjective, besides the everyday examples to the contrary, is that you effectively declare "each man a god unto himself" because only a truly infinite being (such as.....you guessed it Smile ) could ever encompass the infinite universe in his own "Inner space". (I don't think I need to elaborate that we're not infinite.) At best, we can only interact with the external universe it's (or rather God's) rules, like we do with our tools, discussions, and machines (like this computer Smile )

There are times when I would certainly like truth to be subjective, but somehow, believing my wii that I've been waiting on forever is all set up and ready to go just hasn't done me much good yet Neutral .

As a side not, a lot of things that may seem to argue for subjective truth are really just different perceptions of the true reality. Back when I was a kid, I heard a story about a saint (I think it was St. Therese of Avila.) She was a nun, and there was one task doing, so as a sacrifice, she volunteered to be the one to do it. As it turned out her mother superior (basically the leading nun.) thought she was being lazy, and trying to get out of other work, because apparently some of the other nuns who didn't mind the chore were using it to get out of the work they didn't like.

The story goes on, but the point I'm trying to make from this is that there were not two different realities, in one of which st. Therese was guilty, and another in which she was doing a sacrifice, even though it was perceived as laziness. Sometimes it's less obvious than this example, but it still is about different perceptions, rather than different realities.

In a nutshell I believe that we determine what we like, and things like that. That's where the subjective comes into play. You can like a certain food, while another person hates it, and neither of you are wrong, because something like that isn't bad in and of it's self. You can't determine anything outside of yourself however. You can only interact with others, and the universe. For belief in subjective truth to be accurate, we would effectly have to have control over the infinite universe, which couldn't possibly be in a limited human being (except God's of course) "Inner Space" (let alone everyone's) so we can't change it.

I hope that reading this doesn't give you the headache it gave me, lol! Smile If you'd like me to clear anything up I'd be glad to.....actually, this has a lot of room for being misunderstood, which is why I wrote that last paragraph......sigh.....

_________________
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headbanger201

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PostSubject: Re: Religious Discussion   Mon Jun 22, 2009 4:19 pm

most religion is a way of control now ppl study hard to know everything about nothing there is a god and he wathes out for you but i dont think its what everyone says he is believe none of what u hear and half of what u see
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SmashedBrother
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PostSubject: Re: Religious Discussion   Mon Jun 29, 2009 2:41 pm

@Everlong - Finally! I'm sorry for taking so long. +Rep both for being one of the few people to answer me here, and for waiting so patiently when I ended up doing exactly what I've been frustrated with everyone else about.

Also, I'm really tired, so I might not be expressing myself very well. Hope you understand. Neutral If this post is too long, or if I seem to be ranting don't hesitate to tell me.

Everlong wrote:
I was speaking along the lines of the fact I was more or less just listing random people. I'm well aware that Abraham is the patriarch of all three major monotheistic faiths, my friend.

Ok, just making sure. Smile You'd be surprised what some people don't know out there.

Quote :
Because God gives humanity free will? Surely, you would say that the people who aren't Catholic in the world are like that because, either consciously or subconsciously, they reject this, even if it is 'the truth.' But God doesn't force people to choose to follow Him/Her/It because it recognizes our right to make our own decisions about life.
Quote :
And this I chalk up to everyone being human. Muslims, for example, acknowledge that at one time or another, all prophets everywhere were directly connected to God (they make, as you probably know, no special distinction between Yahweh, Jehovah, or Allah; 'Allah' is just the distinction they give because it gives Him an 'identity'), but people being people, they lost this message and have stratified what God intended. Muhammad was meant to come to earth and set the record straight, but unfortunately, as with all religions, once the leader passes away, it becomes broken apart.


Umm, I think I may have misunderstood your last post confused . I don't deny the existence of free will. I thought you were saying that all religions (or several anyway.) were all different pieces of the same puzzle and that we needed them all. Now it sounds more like you're saying that God first tried to work with the Jews, then they kept falling away, so he gave up and tried to build the Catholic faith, then it broke apart, so then he made Islam. Could you clarify?

Just a couple of thoughts, but first I'd like to mention a theory (not a doctrine or anything like that, but it makes more sense than God just giving up on a faith he created) from a very good apologist, which basically points out how God keeps expanding his original covenant, from a marriage covenant with Adam & Eve, to a covenant with Noah and his family, through the tribe of Israel (etc.) to the present day, each time covering more people and calling them to a higher standard. While it's just a theory, it does seem to fit pretty well IMO.

Islam doesn't really fit there is that God didn't really give up on the Jews or any of the old laws, but rather tried to bring them to a higher level through what became known as Christianity. Islam, on the other hand, seems to consider the others as ultimately being mistakes, and itself as almost a religious revolution in a way that doesn't fit with the above. This is one of the places I got writer's block on, and I'm not really expressing myself very well here. I hope you understand what I'm trying to say.

Quote :
What separates your notion from my notion, though? I have come to my own individual truth that Muhammad came to correct the errors brought about by Christian and Jewish scholars because of man's inherent err. Why should I accept your own opinion as supreme when I feel my heart knows more than your overall assumption? You could make the same argument against me, which is why I believe most of it is moot.

Quote :
That is your paradigm, and you're entitled to it, but as I mentioned: we are human and therefore we make mistakes. Have you ever played the game 'telephone'? You start with a story and then tell it to the person next to you, the person next to you passes it on, and by the time the story gets back to you, it's completely different. You are asserting a superiority of opinion when you say to me 'just doesn't work.'

Quote :
Why do I believe it? Because I want everyone to get along

I could go into a long post on this like I did with Cory just last post, but there was a quote from somebody that really sums it up much better -

"Faith without reason is nothing, and reason without faith is impossible"

Faith without reason really is nothing more than a wish, based off of our feelings, desires (I.e. everyone getting along) or whatever causes us to wish it, which isn't reliable. On the other hand, reason without faith is impossible, because we're all imperfect. We have to have some faith that we're reasoning correctly, just like we need reason so that we aren't placing our faith foolishly. Can we at least agree on this?

