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  1. #41
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    Incidentally, the only people who believe that Hindus are converting en masse to Christianity are Hindu nationalists, who are persecuting Christians and trying to outlaw proselytization-and THAT is something that makes ME "especially mad."
    Well, I also heard a lot of it within Christian circles, when they were drumming up support to witness to Indians in their country -- how there were lots of conversions there and a hunger for the gospel and lots of anecdotes of conversions. I've met a few of the converts who have said that wherever they've spoken.

    Quote Originally Posted by Take Five View Post
    Aquinas' writing also encompasses thoughts on angels, the nature of man, the Sacraments, divine government, relations to other religions and heritics, virtues, vices, and Christ himself. All part of the Summa. The Five Ways are just a part of his genius, and is definitely aimed at Christian God, which again is the same generic God as Islam and Judaism, with added emphasis on love and the Trinity as a way of understanding, which I believe he also writes about.
    Again, we're not talking about what Aquinas personally believes or why HE wrote this piece.

    Maybe it would help to look at this as a piece of writing whose author you do not know. A Muslim could have written it. A Jew could have written it. The argument itself carries no inherent connection to Christianity. Any religion that has a "first cause" style god at the center of its mythology could use the exact same argument to make its point.

    Therefore, the argument is not necessarily one that exclusively supports the Christian God, even if it can be used as one point that can be used to prop up Christianity.

    That's what I'm saying.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the 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.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  2. #42
    Senior Member Snoopy22's Avatar
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    My view - I am insulted/assaulted by advertisement every day and a christens job is to spread the good word, they dont convert people. I agree that could be considered a shit poor tip.

  3. #43
    Was E.laur Laurie's Avatar
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    I have a friend that will give tracts out to his servers. I am pretty sure he also tips them, though, if not I would give him a piece of my mind. The truth is that he is just that kind of person.

  4. #44
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Well, I also heard a lot of it within Christian circles, when they were drumming up support to witness to Indians in their country -- how there were lots of conversions there and a hunger for the gospel and lots of anecdotes of conversions. I've met a few of the converts who have said that wherever they've spoken.
    I suppose its possible (if large numbers of lower-caste converts are lying to the census workers to avoid persecution and retain affirmative action benifits), but they are probably mistaking (relatively) large numbers of conversions with relatively large proportions of conversions. Christians only comprise about 2.3% of India, and most of those Christains are descendents of people who were converted at least two generations ago. Outside of Kerala (I don't know what dynamics were at play there), the only portion of India in which Christian missionaries seem to have had any real historical success was among the non-Hindu pagan hill tribes near the Burmese border, who were far removed from Hindu culture anyways.

    um...I'm a huge polical science nerd, and I actually read about Indian demography for fun.

  5. #45
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    I suppose its possible (if large numbers of lower-caste converts are lying to the census workers to avoid persecution and retain affirmative action benifits), but they are probably mistaking (relatively) large numbers of conversions with relatively large proportions of conversions. Christians only comprise about 2.3% of India, and most of those Christains are descendents of people who were converted at least two generations ago. Outside of Kerala (I don't know what dynamics were at play there), the only portion of India in which Christian missionaries seem to have had any real historical success was among the non-Hindu pagan hill tribes near the Burmese border, who were far removed from Hindu culture anyways.

    um...I'm a huge polical science nerd, and I actually read about Indian demography for fun.
    I don't think the two pieces of data conflict (i.e., what I was told and what you have said here), you've explained it pretty well. I just wanted to toss out how inside Christian circles there has been a lot of talk about the "success and need for the Gospel in India" aside from the Indian authorities themselves.

    Any more data you want to share is always welcome, it helps me see the bigger picture. I think a lot of problems happen with insulated subcultures because the data is always presented in one way, rather than letting people get a view of it from multiple angles.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the 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.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  6. #46
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I think a lot of problems happen with insulated subcultures because the data is always presented in one way, rather than letting people get a view of it from multiple angles.
    I agree with you. As for more data...well, there have probably been substantially more conversions to Islam than Christianity among lower-caste Hindus in recent years, both because of existing social support structures and because the proportion of Muslims inside India has noticeably increased since the division of Pakistan and Bangladesh from India (from 9.9% to 13.4%, though there have been some irregularities regarding the inculsion of Jammu and Kashmir into the census count).

