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  1. #121
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ragingkatsuki View Post
    I just correct your false statements as a person who lived the experience and studied the religions. I am unbiased. You are. I personally don't like it when people spout out false nonsense because of their bias towards something. Also, Islamic propaganda interests me as I have lived in the ME and I'm wondering why the hell the people outside don't realise what it's actually like. Where I hear something outside and see something different inside. But I'm interested in you. Why do you know so little yet talk so much?
    So if I understand you, you do not have an interest in propagating Islam, rather you are interested in correcting me and advising me I talk too much and know so little.

  2. #122
    ⒺⓉⒷ Eric B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nyx View Post
    This is indeed true, and the Orthodox Church is little known in the West. Investigating Orthodoxy, so rich with liturgical tradition, is the closest we are to the original practices of Christians... unfortunately America has succeeded in ruining this sacred Church along with anything else that is holy. This Church still exists fully in Asia Minor... though they have had some of their churches destroyed by Muslims.
    I believe the original NT church was much simpler than the later liturgies, which seemed to have been added later, as the church gained more power, and then tried to copy from both Judaism and paganism to make itself more appealing. Though I've found in arguing with both Orthodox and Catholics, they claim there was some separate body of teaching called "the oral Apostolic tradition" where all of these liturgical practices were taught, but for some reason never included in the Acts and epistles, and began leaking out in the postapostolic fathers' writings. But there's no evidence of any separate teachings like that.

    Just curious; you say the church still exists in Asia Minor, but what about the Church in Greece and other Eastern European countries? How did America ruin it?

    I've heard mention of really primitive Christian families in Israel that go all the way back, but don't know whether or not they were just referring to the local Orthodox or Catholics.

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    I'm not sure why you quoted me before saying this, because this has almost nothing to do with what I was talking about. I may have been unclear in my point, so let me clarify.

    I was not comparing a Christian to a non-Christian. I was comparing a Christian who believes in miracles to a Christian who does not believe in miracles. A Christian who believes in miracles will believe that there is something greater than themself that is empowering them to change their life, and therefore they will be able to change their life. A Christian who does not believe in miracles will only believe they can change their life from their own power, and their attempts to change will not have the same level of potency.

    A very similar idea is supported statistically in the book "The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience". Although he states the proposition more like this, "A Christian who holds the Bible as their authority has improved behavior compared to a Christian who does not hold the Bible as their authority." The book shows statistically that the behavior of Christians is no better than the behavior of non-Christians (and in some cases it is worse). However there is a statistical improvement in the behavior of Christians who hold the Bible as their authority compared to Christians who do not.
    Amazon.com: The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience, Why Are Christians Living Just Like the Rest of the World?: Ronald Sider: Books

    Anecdotally it is true that some Christians who do not hold the Bible as their authority will have better behavior over other Christians who do. However statistically Christians who hold the Bible as the authority over their life DO have improved behavior over Christians who do not. And remember I am only comparing Christian to Christian here. Let no one think I trying to compare Christian to non-Christian.
    OK, wasn't sure where you were coming from. I just saw that whole "life change" thing and went after it.

    The "hold the Bible as their authority" term would indicate a distinction between "practicing" and "nominal" Christians, whom the more conservative will reard as not really Christian at all, but wholly secular. So then, that would come back to the whole "life change" argument. We allowed Christ to change our lives, and they didn't, but only took his name.
    And I was kind of arguing from the evangelical standpoint that our justification is not based on simply having "better behavior" than others. But it seems many try to use that as the proof that they are the "true" Christians, but that is when the data becomes iffy and inconsistent as to whether they are across the board better behaved. If it was really as some of them claimed, you would expect the "change" to be more unmistakable.
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  3. #123
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    That's the bottom line. I don't really see an evidential difference between a Christian vs a secular person, except the Christian does submit to some sort of higher authority that encourages them to focus on others... but this same role could feasibly by played by other focii. And often professing Christians live "worse" than those who claim to be generally religious or not even religious at all, in terms of how they treat others or the attitudes they hold, so again from an evidential standpoint there is not a compelling reason here.
    I'm curious to know how Liquid Laser reconciles this and his "religions help people feel empowered, therefore God exists" theory.
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  4. #124
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiltyred View Post
    Not to be tedious, but ... what do you call "holding the Bible as your authority"? If I believe the Bible is profoundly true in a metaphorical sense, does that count?
    I went and dug out my copy of "The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience". There are several studies listed here each testing for different criteria. Let me first post from the one I was thinking of and then give some info another one. Quoting from pages 126-128 here is some of what is said:

    In 1992, George Gallup Jr. and Timothy Jones published a book called The Saints Among Us. They used a twelve-question survey to identify what they called "heroic and faithful individual" Christians. Some of the questions identified people who believed in the full authority of the Bible and practiced evangelism. But others identified costly behavior: "I do things I don't want to do because I believe it is the will of God" and "I put my religious beliefs into practice in my relations with all people regardless of their backgrounds." They labeled "saints" those who agreed with every question. And they called "super-saints" those who agreed strongly with every question.