I can't really argue with you when you say -- "that's your paradigm, and you're entitled to it, but (*paraphrasing*) why should I accept when my heart tells me something else? After all human reasoning isn't perfect"-- except to point out that you're operating solely on faith here. We aren't perfect at reason, which is why we should keep an open mind. At the same time the opposite extreme is at least as faulty, and it's somewhat presumtious to say that we determine (or know in our heart) the truth. (see my last post if you want more detail.....a lot more detail Neutral )

If anything, pure faith would keep us from getting along, as it would stop us from being able to interact with each other on things like this. (after all, pure faith would reject anything that may seem to disprove it, considering any arguments "Your paradigm")

Quote :
As for Jesus' quotings, I would argue I have no idea if he said that or not because, quite frankly, Jesus never directly talks in the Bible. All we have are second-hand accounts that, frankly, may be tinted with the biases of their writers.

First off, (out of curiousity) doesn't Islam consider the Bible a sacred book, albeit lesser than the kOran?

Secondly, the Bible is one of the (if not THE) best historically referenced books ever, both from Christians and even non-Christians (such as Jews) whose biases would be against Jesus being divine. You could argue that he might not have said or done something, and basically just pick and choose what you want to believe, but once again that's operating solely on faith, which is kind of presumptious.




Quote :
I think I reject the notion that Jesus is the 'one true son of God' or however you might put it. I believe he was a good person, and a prophet of God, but I do not believe that Jesus himself was begotten by God Himself through the Virgin Mary. So I guess that makes me a lot more like the Jews and Muslims; I more fall in line with the Muslim notion of Jesus was taken directly to Heaven by God after he was crucified. Jesus wished to linger no more with the rest of us at that point, because his job was done, and God knew this.

He claimed to be equal to God (as his son) several times. For a couple of examples -- There was the "Our Father", there was the time when he said "no one comes to the father except through me" (which no mere prophet could claim), and finally, there was the time when he was preaching to the people and said "before Abraham, I AM" which is why the Jews were going to stone him. (Edit: Also there was his answer to the Sanheddrin (the Jewish supreme court).)

Unless you want to cut that part out of the Bible, the only reasonable options I see are that he was either lying, mad, or telling the truth. He doesn't really leave any room to be just a good man or a prophet.


Quote :
....and whether you agree with it or not, I believe that if you're a good person Jew, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, whatever sort of pagan, Sikh, Shintoist, etc. you will be rewarded for what you've done. I doubt any sort of being that apparently professes love for all of humanity, even its disgusting and sometimes wretched underbelly, would damn those people just because they don't accept one angle of the prism.


Waaar made a pretty good post about that a while back. I don't totally agree with every detail, but for the most part it was pretty good. As for my two cents, I agree with you for the most part. Catholicism has the doctrine of "baptism of desire". Baptism of desire is when you honestly try to follow God as best you can, in a sense baptizing you spirtually. Obviously you can't just wish to be in the right religion and *Hey presto!* you're saved. You have to honestly try to find the truth, at which point, even if you fail I don't believe that God would damn them either.





However, a protestant or hindu wouldn't have the all the graces that they would in the Catholic church, because they're further from the truth. (I'm not saying God loves them any less, just that there's a certain distance forced in....hopefully you undertand what I'm saying. I'm just kind of tired and not expressing myself very well at the moment.

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Everlong

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PostSubject: Re: Religious Discussion   Mon Jun 29, 2009 3:31 pm

SmashedBrother wrote:
@Everlong - Finally! I'm sorry for taking so long. +Rep both for being one of the few people to answer me here, and for waiting so patiently when I ended up doing exactly what I've been frustrated with everyone else about.

Also, I'm really tired, so I might not be expressing myself very well. Hope you understand. Neutral If this post is too long, or if I seem to be ranting don't hesitate to tell me.
Haha, thanks. No worries though, I've got quite a bit of time on my hands these days. Don't worry about not 'sounding' all that great. Hopefully my responses will be satisfactory to, too.

SmashedBrother wrote:
Umm, I think I may have misunderstood your last post confused . I don't deny the existence of free will. I thought you were saying that all religions (or several anyway.) were all different pieces of the same puzzle and that we needed them all. Now it sounds more like you're saying that God first tried to work with the Jews, then they kept falling away, so he gave up and tried to build the Catholic faith, then it broke apart, so then he made Islam. Could you clarify?
Actually, you didn't misinterpret anything I said incorrectly. It might just be that I worded myself oddly. What I'm saying is - Judaism and Catholicism are correct, in their own way, because they stem from the same source of divine inspiration [i.e., God], but since humans are humans, we've taken what God intended and have created differences and problems because of either blatant misinterpretation of God's message (for the person or people's own gain) or simple error through the memetic nature of some religions (since there's no written languages for some, or an intonation must be heard to understand the proper meaning).

I guess I'm trying to say is that while God does give us free will, of course, there is no 'absolute truth' other than a particular faith I would be a part of. Same for you. God will not punish us for taking a part of the jigsaw puzzle and running with it, because God understands that it's how us humans work.

It's more or less recognizing we ARE part of something greater than ourselves when it comes to theology. Wink

SmashedBrother wrote:
Just a couple of thoughts, but first I'd like to mention a theory (not a doctrine or anything like that, but it makes more sense than God just giving up on a faith he created) from a very good apologist, which basically points out how God keeps expanding his original covenant, from a marriage covenant with Adam & Eve, to a covenant with Noah and his family, through the tribe of Israel (etc.) to the present day, each time covering more people and calling them to a higher standard. While it's just a theory, it does seem to fit pretty well IMO.
Very interesting...while I'm not sure, of course, there's much theological backup for this (or I could be wrong here), I assume it would probably make sense. After all, these days, there aren't really 'remote areas' anymore on the face of the planet. Sure, we have isolated tribes in some places like Africa and South America, but most of the world is aware of (what I assume you're trying to get at) at least Judaism and Christianity. That's an interesting way to look at things for holding people up to a high responsibility, but it's sort of hard to imagine much higher standards than the people in Noah's time (while I'm not someone who takes the flood story literally, I'd have to say that's a pretty high standard!).

