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  1. #291
    desert pelican Owl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LostInNerSpace View Post
    I've not read the thread. From what I understand Christianity would likely not be around today if it were not for Constantine in the 4th century. The Bible did not exist at that point. It was just a collection of books. Constantine said, "Oi, I want 15 copies of the bible now". It was at that point the religious scholars decided what would and would not make it into the Bible. Were these people Gods? They have influenced billions, possibly trillions, of people over the centuries with the words they selected as if those words were "THE" words of god.

    Think of all the religions that didn't make it for lack of an influential patron. There are said to be many "heretical" texts from that period locked away in the secret archives of the Vatican.

    Vatican Secret Archives

    Back then it was common for people to explain everyday phenomena with the supernatural--that was their logic.

    Now think of all the crazy religions around today. Scientology being the most obvious one. This is a religion that most people dismiss as wacky. A lot of those people believe among other things that Jesus walked on water and Moses parted the red sea.

    Knowing what we know about people. Is it possible that one or more of the religious scholars that put the the bible together was a self-loathing "Pasture Ted" with a penchant for buggery:

    Ted Haggard - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    What is the difference between God and Santa Claus? As children grow older they are encouraged to stop believing in Santa but may be encouraged to increase their belief in God. People have a powerful built-in need to explain things. We have achieved great things because of this built-in curiosity. I think religion is an anthropological side effect of that need to explain. I don't think it's a bad thing. Lots of good things have side effects. Overall it was definitely worth it.
    I too believe that religion is an expression of what it means to be human--but I also believe that Jesus walked on water and Moses parted the Red Sea. And, yes, I believe these events occurred because they are recorded in the canon of scripture. If scripture is given, it is preserved: given the sinfulness of man, and the purpose of scripture as redemptive revelation, it must be preserved if it's going to fulfill its purpose; its purpose is God given, and God's purposes cannot be thwarted.

    I find questions about the nature and necessity of scripture to be more basic, and therefore to be more compelling than arguments about whether scripture exists, what its content is, and whether it's been preserved, (if it exists).

  2. #292
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LostInNerSpace View Post
    I've not read the thread. From what I understand Christianity would likely not be around today if it were not for Constantine in the 4th century. The Bible did not exist at that point. It was just a collection of books. Constantine said, "Oi, I want 15 copies of the bible now". It was at that point the religious scholars decided what would and would not make it into the Bible. Were these people Gods? They have influenced billions, possibly trillions, of people over the centuries with the words they selected as if those words were "THE" words of god.
    I'm not saying that this event didn't have an effect, but on the other hand I think it's a bit naive to think that the beginning and end of all of Christianity is stated in The Da Vinci Code. Christianity has had a good 16-17 centuries since Constantine. The Protestant bible has 66 books in it. The Catholic bible has a few more, and certain orthodox faiths have a couple extra books (depending on which one you are talking about). However if you take the intersection of all these canons you get the same 66 books that are in the Protestant bible.

    So from this we can conclude a couple of things. 1) People are not just blindly following the will of Constantine. The canon has been examined by various faiths and that is why they differ a bit depending on which part of Christianity you are referring to. 2) Even with these differences the similarities far outweigh the differences. The scripture has been scrutinized by Christians over the ages, and they've decided they like what's in there and want to keep it.
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  3. #293
    Senior Member LostInNerSpace's Avatar
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    I have heard a Christian religious scholar essentially admit the miracles are probably just stories. That point is not to take the scripture literally. The scripture is a medium for religous worseship. That argument is more likely to appeal to me because there is no way to rationalize away the existence of god. Impossible to prove or disprove. Not that I bother with any kind of worship anyway.

  4. #294
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    I'm not saying that this event didn't have an effect, but on the other hand I think it's a bit naive to think that the beginning and end of all of Christianity is stated in The Da Vinci Code. Christianity has had a good 16-17 centuries since Constantine. The Protestant bible has 66 books in it. The Catholic bible has a few more, and certain orthodox faiths have a couple extra books (depending on which one you are talking about). However if you take the intersection of all these canons you get the same 66 books that are in the Protestant bible.

    So from this we can conclude a couple of things. 1) People are not just blindly following the will of Constantine. The canon has been examined by various faiths and that is why they differ a bit depending on which part of Christianity you are referring to. 2) Even with these differences the similarities far outweigh the differences. The scripture has been scrutinized by Christians over the ages, and they've decided they like what's in there and want to keep it.
    Yep, and that's the only conclusion you can make about it. Constantine's Council of Nicaea still had a huge effect - that was the first time that the Jewish canon was established as Christian canon (many before then wanted to keep it as reference, but not claim divine inspiration, as it had been corrupted by men over the time since it was written), established the 66 common books, and it established the basics of common doctrine among the current major iterations of Christianity - such as the trinity and divinity of Jesus. While Paul and Peter gave us the doctrine, in my estimation, it was the council which established the orthodox interpretation of the doctrine. Of course, the Catholics and Orthodox soon split thereafter over a small doctrinal issue (whether it was Jesus' death that saved humanity or his resurrection).

    Quote Originally Posted by LostInNerSpace View Post
    I have heard a Christian religious scholar essentially admit the miracles are probably just stories. That point is not to take the scripture literally. The scripture is a medium for religous worseship. That argument is more likely to appeal to me because there is no way to rationalize away the existence of god. Impossible to prove or disprove. Not that I bother with any kind of worship anyway.
    Null hypothesis... null hypothesis... null hypothesis...

  5. #295
    Senior Member LostInNerSpace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    Null hypothesis... null hypothesis... null hypothesis...
    How would you calculate that confidence interval? Are you going to use some statistical distribution? Good luck.

    At some point we cannot explain certain things. That does not mean we will never explain them, but for now at least that unknown can be a form of god. I don't like the term "God" myself. I will just stick with unknown. I don't have any particular urge to kneel and worship before a giant question mark.

  6. #296
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LostInNerSpace View Post
    How would you calculate that confidence interval? Are you going to use some statistical distribution? Good luck.

    At some point we cannot explain certain things. That does not mean we will never explain them, but for now at least that unknown can be a form of god. I don't like the term "God" myself. I will just stick with unknown. I don't have any particular urge to kneel and worship before a giant question mark.
    Irrelevant. You still have a null hypothesis - "there is no way of knowing one way or another whether there is a god, so its existence or non-existence has no bearing on understanding the situation". As such, the concept of a deity is entirely useless and unimportant to understanding the world.

    Why are you so sure that at some point, we won't be able to explain all natural phenomena? Why are you willing to give up so easy?

  7. #297
    Nerd King Usurper Edgar's Avatar
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    Also, this:

    Listen to me, baby, you got to understand, you're old enough to learn the makings of a man.

  8. #298
    desert pelican Owl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LostInNerSpace View Post
    I have heard a Christian religious scholar essentially admit the miracles are probably just stories. That point is not to take the scripture literally. The scripture is a medium for religous worseship. That argument is more likely to appeal to me because there is no way to rationalize away the existence of god. Impossible to prove or disprove. Not that I bother with any kind of worship anyway.
    Are all religions equal, or are some better than others?

  9. #299
    Senior Member Journey's Avatar
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    Edgar. I feel profoundly sorry for you. Gail
    "My Journey is my Destination."

    "Today Counts Forever." R.C. Sproul

  10. #300
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Journey View Post
    Edgar. I feel profoundly sorry for you. Gail
    Heh, Edgar has just demonstrated that a straw man argument becomes logical as long as you attach a picture to it.
    My wife and I made a game to teach kids about nutrition. Please try our game and vote for us to win. (Voting period: July 14 - August 14)
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