    The good news is that the "saints" lived differently. Only 42 percent of the strongly uncommitted spent "a good deal of time" helping people in need, but 73 percent of the "saints" and 85 percent of the "super-saints" did. Only 63 percent of the spiritually uncommitted reported that they would not object to having a neighbor of a different race. But 84 percent of the "saints" and 93 percent of the "super-saints" said they would not object. Interestingly, a disproportionate share of the saints were women, African Americans, and persons earning less than $25,000 per year.
    Skipping a bit another study is discussed:
    In this [Pew Center poll from 2001] those with a high religious commitment were a little more than three times as likely as those with a low religious commitment to have volunteered to help poor, sick and elderly people in the last month (35 percent vs. 11 percent). But again only one third (35 percent) of the highly religiously committed had volunteered. Sixty-five percent had not. Another question in the same poll found that those who were "heavily involved in activities at their church or house of worship" were almost four times more likely to volunteer to help the poor, sick, and homeless in settings outside church than were those of low religious commitment (44 percent vs. 12 percent).
    (There is a third study here but I'm out of time, so I can't post it.)

    So anyway the first study was the one I was referring to. The "saints" responded "yes" to saying they held to the full authority of the Bible. So it mostly has to do with what the respondants think that question meant. However I think it's also important to know they said "yes" to identifying costly behavior. In other words not only do these people say that the Bible has authority, but they are also willing to change their behavior because they believe in its authority.

    Also I want to emphasise the context of this book. It has five chapters and it uses the first four to repeat statistically that Christians (in the US) are no better in behavior than anyone else. Likewise people who identify themselves as "born-again" or "evangelical" are no better in behavior. (In fact they are sometimes worse.) The last chapter then establishes that there are some groups that do have improved behavior and shows how they are identified.
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  5. #125
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    As the minister at a church I once belonged to thundered, "the Bible is far too important to be taken literally!!"

  6. #126
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    I was not comparing a Christian to a non-Christian. I was comparing a Christian who believes in miracles to a Christian who does not believe in miracles. A Christian who believes in miracles will believe that there is something greater than themself that is empowering them to change their life, and therefore they will be able to change their life. A Christian who does not believe in miracles will only believe they can change their life from their own power, and their attempts to change will not have the same level of potency.
    Perhaps a difference in outcome can be distinguished here... but it says nothing about Christianity's authenticity, it only says something about the belief of the people being compared.

    The same sort of effect is seen in ANY human group, where some people place restraints on the expected outcomes and others do not and push hard with and great resilience and thus achieve an outcome perhaps the former group could not reach.

    So we can see that believing in ANYTHING strongly and the potential for miracles does increase potential positive outcome... but we can't see why.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    I'm curious to know how Liquid Laser reconciles this and his "religions help people feel empowered, therefore God exists" theory.
    There's a breakdown in logic there.

    I don't know what is effecting the change.
    We have no way of telling.

    However, I know the same sort of dichotomy exists in any group between believers and FERVENT believers, regardless of whether the group is religious in nature (let along Christian).
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  7. #127
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Perhaps a difference in outcome can be distinguished here... but it says nothing about Christianity's authenticity, it only says something about the belief of the people being compared.
    I wasn't trying to establish Christianity's authenticity. I thought I already went to great lengths telling Eric B this very same thing. I'm not comparing Christians to non-Christians, and I'm not comparing Christianity to non-Christianity. I'm comparing Christians to other Christians.

    My proposition is more like this: "Given that a person is a Christian, what is the most effective method of approaching Christianity?" Then I answer this question by saying that believing in miracles is more effective than not believing in miracles.
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  8. #128
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bananatrombones View Post
    I seem to remember Carnap saying all of Heidegger's work was completely meaningless, but every sentence grammatically correct.

    Once in a while, consistency is over-rated.

    Yours,

    Consistently inconsistent,

    bt
    You're taking this out of context. What Carnap had in mind is that only a certain kind of utterances are meaningful, that is those that withstand the seige of linguistic analysis. If an utterance does withstand such a test, the terms of its exposition are clearly defined and are in a logically coherent relationship with one another. Gramatically correct writing could have terms that are poorly defined and stand in a logically incoherent relation with one another. In the sense that Carnap uses the term meaningless, the grammatical correctness of Heidegger's sentences does not render them meaningful. Perhaps you may want to suggest the term 'meaningful' should be defined differently, yet that's a subject for another discussion.
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  9. #129
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiltyred View Post
    I think we are, as human beings, rotten at the core. We have to work to be peaceful, tolerant, and loving.
    No I don't think so.
    In most of the major religions in the world human needs are considered as sins. How could needs be sins?

  10. #130
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    I wasn't trying to establish Christianity's authenticity. I thought I already went to great lengths telling Eric B this very same thing. I'm not comparing Christians to non-Christians, and I'm not comparing Christianity to non-Christianity. I'm comparing Christians to other Christians.

    My proposition is more like this: "Given that a person is a Christian, what is the most effective method of approaching Christianity?" Then I answer this question by saying that believing in miracles is more effective than not believing in miracles.
    Suppose we have two men who say they believe in dragons. One of them believes in miracles (or believes that things contary to laws of nature can exist) and therefore maintains that some animals are huge birds that breathe fire. Yet the other does not believe in miracles and therefore by implication, in his view nothing that does not conform to the laws of nature can exist. Hence, dragons do not exist.

    In short, the belief in miracles is the defining feature of any supernatural view. The distinction between a Christian who believes in a miracles and a 'Christian' who does not is really a distinction between a Christian and a non-Christian. This conclusion holds as long as Christianity requires faith rather than a rationale for justification. Can it be justified by a rationale along? Almost no scholars today even seriously entartain this notion: it goes almost without saying that Christianity is a faith, not a rationally defensible set of views about the world comparable to those established by science.

    -------------------------------------------
    Note: The definition of a miracle is any occurence that does not conform to the laws of nature. If a 'Christian' does not believe in miracles, he does not need faith as every part of his views could be analyzed on the grounds of purely faithless, rational thinking. Since faith is the essence of Christianity, any person who does not believe in miracles is not a Christian.
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