SmashedBrother wrote:
Islam doesn't really fit there is that God didn't really give up on the Jews or any of the old laws, but rather tried to bring them to a higher level through what became known as Christianity. Islam, on the other hand, seems to consider the others as ultimately being mistakes, and itself as almost a religious revolution in a way that doesn't fit with the above. This is one of the places I got writer's block on, and I'm not really expressing myself very well here. I hope you understand what I'm trying to say.
That's pretty much what Islam is more or less trying to say. It's not, however, that Christianity or Judaism are 'mistakes,' but are simply Islam [the faith itself] that has simply gone astray from what God intended them to be. The Jews are considered to KIND of have gotten it, because they had many of the early very important prophets (Abraham, Noah, and Moses besides others), but are frowned upon because they didn't accept Jesus as one. Christians (though technically more in reference to Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy as Protestantism obviously didn't exist yet) are frowned upon because Muslims believe, as I said, that Jesus was not God's Son and the Trinity is kind of viewed, like how the Jews might, as being something akin to polytheism. A gross oversimplification? Perhaps, but I would consider Islam looking at itself the same way how Christians view Jesus as attempting to teach the Jews about himself.

SmashedBrother wrote:
I could go into a long post on this like I did with Cory just last post, but there was a quote from somebody that really sums it up much better -

"Faith without reason is nothing, and reason without faith is impossible"

Faith without reason really is nothing more than a wish, based off of our feelings, desires (I.e. everyone getting along) or whatever causes us to wish it, which isn't reliable. On the other hand, reason without faith is impossible, because we're all imperfect. We have to have some faith that we're reasoning correctly, just like we need reason so that we aren't placing our faith foolishly. Can we at least agree on this?
Then I will agree to disagree, of course. Perhaps it's based off of wishful thinking, and unfortunately, it obviously doesn't work this way when one considers the long history of religious conflict that's plagued the world since humanity started. But what exact 'reason' am I lacking here? I'm curious as to what you think I'm missing. How is it 'unreasonable' for my own sets of paradigms to be wrong in the face of faith itself, which is an entirely subjective sort of thing?

Faith, much like facts, are in the eye of the beholder, my friend. "One man's trash is another man's treasure," so to speak.

SmashedBrother wrote:
I can't really argue with you when you say -- "that's your paradigm, and you're entitled to it, but (*paraphrasing*) why should I accept when my heart tells me something else? After all human reasoning isn't perfect"-- except to point out that you're operating solely on faith here. We aren't perfect at reason, which is why we should keep an open mind. At the same time the opposite extreme is at least as faulty, and it's somewhat presumptious to say that we determine (or know in our heart) the truth. (see my last post if you want more detail.....a lot more detail Neutral )

If anything, pure faith would keep us from getting along, as it would stop us from being able to interact with each other on things like this. (after all, pure faith would reject anything that may seem to disprove it, considering any arguments "Your paradigm")
[/quote]You're right, humanity is not completely perfect as it stands today. But again, I would like to reiterate, if we all come from the same source (that is to say, God) and that humanity always has an inclination towards Him/Her/It, how is it 'unreasonable' to suggest that whatever one does in search for the truth about life, is going against that, if it's (this is not an attack, but perhaps more relatable) Catholicism?

For example, if the Buddhist monk is searching in his life for the meaning of the universe, how is he any different than the Catholic monk who attempts to study his theology to understand what God wants? Are they not, ultimately, looking towards the same goal? Yet, you seem to be arguing, only the Catholic may be right in his search for a universal purpose because of something as arbitrary as his faith in a certain set of belief systems.

Why must the Buddhist monk be punished because he is either not aware of certain aspects of Christianity, or has no desire to convert to it, because he is content with what he has now? If what his faith is teaching him is acceptable to himself, and he feels that he's connected to a higher purpose, what does it matter that isn't the same beliefs, superficially, as yours?

Pure faith regardless, aren't we both technically rejecting one another's arguments, on a subconscious level, because we disagree with one another? That's a bit of a paradox on the reverse side of things.

SmashedBrother wrote:
First off, (out of curiousity) doesn't Islam consider the Bible a sacred book, albeit lesser than the Koran?
Firegremlin or obviously could answer you far better than I could, of course, but yes, in the Qu'ran, the Bible (both Old and New Testaments) are considered pieces of Islam's history because they were God's attempt to correct humanity's errs. This failed twice, so God send Muhammad to correct the past mistakes with the modern day Qu'ran. All the stories are accepted without changes, with minor theological squabblings on certain issues - Jesus' divinity, his role as a prophet (which the Jews rejected), all the prophets actually professing Islam as their faith, and even Adam and Eve are considered the first Muslims (though Adam, I don't believe, is not considered a prophet of Islam).

SmashedBrother wrote:
Secondly, the Bible is one of the (if not THE) best historically referenced books ever, both from Christians and even non-Christians (such as Jews) whose biases would be against Jesus being divine. You could argue that he might not have said or done something, and basically just pick and choose what you want to believe, but once again that's operating solely on faith, which is kind of presumptuous.
Perhaps it is. After all, the Jews were rather fastidious record keepers so I honestly don't doubt that the Old Testament is pretty straight forward when it comes to that kind of stuff. The issue I have, however, is more or less the Bible itself (well, the New Testament that is). Modern day Christians are looking at a bunch of texts that were basically compiled at the Council of Nicaea by a bunch of guys to decide what the 'perfect Christian' should follow. While the council met more than once, this is only the opinion of several people. Where are the gospels of Judas and Mary Magdalene? There are even stories, such as one giving a greater detail on Jesus' birth and the events surrounding this event, that aren't included in mainstream editions of the larger two sects, Protestant or Catholic, that don't include this.

Yes, one COULD pick or choose what they wanted to think, couldn't they? But where does 'reasonable' accepting of the text come in? Accepting ALL of it? Many of the Old Testament laws are just as inapplicable in the modern world as is most shariah law in Islam. But...if one is to reject that portion of the text (that's mostly from Leviticus, I believe), how would we know that the rest of it isn't faulty? What I'm trying to say is that no religion, not even Islam, can one agree on everything and follow it to a T because we're no longer in the society and time it was written in. This is a problem affecting all faiths, really - it was meant for a non-modern audience and it kind of shows.

