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  1. #201
    Reason vs Being ragashree's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Egalitarian certainly when understood in a metaphysical sense, but the "modern" perversion of these teachings is to claim that this somehow applies in the earthly realm. That simply is not so. It should be noted that the term hierarchy was actually coined by the Christian writer Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite, when talking about the ordering of Angels.
    I'm unclear as to how the etymology of the word "hierarchy" substantiates the preceding assertion that Christian egalitarianism is only valid as a metaphysical concept.

    The connection between Christianity and worldly egalitarianism probably dates to the heretical teachings of the renegade Medieval monk Joachim of Fiore; who taught that the coming "Age of the Holy Spirit" would be one of perfect equality between all humans, without churches and other institutions.
    Has it never arisen independently then, particularly post-renaissance through biblical exigesis? And, by the way, I'm not convinced the sectarian adjectives are really necessary, though I will admit that they make your own perspective pretty clear, if I couldn't guess already
    Look into my avatar. Look deep into my avatar...

  2. #202
    Senior Member Jeremy's Avatar
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    I just don't believe in it. I have faith in my own convictions about the world, and I don't need a 2000 year old book of fictionary fables to tell me otherwise.
    "Can you set me free from this dark inner world? Save me now, last beats in the soul.."

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  3. #203
    Senior Member Argus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy View Post
    I just don't believe in it. I have faith in my own convictions about the world, and I don't need a 2000 year old book of fictionary fables to tell me otherwise.

    Believing in the Bible is a stumbling block for many people. They see parts of the Bible as being scientifically impossible, historically unreliable, and culturally regressive.


    "We can't trust the Bible historically"
    Rather than examining the historic accuracy of each part of the Bible, you should instead ask yourself whether you can trust the gospels to be historically reliable.
    The following following reasons are why the gospel accounts should be considered historically reliable vs. legends:
    1. The timing is far too early for the gospels to be legends.
    Gospels were written only 40-60 years after Jesus' death and Biblical accounts of Jesus' life were circulating within the lifetimes of hundreds who had been present at the events of His ministry.
    2. The content is far too counterproductive for the gospels to be legends. (i.e. Jesus' crucifixion, Jesus' cries to God about abandoning Him, women as eyewitnesses, weaknesses of apostles)
    3. The literary form of the gospels is too detailed to be legend.
    Ancient fiction was nothing like modern fiction. Modern fiction is realistic. It contains details and dialogue and reads like an eyewitness account. This genre of fiction, however, was unknown in the first century and was only developed within the last 300 years.
    Therefore, the gospels written with so much detail at that time could not be fiction but could only come from actual eyewitness accounts.

    "We Can't Trust the Bible Culturally"
    More people now are especially upset by what they call the outmoded and regressive teaching of the Bible (i.e. slavery and the subjugation of women).
    I would suggest that you slow down and try out several different perspectives on the issues that trouble you. Many of the texts people find offensive can be cleared up with a decent commentary that puts the issue into historical context.
    We should make sure we distinguish between the major themes and message of the Bible and its less primary teachings...It is therefore important to consider the Bible's core claims about who Jesus is and whether he rose from the dead before you reject it for its less central and more controversial teachings.




    I would also submit to you this.
    If you pick and choose what you want to believe and reject the rest, how will you have a God that can contradict you? You won't! You'll have a God of your own making, and not a God with whom you can have a relationship and genuine interaction with. Only if your God can say things that outrage you and make you struggle (as in a real friendship or marriage) will you know that you have hold of a real God and not a figment of your imagination. So an authoritative Bible is not the enemy of a personal relationship with God. It is the precondition for it.

  4. #204
    Junior Member taoistmofo's Avatar
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    Default My two cents, Vol 1

    I find the debates of the validity of Christianity extremely interesting in the fact that one can often find the same arguments between Christians as one can between Christians and non Christians. Christians use the bible as a point of reference as though itís to be taken as fact outside of its own circle of thought. I hear scripture upon scripture tossed out to prove the validity as though they were using a dictionary or an encyclopedia. The problem with this is that the bible itself is not a fully agreed upon work. There are so many versions not to mention the debate over the original translations. Lilith came before Eve; Lilith did not come before Eve. Mary was a Virgin, Mary was not a virgin. I find it hard to take stock in a book that its own believers canít seem to agree upon. Christians disagree with Christians on what is valid as much as non-Christians and Christians do. To me this invalidates the bible as a legitimate source.

