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  1. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Take Five View Post
    Quoting particular lines from Scripture is a really bad way of arguing, unless everyone, including the speaker, is familiar with the context in which it was written. I'm almost positive that we don't have any theologians on the forum, so we shouldn't point to random lines.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    The straight answer, real answer, whatever you choose to call it is that I didnt feel the citations meant anything.

    Perhaps if I was a literalist, which I'd argued against for most of the thread, I'd care.
    I just thought ajblaise's question was a sincere one and didn't see anything in this thread to indicate otherwise. In my judgement, ajb's been perfectly gracious in this thread and has worded his responses with humility and intellectual honesty. If there's something I'm unaware of, I apologize.
    "There are no answers, only choices."
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  2. #82
    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott View Post
    I just thought ajblaise's question was a sincere one and didn't see anything in this thread to indicate otherwise. In my judgement, ajb's been perfectly gracious in this thread and has worded his responses with humility and intellectual honesty. If there's something I'm unaware of, I apologize.
    You're an alright guy, Scott.

  3. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajblaise View Post
    You're an alright guy, Scott.
    Thanks!

    Well, I've been meaning to answer the OP myself, and I figure now's as good a time as any. To give the short answer: yes - I do believe in the miracles, that Jesus died for our sins and the resurrection.

    To add just a little, I affirm the Nicene Creed, am one of the crazy people who actually love the church, and as for the Bible - I really appreciate the vast majority of what NT Wright has to say here.
    "There are no answers, only choices."
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  4. #84
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    In one sentece, my question to you could be summarized as follows. Once we start believing that miracles are possible, how often can we expect for them to happen and under what circumstances, also what kind of miracles are going to be likely to happen?
    This is a trick question. If I could tell you how and when miracles would happen then they wouldn't be considered miracles. They would be classified and named as predictable phenomena by science.

    As for the rest of your thread you seen to mistakenly believe that faith is opposed to reason. In truth faith is what allows a person to reason properly. This is because fear clouds reason. It can be shown that humans are wired biologically to respond to fear so quickly that the reasoning process is short circuited. When confronted with fear people have two general responses, fight or flight, and reason is not an option.

    This phenomenon can be seen all of the time in stock market behavior. Normally intelligent people carefully invest their stocks to maximize returns and diversify against risk. Then their stocks fall, and they sell out of fear. Almost every investor understands "buy low and sell high", but when they see their stocks drop they irrationally sell low.

    A person requires faith to counter fear. When a person can confront their fears it allows them to reason properly. Faith is not the enemy of reason. Faith is the guardian of reason. For example a person who has faith in a higher moral authority will not be afraid to do the right thing even if there are negative consequences. This person is free to reason the right course of action without being burdened by fear. This is why faith is so important to a person who values reason.

    So to sum up I admit that there are things in this world that we cannot currently explain. And I have faith that some of these things will never be adequately explained, i.e. miracles. But this type of faith I have allows me to keep my fear in check. And by overcoming fear I am able reason properly. Therefore instead of rejecting faith, it should be embraced by those who love reason.
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  5. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Take Five View Post
    Quoting particular lines from Scripture is a really bad way of arguing, unless everyone, including the speaker, is familiar with the context in which it was written. I'm almost positive that we don't have any theologians on the forum, so we shouldn't point to random lines.
    i agree with that. when i was taught how to read the bible, (a total of a few years at most) the people who i listened to about learning the meaning of lines said that you should always read the paragraph before and the paragraph after the line, as well. not to mention the source and other contextual features. you cannot take a line out of context.

  6. #86
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    This is a trick question. If I could tell you how and when miracles would happen then they wouldn't be considered miracles. They would be classified and named as predictable phenomena by science..
    Its possible to have miracles as predictable phenomena that can be investigated by science. A miracle is an event where a law of nature is broken by God. How would science inquire into this matter? Take a note that somebody is praying, observe the consequences of their actions, that is, observe the fact that their prayer is making 2 plus 2 amount to six and note that if 2 plus 2 turns to six each time a person prays, he probably has the ability to cause miracles.

    Then science could turn to another shaman who is much less skilled at the endeavor of prayer who can make miracles happen only about half of the time he prays. Thus, on that note science can answer the question of what kind of miracles happen and under what circumstances.