SmashedBrother wrote:
He claimed to be equal to God (as his son) several times. For a couple of examples -- There was the "Our Father", there was the time when he said "no one comes to the father except through me" (which no mere prophet could claim), and finally, there was the time when he was preaching to the people and said "before Abraham, I AM" which is why the Jews were going to stone him. (Edit: Also there was his answer to the Sanheddrin (the Jewish supreme court).)

Unless you want to cut that part out of the Bible, the only reasonable options I see are that he was either lying, mad, or telling the truth. He doesn't really leave any room to be just a good man or a prophet.
Perhaps, but again - the fact of the matter is that I'm taking Paul's, Peter's, Luke's, and John's words for it. And, no offense to them really, they sort of contradict each other in several places in the Gospels. But, using the same argument from before, are they ALL right, contradictions aside? If Jesus were to have spoken, directly from himself, in the Bible, then I would seriously reconsider my position on Christianity. But the fact of the matter is that he does not and the Bible (or at least New Testament), the very first one, was written some years after his death. Sure, you could argue the apostles are unlikely to forget someone like Jesus, but if their memories were so up to snuff, again, why do those contradictions exist?

You might argue that even Muhammad's writer for the first written copy of the Qu'ran (which now resides in Heaven, if you're to believe that sort of thing) could have colored things with his own biases; it's possible he did, unfortunately. Muhammad was illiterate and could neither read nor write himself, so it would be impossible for him to have checked anything himself. Even the Qu'ran contradicts itself at times. But portions were added when God, through Gabriel, spoke to Muhammad, usually afterwards. Accounts written around the time of their revelation rather than a few years later holds somewhat more credibility in my mind than pieces of text collected after the whole shebang happened.


SmashedBrother wrote:
Waaar made a pretty good post about that a while back. I don't totally agree with every detail, but for the most part it was pretty good. As for my two cents, I agree with you for the most part. Catholicism has the doctrine of "baptism of desire". Baptism of desire is when you honestly try to follow God as best you can, in a sense baptizing you spirtually. Obviously you can't just wish to be in the right religion and *Hey presto!* you're saved. You have to honestly try to find the truth, at which point, even if you fail I don't believe that God would damn them either.

However, a protestant or hindu wouldn't have the all the graces that they would in the Catholic church, because they're further from the truth. (I'm not saying God loves them any less, just that there's a certain distance forced in....hopefully you undertand what I'm saying. I'm just kind of tired and not expressing myself very well at the moment.
I hadn't heard of the concept of 'baptism of desire' and it sounds nice. Again, I sort of think this could honestly just go on forever between us. None of the theologians of different faiths before us have ever solved any of these issues and they were far more articulate and intelligent (and no offense to either of us) probably more well-versed in their particular faiths or professed beliefs.

It's sort of amusing for us to perhaps try to solve all these issues in the span of our lifetimes...on an Internet forum where no one will ever read any of this accept the other members of FTW! Razz Anyway, I'm done responding and anyone else may feel free to comment (I really have nothing to say to this, to be honest) and I'll try my best to respond.
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PostSubject: Re: Religious Discussion   Tue Jun 30, 2009 3:01 pm

pugsly1000 wrote:
the difference is the Book of Mormon
Just to put this out there, so that people have the information requested. The Book Of Mormon is written by Joseph Smith, an American colonist who had visions of Jesus in North America. This is why Mormons are also known as The Church of the Latter Day Saints, because it was written during colonial times. There's a lot more, but I'm fuzzy on the details, so I don't talk about more than that.
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PostSubject: Re: Religious Discussion   Tue Jun 30, 2009 3:41 pm

TrueDestroyer wrote:
pugsly1000 wrote:
the difference is the Book of Mormon
Just to put this out there, so that people have the information requested. The Book Of Mormon is written by Joseph Smith, an American colonist who had visions of Jesus in North America. This is why Mormons are also known as The Church of the Latter Day Saints, because it was written during colonial times. There's a lot more, but I'm fuzzy on the details, so I don't talk about more than that.
I too am fuzzy exactly on the details of the Book of Mormon, however, I'll try my best to explain. If you're a Latter Day Saint (what the Mormons prefer to call themselves), you believe that Joseph Smith uncovered certain tablets that gave evidence to the fact that Jesus did not die, according to the New Testament, but merely came to North America and began preaching to Native American tribes (who were descendants of the Lost Tribes of Israel) and he even managed to convert some of them to the 'true faith' (Mormonism). Ultimately, however, I think a battle broke out between the believers and non-believers and one of the last survivors, named Mormon, wrote down all of the records of Jesus' teachings in North America on those gold tablets. Fast forward to Joseph Smith, who discovers them, and translates them. For this, Joseph Smith carries on the role of prophet from Jesus and Mormon to spread the faith.

Or that's how I think it goes, anyway. An actual Latter Day Saint could tell you better than I could what they believe on this. Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Religious Discussion   Thu Sep 17, 2009 3:45 pm

Oi vey!!!! I messed up again!!! I NEVER used to be this bad. I don't know if you're still interested in this, given all the time I've taken to answer, but here's the answer I owe you, and if you are still interested, I should be able to answer significantly quicker now. (a day or two instead of a month or three)

Anyway, I've been trying to figure out exactly what your viewpoint is for awhile, and I think I've finally got at least the general idea. Would you mind correcting where I'm wrong?

Basically you seem to be saying that: you do believe there is a God of some kind, but since we can never really be certain of what he's like, except perhaps for some extremely general ideas (such as free will....maybe not even that?) and therefore, each religion is basically a "guess" and each person should choose what he feels is right. Also: "and that humanity always has an inclination towards Him/Her/It, how is it 'unreasonable' to suggest that whatever one does in search for the truth about life, is going against that, if it's (this is not an attack, but perhaps more relatable) Catholicism?"


Mine is more like what I've heard of C.S. Lewis's Mere Christianity (which I'd really like to read sometime).

Btw. we (Catholics) refer to God as "He" not because he has a specific sex (he's a spirit after all) but because that's his role towards us: as a father, similar to the reason the Church is referred to as "She". Just want to point that out. Smile

Oh, and no offense taken. Those questions keep the discussion moving, and I've certainly asked some like that to you. Smile I'll get back to it in a sec.