    I was raised Methodist and worked my way up through church to lay speaker can Sunday school teacher. I preached several times. In all my years in Christianity I have never seen so much elitism, oppression and need for control over others. Christianity is by nature an elitist religion, the idea that their religion is not only the only right one (I realize I just put ďonlyĒ in the same sentence almost back to back, sorry) but also the only one that is allowed to be practiced without punishment. Christianity isnít the only one that subscribes to this idea of elitism but none the less it does. Not all Christians proselytize I agree but all Christians do believe that anyone not practicing their religion will be punished. That their religion is the only one allowed to be practiced. Christianity has a long history of oppression. Laws are passed and cultures are erased all to perpetuate Christian ideals. This is evident with the missionaries that travel abroad to change the religion of other countries, the change in pledge of allegiance, the banning of gay marriage (or civil union) and the In God We Trust that was put on the coins. Christians shout from the roof tops that this country was found on Christian ideals when that couldnít be further from the truth.

    My biggest problem with Christianity is its complete disregard for right and wrong. The good that one has done is irrelevant when it comes to going to heaven. I was having a discussion with my son on about Christianity and he asked me what happened to Buddha according to Christianity and I told him that he was removed from the eyes of God and not allowed in their heaven. He asked me why since he was such a peaceful person and didnít harm anyone. I told him it didnít matter how compassionate of a person he was. That doesnít matter in Christianity. He didnít accept Jesus as his savior so he was punished. He looked at me in shock. The same look I gave my minister when I asked the same question about His Holiness the Dali Lama. Through out all the scripture you want. Promise me eternal life. Itís all meaningless.

    Justify to me that itís okay to condemn a person for not having the same set of beliefs as you do. Justify to me that Gandhi deserved to be dealt with in the same manner as Hitler in the eyes of God. This is where I pick apart Christianity. It refuses to believe any other religion should be allowed to be practiced to point of punishment. Even those that devote their life to helping others fall to the same fate as those that devote their lives to destroying it. To me, this the biggest issue of Christianity.

    I will post later on Free will....
    There are no actions, only intentions and results.....

  5. #205
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    Religion sucks because it's dishonest and hypocritical.

  6. #206
    Senior Member rainoneventide's Avatar
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    There's three things that piss me off about Christianity:

    1. Why the hell do they put more value on Jesus dying on the cross for their sins when he had a ton of amazing parables and an awesome personality that are just kind of pushed aside? Poor Jesus. Talk about a waste of Bible.

    2. The "holier than thou" attitude some Christians have toward anyone that isn't Christian, and their need to convert everyone for more "I'm a good person" points. Yeah, I'm going to hell. Fine. Let me go to hell in peace.

    3. Their whole "right vs. wrong" and "good vs. bad" thing. Seriously, wake up and take a look around, life isn't that simple.

    I'm agnostic. I believe that there is something far greater out there, but we weren't made to be capable of understanding or grasping it.

    I don't believe in a grumpy, strict man hovering around in the sky that apparently loves everybody, but if you disobey him he's going to hand you over to some sadistic guy who'll fry you for eternity. However, if you conform to the Bible written by misogynistic men thousands of years ago you'll float to Heaven and stare down at all the screaming, tortured sinners in their fiery pit with a wave and a smile? What the fuck?

    The gospel isn't offensive. What offends me is the people that take it literally and then act in ways that the Bible clearly condemns under the handy name of "faith." (Such as, love your neighbor, except gay neighbors.)

    Doesn't anyone ever wonder why Jesus told his lessons in parables? It was to make people actually pause and think about them, rather than swallowing down every word and then running off to do whatever the hell they think they're supposed to do to get an automatic ticket to salvation.

    Sorry Jesus.



    Edit: Don't get me wrong, I know that there are also a lot of Christians out there who don't fit in with the ones I'm criticizing above, and I really respect them for sticking with their views despite all the heat and criticism their religion is getting.
    "So I say, live and let live. Thatís my motto. Live and let live.
    Anyone who canít go along with that, take him outside and shoot the motherfucker."
    - George Carlin

  7. #207
    Intriguing.... Quinlan's Avatar
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    The reliablility of the bible is about on par with the reliability of the writings of modern cult followers, after which those writings were translated and rewritten over hundreds of years.
    Act your age not your enneagram number.