    Edit: Also, the Nagaland state within India probably has a higher proportion of Baptists than any other political unit in the world (which is very interesting, but practically irrelevent as far as the proportion of Christian converts is concerned). Also, a few thousand people in Mizoram believe they are one of the Lost Tribes of Israel, and have converted to Orthodox Judaism, much to the chagrin of the descendants of Christian converts.
    Last edited by lowtech redneck; 07-17-2009 at 10:39 AM. Reason: self-evident

  7. #47
    Junior Member Anagami's Avatar
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    I find this man's approach to "soul-saving" completely offensive. While I am all for religious freedom and self-expression, I will never be able to relate to those who feel the need to impose their religious convictions onto others. Not only did this misguided soul warrior pick a very inappropriate place to launch his rescue mission, but he also made assumptions about the spiritual condition of other people he has absolutely no knowledge of. I imagine this must have been a very difficult place to be in for the waitress at the receiving end of his attention. I find it so sad when people confuse religious legalism with true spirituality. In the end, it's that poor misguided man who needs other people's compassion.

  8. #48
    Supreme Allied Commander Take Five's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    I bet you can't cite a single combination of passages that is a distinct argument in favor of the existence of the Christian God.
    Here is the challenge.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Perhaps Etienne Gilson's books would be a good place to start, especially The Christian Philosophy Of St Thomas Aquinas
    Peguy's response.

    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    Send quotations of arguments that purport to prove that the Christian God exists.
    Nitpicking.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Obvious response.


    I can see how the Five Ways section alone and apart could be used to argue for "any God." But that is only part of a part of his philosophy, which is in its entirety a summary justification for Christian theology. So while a single line or even a single page quote may not be enough to prove Peguy's original point, the whole work together (Summa, Aquinas' most famous work) is unarguably Christian and greatly influential.

    I don't know about distinguishing a Christian God from other monotheisms. Multiple religions can use the Five Ways to prove the existence of their God, because they all have the same God. It's the same God, no matter who proposes it, the difference is in understanding man's relation to God, and the nature of those two.

    So I don't see the sense in ruling out Aquinas as an example of how Christianity has heavily influenced Western Civilization.
    Johari Nohari

    "If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared. "--Niccolo Machiavelli

  9. #49
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Take Five View Post
    So I don't see the sense in ruling out Aquinas as an example of how Christianity has heavily influenced Western Civilization.
    Is that what the original question was?

    I'm not even sure that's up for debate, western civilization was driven a great deal by Christianity.

    I think what SW is getting with is that there are a lot of needs/desires/inclinations that are HUMAN that Christians have come to believe are synonymous with their version of Christianity and not part and parcel of other faiths as well... which isn't really the case at all if you study the actual arguments as well as the religious experiences from other faiths and cultures. The arguments don't actually bring one to Christianity, they just bring one to a faith in something.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the 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.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  10. #50
    Supreme Allied Commander Take Five's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Is that what the original question was?

    I'm not even sure that's up for debate, western civilization was driven a great deal by Christianity.

    I think what SW is getting with is that there are a lot of needs/desires/inclinations that are HUMAN that Christians have come to believe are synonymous with their version of Christianity and not part and parcel of other faiths as well... which isn't really the case at all if you study the actual arguments as well as the religious experiences from other faiths and cultures. The arguments don't actually bring one to Christianity, they just bring one to a faith in something.
    Undoubtedly, some needs/desires/etc are universally human, and they can lead to different beliefs/understandings. Otherwise, we would only have one religion. I think Christianity, or at least the sects I am familiar with, do a good job of explaining what these human desires mean in terms of faith. In other words, they're good at pointing out evidence of the relationship of God to Man and vice versa. I think they can use the human needs/desires etc to better understand God.
    Johari Nohari

    "If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared. "--Niccolo Machiavelli

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