Also, I don't follow you when you say - "Faith, much like facts, are in the eye of the beholder, my friend. "One man's trash is another man's treasure," so to speak. " Facts are not subjective by definition. A person can enjoy a particular idea, and believe it to be true, but (for example) Aristotle's theory of spontaneous generation (that bugs and other small creatures were spontaneously formed from mud, rotting meat, and things like that) is not fact, and no matter how many people were to believe it, it wouldn't make it any truer. Otherwise science would be totally pointless.

Quote :
Again, I sort of think this could honestly just go on forever between us

Lol, true, but I think the main problem is that we're starting from two seperate pages. I think it'd be better to focus on relativism as opposed to why I believe we can have a reasonbly good idea of which religion is right for now, and I'll get back to the Catholicism vs. Islam later. We're probably not going to get anywhere when (no offense intended either way) we're arguing from two seperate worlds, so to speak. Also, for the sake of argument, I'm just going to say "truth faith" instead of either Catholicism or Islam for now.

Quote :
I guess I'm trying to say is that while God does give us free will, of course, there is no 'absolute truth' other than a particular faith I would be a part of. Same for you. God will not punish us for taking a part of the jigsaw puzzle and running with it, because God understands that it's how us humans work.

It's more or less recognizing we ARE part of something greater than ourselves when it comes to theology

That's absolutely true! (sorry, I couldn't resist Smile ) By that, do you mean you don't believe there's really any truth about God, in other words that he isn't anything other than what you want him to be, or that we can't know what is absolutely true about him?

Anyway, the problem with the above is that what you're talking about isn't free will but license. That is, being allowed to do whatever you want with no fear of punishment, which is something God cannot do while granting free will, (which is the ability to choose God, or not) because sin is a rejection of God, not just some random law. While we both agree that God loves his creation, he doesn't force his love on us, which is why we have free will.

At the same time, free will would be pointless if we didn't have some kind of reasonably reliable information about him - You can't make a truly free choice if you don't know what you're choosing. Religion would be just a guess (or set of random speculations) under those conditions.

Like you've pointed out before, under normal circumstances, history could be "re-interpreted" or the authors could have forgotten some details, and we could lose the original story, but keep in mind - God can cheat Wink . He allows us free will but if Jesus was of God (which we both agree on, even we disagree with exactly how) then we can assume he would know, or be guided towards who to choose as his disciples to make sure the true story was told. Same with Mohammed and his writer. So it's reasonable to assume that if the book is from God, even indirectly, it would be accurate.

Quote :
Perhaps, but again - the fact of the matter is that I'm taking Paul's, Peter's, Luke's, and John's words for it. And, no offense to them really, they sort of contradict each other in several places in the Gospels. But, using the same argument from before, are they ALL right, contradictions aside? If Jesus were to have spoken, directly from himself, in the Bible, then I would seriously reconsider my position on Christianity. But the fact of the matter is that he does not and the Bible (or at least New Testament), the very first one, was written some years after his death. Sure, you could argue the apostles are unlikely to forget someone like Jesus, but if their memories were so up to snuff, again, why do those contradictions exist?

Ok, I did say that I'd wait on the Catholicism vs. Islam debate, but since this has a lot to do with my last sentence I think this is the best time for this point. The basic idea might also apply to the Qu'ran too in some places.

First off, I was talking about the New Testament when I said "we have several prominent Jewish historians who agree with the Gosples account" so we're not just taking the Christians potentially biased point-of-view. Arcealogists have also found many things that strongly agree with most of the details in the Gospels, so we know at least a fair portion of the story was true.

As to the contradictions you mentioned, there are a LOT of things in the Bible that can easily be misunderstood due to translation problems and things that had meaning back then. As a matter of fact, there was one person who claimed to have found over 120 contradictions in the Bible, and just about all of them were due to things that either had meaning at the time. Paul is particularly easy to misunderstand, even in his time, because he was a schooler.

The Bible (both New and Old Testaments) is among the best historically verified documents in existence.

Ok, sorry for being a little long-winded there, heh. I'd appreciate if you'd mention some of the contradictions you're referring to.

Once again, I'm sorry for taking so long to answer. I should be able to answer within a few days at the max now, though, if you're still interested.

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PostSubject: Re: Religious Discussion   Fri Sep 18, 2009 11:44 pm

SmashedBrother wrote:
Basically you seem to be saying that: you do believe there is a God of some kind, but since we can never really be certain of what he's like, except perhaps for some extremely general ideas (such as free will....maybe not even that?) and therefore, each religion is basically a "guess" and each person should choose what he feels is right.
The first part of your quotation is right; I believe in the idea that God gives humanity its free will and this is one of the most important, defining parts of what makes us human: we are one of God's only creations that may turn away from Him/Her/It. To some extent, I would agree with the latter - since God is of an infinite sort of nature, which makes it truly hard to comprehend how this being works. When God chooses to reveal what It wills to the world, societies have taken this and interpreted it as they will. Since God can't fault humans for telling inaccuracies, It's done its best at damage control. However, God is only truly displeased when humans misinterpret (either unknowingly or willfully) Its law for their own gain.

SmashedBrother wrote:
Mine is more like what I've heard of C.S. Lewis's Mere Christianity (which I'd really like to read sometime).

Btw. we (Catholics) refer to God as "He" not because he has a specific sex (he's a spirit after all) but because that's his role towards us: as a father, similar to the reason the Church is referred to as "She". Just want to point that out. Smile
I hadn't heard of the latter concept among Catholics, actually. I knew some churches would go to the idea of sometimes referring to God as a 'She' (I think the Hebrew in parts of Genesis is ambiguous? I wish there was a Jewish member on board to check on that). Interesting, though; I'm afraid I can't really understand your stance, though, as I'm unfortunately not versed in the slightest with Mr. Lewis' work. Much apologies. Embarassed