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  8. #208
    desert pelican Owl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kai View Post
    That certainly makes sense. However I'm curious how a blind or deaf child could reference to other beings. Eitherway I'd imagine a being would have a sense of identity that they control themselves unless we're going on the assumption that these people locked up are completely void of the idea that they have thoughts etc.



    1) Why?
    2) Why?
    3) Punishment is the only form of justice?

    b) It's essentially the question: Why does God punish people for not believing? Which is commonly answered by: It's free will. To which I ask, it's clear that God has not provided enough evidence to convert these people, therefore why would he set up a system where these non-believers are condemning themselves?
    1) The answer to this is tied up with the answer to b. According to Christian thesim, the existence of God is clear such that those who don't believe are without excuse. If there weren't enough evidence to show that God existed, then the unbeliever would have an excuse. If there were enough evidence, but it was hard to know, then the unbeliever would have an excuse. The claim is that God's existence is so clear that the only way to avoid seeing it is either to be wholly, culpably negligent in belief formation or, if one has done any rigorous examination of his beliefs, to deny the basic distinctions that make thought possible; in order to fail to know God, one must commit intellectual suicide, and so the spiritually dead person will not be in a condition to recognize any truth: not that God exists, the reality of his condition, or that he needs to change.

    2) God is just. The consequence of not seeking to know God is failure to know God. This consequence is built into the very nature of what it means to be human; it is immediate and inherent in the act, and so it's neither arbitrary nor imposed; to not inflict this consequence would be unjust. To bring a person back from this state would be an act of mercy, and God will have mercy on those whom he wills, and he will harden those whom he wills.

    3) No.

    b) has been answered above, but the free will defense is no defense at all. Free will makes sin possible, not actual. Even if sin were actual, that does not mean it's necessary: God is free and without sin, as are the angels and saints in heaven. Free will is necessary for sin; it is not sufficient.

  9. #209
    Reason vs Being ragashree's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Argus2968 View Post
    "We can't trust the Bible historically"
    Rather than examining the historic accuracy of each part of the Bible, you should instead ask yourself whether you can trust the gospels to be historically reliable.
    The following following reasons are why the gospel accounts should be considered historically reliable vs. legends:

    I just thought I'd point out that this is a fallacy of composition. Even an acceptance of the argument that follows does absolutely nothing to substantiate the general historical valididity of the Bible as you are suggesting it should. What you are saying relates specifically to the gospels, and there's no justification given for why the same should apply to the whole Bible.

    I would also submit to you this.
    If you pick and choose what you want to believe and reject the rest, how will you have a God that can contradict you? You won't! You'll have a God of your own making, and not a God with whom you can have a relationship and genuine interaction with. Only if your God can say things that outrage you and make you struggle (as in a real friendship or marriage) will you know that you have hold of a real God and not a figment of your imagination.
    Interesting argument, but I do wonder how many who consider themselves believers could be found wanting by it. Quite a lot I suspect. Would you then say that someone who is not constantly challenging themselves in relation to their faith (or is at least open to that challenge) is failing to truly believe? This seems implicit in what you're saying, unless I'm missing something.
    Look into my avatar. Look deep into my avatar...

  10. #210
    @.~*virinańČo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Argus2968 View Post
    If you pick and choose what you want to believe and reject the rest, how will you have a God that can contradict you? You won't! You'll have a God of your own making, and not a God with whom you can have a relationship and genuine interaction with. Only if your God can say things that outrage you and make you struggle (as in a real friendship or marriage) will you know that you have hold of a real God and not a figment of your imagination. So an authoritative Bible is not the enemy of a personal relationship with God. It is the precondition for it.
    Exactly.

    And since you have to CHOOSE to accept that authority -- where there is no direct universal evidence to PROVE it -- you are now worshiping a "god of your own making" just like you accuse others of.

    The flaw in your reasoning is basically that somehow you have a handle on which god is "right" and others do not... whereas in actuality, you're worshiping the god you want to worship, based on the assumptions you'd like to make about god and whatever authorities you're going to decide are more valid than others.

    You're not a "special case," and you don't have a provable handle on reality. This isn't math, where 2+2=4, even if one wants to believe the answer should be 5 -- faith is highly speculative and subjective and impacted greatly by socialization and life experience.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    ‚ÄúPleasure to me is wonder‚ÄĒthe unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.‚ÄĚ ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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