SmashedBrother wrote:
Facts are not subjective by definition. A person can enjoy a particular idea, and believe it to be true, but (for example) Aristotle's theory of spontaneous generation (that bugs and other small creatures were spontaneously formed from mud, rotting meat, and things like that) is not fact, and no matter how many people were to believe it, it wouldn't make it any truer. Otherwise science would be totally pointless.
Yet, that's actually the point I was attempting to get at. 'Fact' is ultimately a subjective thing (in my opinion); I really hate to bring this up, as I think it might get some people a bit riled, but let's look at the idea of evolution for a moment. I don't know your position on it, but let's just generalize - some people believe Mr. Darwin's idea to be true (I do, myself) and others do not. While I'd like to say that his theory is an absolute, some will disagree with me; that's fine by me, as I try not to push my beliefs onto others. But this is just it - I would consider the idea of evolution a 'fact,' and there are clearly those who disagree with me (perhaps yourself as well?). Now who's right? I would like to say myself, but others will say to me, "No, Everlong, there is no such thing as evolution!" What one man considers 'fact' has no shifted into a gray area wherein we might debate an overall truth. You're right - science may become moot in this sort of philosophy. We have certain truths that are concrete - like gravity existing for example, but other than that? More abstract concepts (like philosophy and religion) are now up in the air. To some, science also can take humanity so far. I would agree to some extent: what's science without a guiding force of morality, after all?

Perhaps a better analogy is this: say I and a mental patient were discussing the grass and sky. I claim, by reason and 'fact,' that the sky is blue and the grass is green. My mental patient, however, perhaps schizophrenic, disagrees; he states to me, quite clearly, that I'm wrong: the sky is green and the grass is blue. Now, ignoring the fact that he has problems, think about that for a moment. To him, what he's just stated is very much a 'fact' of reality, just as much as my own.

Or maybe I just made absolutely no sense? If so, I apologize. Laughing

SmashedBrother wrote:
That's absolutely true! (sorry, I couldn't resist Smile ) By that, do you mean you don't believe there's really any truth about God, in other words that he isn't anything other than what you want him to be, or that we can't know what is absolutely true about him?
I wouldn't necessarily say that, my friend. What I am saying is that God is intangible to man's limited scope of universal understanding. We cannot begin to fathom God, really, in my opinion. God is something beyond what we might understand and God is aware of this; as such, God has attempted (through various times in society and cultures) to make Its existence known to the world in ways we might understand. I interpret many attempts by polytheists (the 'gods' they have being aspects of the one being) to 'humanize' them is simply their way of making them understandable. There's a god for war because humans declare war on each other; a goddess (or god occasionally) for love because humans love and so on.

SmashedBrother wrote:
Anyway, the problem with the above is that what you're talking about isn't free will but license. That is, being allowed to do whatever you want with no fear of punishment, which is something God cannot do while granting free will, (which is the ability to choose God, or not) because sin is a rejection of God, not just some random law. While we both agree that God loves his creation, he doesn't force his love on us, which is why we have free will.
I concede that perhaps you might have a point; I suppose it's merely in interpretation, then. I believe that God's retribution to humanity is stern by its nature (as you probably believe as well), yet this doesn't stop God from loving humanity (which I believe He/She/It does at all times). Since God has given us free will, I think, I'm arguing that by God's own admission, even turning away from Itself is not truly damning. If that were so, then, why give free will? Alright, I know that's somewhat unfair as that's an entirely new topic into itself, but please reflect.

As for no fear of punishment, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to imply that I believe all forms of morality are irrelevant. On the contrary, I'm sure those that murder the innocent, lie, cheat, and steal from others (as well as other unsavory acts) will be punished because this is God's nature - reward those that have done good, and make those that haven't...well, I'm sure you know what happens from there.

SmashedBrother wrote:
At the same time, free will would be pointless if we didn't have some kind of reasonably reliable information about him - You can't make a truly free choice if you don't know what you're choosing. Religion would be just a guess (or set of random speculations) under those conditions.
You're right, and maybe I didn't make that clear earlier: I think now we're just basically going off of 'Well, where do we draw the line?' You think that Catholicism holds the most reliable information on the nature of God and that others are...sketchy at best, inaccurate at worst, right? I believe choosing a particular faith isn't random due to the fact I accept most faiths (except for, say, Scientology...) as true, or at least they have parts that could be true to them for the reasons I've outlined previously and above.

SmashedBrother wrote:
Like you've pointed out before, under normal circumstances, history could be "re-interpreted" or the authors could have forgotten some details, and we could lose the original story, but keep in mind - God can cheat Wink . He allows us free will but if Jesus was of God (which we both agree on, even we disagree with exactly how) then we can assume he would know, or be guided towards who to choose as his disciples to make sure the true story was told. Same with Mohammed and his writer. So it's reasonable to assume that if the book is from God, even indirectly, it would be accurate.
Holy theological issues, Batman! Is this an issue that we can agree on? Laughing I really don't have much to respond to this part as I honestly think that I agree with what you're saying to some extent. However, as I've pointed out, if God has never directly touched the work that is attributed to Him/Her/It and only has given inspiration for it...well, if God didn't take a direct hand in writing it, surely He/She/It might not do much if it were changed somewhat, would They? That doesn't mean God wouldn't be displeased, of course, but it may very well be possible, no?

SmashedBrother wrote:
Ok, I did say that I'd wait on the Catholicism vs. Islam debate, but since this has a lot to do with my last sentence I think this is the best time for this point. The basic idea might also apply to the Qu'ran too in some places.
I was actually going to say earlier (in the fairness of discussion) that the Qu'ran does occasionally slip up. For example, there seems to be a bit of disagreement within the text as to exactly how man was made. Various parts say clay, water, and even a 'germ' (though if I recall correctly, this might be on the formation of babies in the mother's womb) so it's somewhat confusing in regards to that question. If Waar and firegremlin feel comfortable with discussing things like this, they might chime in here to list some more; that's the only one I can think of off the top of my head.

SmashedBrother wrote:
First off, I was talking about the New Testament when I said "we have several prominent Jewish historians who agree with the Gospels account" so we're not just taking the Christians potentially biased point-of-view. Archaeologists have also found many things that strongly agree with most of the details in the Gospels, so we know at least a fair portion of the story was true.
I'm not disagreeing that Jesus was a historical person, my friend; I recall once of hearing something about a Roman population count of the then Roman 'state' of Palestine mentioning a person who might have possibly been Jesus (or Yeshua bin Josef if I recall his 'real,' not transliterated name right).

SmashedBrother wrote:
As to the contradictions you mentioned, there are a LOT of things in the Bible that can easily be misunderstood due to translation problems and things that had meaning back then. As a matter of fact, there was one person who claimed to have found over 120 contradictions in the Bible, and just about all of them were due to things that either had meaning at the time. Paul is particularly easy to misunderstand, even in his time, because he was a scholar.

The Bible (both New and Old Testaments) is among the best historically verified documents in existence.
I'm pretty sure I might have happened upon that particular document (the 120 contradictions one, I mean). Also, for the purposes of SB's request everyone, I will posting potential contradictions I've seen in the Gospels. This is NOT meant to be an attack or a flame! Please understand.

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These are some of the criticisms I've read, SB. I apologize in advance for any potential offense that you might take from the articles. If the author expresses a rather obscene opinion, please note that it's not shared by me. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Religious Discussion   Mon Sep 21, 2009 5:40 pm

Well, at least I got it in the time margin this time. Unfortunately I missed a couple of points I meant to add in my last post, (teach me to skip around!) so I'll just try to add them in here.

Oh, and sorry if I rant worse than usual today. Just a little tired at the moment which never helps.


Quote :
The first part of your quotation is right; I believe in the idea that God gives humanity its free will and this is one of the most important, defining parts of what makes us human: we are one of God's only creations that may turn away from Him/Her/It. To some extent, I would agree with the latter - since God is of an infinite sort of nature, which makes it truly hard to comprehend how this being works. When God chooses to reveal what It wills to the world, societies have taken this and interpreted it as they will. Since God can't fault humans for telling inaccuracies, It's done its best at damage control. However, God is only truly displeased when humans misinterpret (either unknowingly or willfully) Its law for their own gain.

I hadn't heard of the latter concept among Catholics, actually. I knew some churches would go to the idea of sometimes referring to God as a 'She' (I think the Hebrew in parts of Genesis is ambiguous? I wish there was a Jewish member on board to check on that). Interesting, though; I'm afraid I can't really understand your stance, though, as I'm unfortunately not versed in the slightest with Mr. Lewis' work. Much apologies. Embarassed

To tell the truth I'm only familiar with the basic idea. He's the person I took the line that "Jesus was either lying, insane, or telling the truth. He basically attempted to disprove God by starting with the question "How can we know there's a God?" and working down from there, and ironically he converted himself to Christianity instead. I've been intending to read the book for a while, but I keep being too lazy. (I'm a bit more normal than I may sound on this post, lol!)


Quote :
Yet that's actually the point I was attempting to get at. 'Fact' is ultimately a subjective thing (in my opinion); I really hate to bring this up, as I think it might get some people a bit riled, but let's look at the idea of evolution for a moment. I don't know your position on it, but let's just generalize - some people believe Mr. Darwin's idea to be true (I do, myself) and others do not. While I'd like to say that his theory is an absolute, some will disagree with me; that's fine by me, as I try not to push my beliefs onto others. But this is just it - I would consider the idea of evolution a 'fact,' and there are clearly those who disagree with me (perhaps yourself as well?). Now who's right? I would like to say myself, but others will say to me, "No, Everlong, there is no such thing as evolution!" What one man considers 'fact' has no shifted into a gray area wherein we might debate an overall truth. You're right - science may become moot in this sort of philosophy. We have certain truths that are concrete - like gravity existing for example, but other than that? More abstract concepts (like philosophy and religion) are now up in the air. To some, science also can take humanity so far. I would agree to some extent: what's science without a guiding force of morality, after all?

Perhaps a better analogy is this: say I and a mental patient were discussing the grass and sky. I claim, by reason and 'fact,' that the sky is blue and the grass is green. My mental patient, however, perhaps schizophrenic, disagrees; he states to me, quite clearly, that I'm wrong: the sky is green and the grass is blue. Now, ignoring the fact that he has problems, think about that for a moment. To him, what he's just stated is very much a 'fact' of reality, just as much as my own.

Or maybe I just made absolutely no sense? If so, I apologize. Laughing

Lol! No, I followed you. I just remembered the time when I was a kid and wondering if everyone saw the colors the same way....weird.

In answer to your first part, As an aside I do not believe in evolution by complete chance. (I won't go into a rant on Richard Dawkins needing more faith in chance than I do to believe my religion! Rolling Eyes )

However, as for intelligent design (evolution controlled strictly by God) vs. outright Creation, I have no idea because we don't have enough information at this point, and that basically sums up the rest of what I'm saying. It's not the fact of evolution vs. the fact of creation but the theory of evolution vs. the theory of creation. (I'm personally inclined towards creation due to several facts but there's not really enough to be sure yet.) Theories, by definition, are observations with some data to back them up. However, while theories do have some data to back them up, they can often be wrong because we don't have all the facts yet. That is the "grey area" you're referring to. It's not that facts are subjective, but that theories are basically educated guesses.

As for the second part, have you ever heard the saying, "A rose by any other name is still a rose,"? That's basically the idea here. Whatever you want to call blue or green, they remain the same frequency of light regardless. The name is subjective, but it doesn't affect what it refers to. That is the fact.

Also, I don't think that anyone is likely to be offended here. Most of this group is fairly reasonable. (Which is one reason I like this site)


Quote :
I wouldn't necessarily say that, my friend. What I am saying is that God is intangible to man's limited scope of universal understanding. We cannot begin to fathom God, really, in my opinion. God is something beyond what we might understand and God is aware of this; as such, God has attempted (through various times in society and cultures) to make Its existence known to the world in ways we might understand. I interpret many attempts by polytheists (the 'gods' they have being aspects of the one being) to 'humanize' them is simply their way of making them understandable. There's a god for war because humans declare war on each other; a goddess (or god occasionally) for love because humans love and so on.

As a matter of fact I almost entirely agree with you. A limited being is incapable of fully (or even coming close to) understanding an infinite being like God. I also believe he is attempting to bring us closer to him, more like Dr. Scott Hahn's theory I mentioned earlier, how God is constantely bringing us closer to him, and calling us to a higher standard, rather than trying with the Jews, having that fall apart, trying with the Christians, having that fall apart, and then trying AGAIN (and happens to be one of the things I skipped in the last post Rolling Eyes ....Now I can't find it.....Oi vey!)

While I can't find my whole post yet, I would like to point out this part -

Quote :
Yes, one COULD pick or choose what they wanted to think, couldn't they? But where does 'reasonable' accepting of the text come in? Accepting ALL of it? Many of the Old Testament laws are just as inapplicable in the modern world as is most shariah law in Islam. But...if one is to reject that portion of the text (that's mostly from Leviticus, I believe), how would we know that the rest of it isn't faulty? What I'm trying to say is that no religion, not even Islam, can one agree on everything and follow it to a T because we're no longer in the society and time it was written in.
Agreed, so if you don't accept a pecific part of the text, you either have to have a good reason why, or consider the whole book potentially faulty. In several ways God's bringing humanity was kind of like a person going from to childhood to being relatively mature. Unfortunately, like a kid,. there were certain habits that they had to be slowly weaned from. (such as slavery, which was permitted as temporary penal servitude) That's why some parts of Leviticus no longer apply - we've been called to the higher standard of being asked to be as merciful to others as God is to us.




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I concede that perhaps you might have a point; I suppose it's merely in interpretation, then. I believe that God's retribution to humanity is stern by its nature (as you probably believe as well), yet this doesn't stop God from loving humanity (which I believe He/She/It does at all times). Since God has given us free will, I think, I'm arguing that by God's own admission, even turning away from Itself is not truly damning. If that were so, then, why give free will? Alright, I know that's somewhat unfair as that's an entirely new topic into itself, but please reflect.

As a matter of fact that was the exact direction I was heading in, so no prob!

The reason I believe God gives us free will is because he wants us to love him freely, like he loves us. (What is the love of robots worth, after all?) Like Jesus points out the ten commandments can basically be summed up as love God with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself. (and if you're skeptical of this part of the New Testament, you can easily go back to the Old Testament and draw the connections yourself).



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As for no fear of punishment, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to imply that I believe all forms of morality are irrelevant. On the contrary, I'm sure those that murder the innocent, lie, cheat, and steal from others (as well as other unsavory acts) will be punished because this is God's nature - reward those that have done good, and make those that haven't...well, I'm sure you know what happens from there.

But (from your point of view) what would determine good and evil then, out of curiousity?

Anyway, just some food for thought, but if you think about it, God doesn't damn anyone. We are the ones who by rejecting God would damn ourselves. Like I pointed out earlier, sin is a rejection of God, and tragic as it may be and much as he may try to make the person reconsider, he respects his gift of free will.



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You're right, and maybe I didn't make that clear earlier: I think now we're just basically going off of 'Well, where do we draw the line?' You think that Catholicism holds the most reliable information on the nature of God and that others are...sketchy at best, inaccurate at worst, right? I believe choosing a particular faith isn't random due to the fact I accept most faiths (except for, say, Scientology...) as true, or at least they have parts that could be true to them for the reasons I've outlined previously and above.

Sigh, 'fraid I'm a little tired and I'm not quite following you here. Could you clarify for me?
I believe we can choose any faith we want thanks to free will (though they could still be wrong) and I do agree that each religion contains an element of the truth, but (like I said earlier) that it's the Catholic Church (or, for the sake of argument, whatever the true faith is) contains all the revealed truths. That's the relation I believe

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Holy theological issues, Batman! Is this an issue that we can agree on? Laughing I really don't have much to respond to this part as I honestly think that I agree with what you're saying to some extent. However, as I've pointed out, if God has never directly touched the work that is attributed to Him/Her/It and only has given inspiration for it...well, if God didn't take a direct hand in writing it, surely He/She/It might not do much if it were changed somewhat, would They? That doesn't mean God wouldn't be displeased, of course, but it may very well be possible, no?

I don't believe that God would allow that to happen. Not that he would override the author's free will, but that he would choose an author who would get things right, because then there would be no real point to either free will as we could no longer really choose God, or the revelations, since they would still leave us in the dark.

Now the book will be based off of the author's understanding of things to a point (I.e. In Joshua, when the sun "stops" since technically it's the earth that moves around the sun, rather than vice-versa like they thought at the time. This) Still, God's not going to let them leave out something that actually matters.


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I was actually going to say earlier (in the fairness of discussion) that the Qu'ran does occasionally slip up. For example, there seems to be a bit of disagreement within the text as to exactly how man was made. Various parts say clay, water, and even a 'germ' (though if I recall correctly, this might be on the formation of babies in the mother's womb) so it's somewhat confusing in regards to that question. If Waar and firegremlin feel comfortable with discussing things like this, they might chime in here to list some more; that's the only one I can think of off the top of my head.

I'm willing to give the same benefit of doubt to the Qu'ran that I do the Bible - as long as there's a reasonable explanation, it doesn't count as a contradiction. However, I don't believe that God would allow any serious contradictions because then we would be in the dark as to the true faith, and there we be no point.

Also, I doubt we're going to hear from either Fire or Waaar.


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I'm not disagreeing that Jesus was a historical person, my friend; I recall once of hearing something about a Roman population count of the then Roman 'state' of Palestine mentioning a person who might have possibly been Jesus (or Yeshua bin Josef if I recall his 'real,' not transliterated name right).

What I meant was we can be reasonably certain that we don't have to rely on just on the authors of the Gospels (who as you pointed out could easily be biased in favor of believing) to be reasonably certain that the vast majority of them in quite accurate, and that is a point in favor of the remaining parts.


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I'm pretty sure I might have happened upon that particular document (the 120 contradictions one, I mean). Also, for the purposes of SB's request everyone, I will posting potential contradictions I've seen in the Gospels. This is NOT meant to be an attack or a flame! Please understand.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

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[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

These are some of the criticisms I've read, SB. I apologize in advance for any potential offense that you might take from the articles. If the author expresses a rather obscene opinion, please note that it's not shared by me. Very Happy

Umm, wow! I didn't exactly expect to have to deal with virtually all 120 in one post! Ok, it's quite not that bad, but for the sake of my very taxed brain would you mind posting the scriptures verses instead? Oh, and I think the second link basically corrects the "contradictions" it mentions, unless there's something you disagree with? (I haven't finished looking at it yet)

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