    What makes them happen? A certain person praying.

    Under what circumstances? If the person praying is skilled enough or has sufficient faith.



    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    As for the rest of your thread you seen to mistakenly believe that faith is opposed to reason...
    I think it is opposed to reason because it urges a person to believe in a certain descriptive proposition about the world, yet does not offer rationale or 'reason' if you will in support of why he should do so.


    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    In truth faith is what allows a person to reason properly. This is because fear clouds reason. It can be shown that humans are wired biologically to respond to fear so quickly that the reasoning process is short circuited. When confronted with fear people have two general responses, fight or flight, and reason is not an option....
    Suppose that is true. A person who believes that everything will be just fine in the end will have no reason to be fearful. Hence, since he is fearless, fear will not stop him from reasoning properly. Most people without faith don't have any reason to believe that all will be well in the long run, so they have something to be apprehended about.

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    This phenomenon can be seen all of the time in stock market behavior. Normally intelligent people carefully invest their stocks to maximize returns and diversify against risk. Then their stocks fall, and they sell out of fear. Almost every investor understands "buy low and sell high", but when they see their stocks drop they irrationally sell low.....
    It is true that fear often prevents people from thinking rationally.

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    A person requires faith to counter fear......
    Faith may be one way a person could quench fearful sentiments, but I do not think that it is the only way. A person simply could figure out a way to avoid or defeat the source of fear. That is he could engage in 'flight' successfully, or he could engage in fighting successfully. Both outcomes entail a cessation of fear. Moreover, if the person is simply prepared for his situation and is confident that he can handle it, he shouldn't have anything to fear.


    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    When a person can confront their fears it allows them to reason properly. Faith is not the enemy of reason.......
    Faith is the enemy of reason because it encourages a person to abandon the activity of using reason to form views about the world in favor of beliefs that are either unsupported or unsupportable by rational thought.


    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    Faith is the guardian of reason. For example a person who has faith in a higher moral authority will not be afraid to do the right thing even if there are negative consequences........
    The person who has faith will have little incentive to use his reasoning faculties because his 'faith' quite likely informed him of almost everything that he needs to know about the world. Furthermore, faith often leads a person to develop a habit of forming beliefs in the similar way he or she has formed beliefs in favor of faith itself. That is, by simply and uncritically believing in a proposition regardless of whether or not it is defensible by rational argument. Hence, faith imposes constraints upon reason by leading a person to develop anti-rational reasoning habits and by bringing too high of a degree of closure to his life with regard to knowledge.




    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    This person is free to reason the right course of action without being burdened by fear. This is why faith is so important to a person who values reason.........
    It may do a greal deal to take away one hindrance to reasoning, that is fear; but, it will create other interferences that I mentioned above. (1. Closure with regard to knowledge-that is, leads a person to believe that we already know most of what we need to know about the world, so may as well not bother reasoning much further 2. Encourages uncritical acceptance of beliefs, may even lead a person to develop a habit of believing in propositions uncritically.)

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    So to sum up I admit that there are things in this world that we cannot currently explain..........
    Yes, there are things in the world that we currently cannot explain. You phrased this notion very aptly. However, simply because we cannot explain some things now, it does not follow that they lack an explanation or that they break laws of nature, or in other words that they are miraculous in some sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    And I have faith that some of these things will never be adequately explained, i.e. miracles.
    You may have faith in this conclusion, but can you give reasons to support it? That is, does a person who does not share your emotional convictions have any reason to believe in what you do? Moreoever, does a person who does not want to use emotional convictions as a method for establishing conclusions about the world have any reason to believe that unexplainable phenomena exist?

    Furthermore, if unexplainable phenomena do indeed exist, how do we know that they are miraculous (contrary to laws of nature) as opposed to resultant of too complex of properties of the natural laws for a human mind grasp?

    *Interesting note. Colin McGinn, in the Mysterious flame argues that unexplainable phenomena exist and they include many questions that are by nature philosophical. For example the nature of consciousness and free will. However, he also holds that all of these questions do have a purely natural explanation, yet the explanation is too complex for a human mind to grasp.
    Amazon.com: The Mysterious Flame: Conscious Minds In A Material World (9780465014231): Colin Mcginn: Books

    His argument is that human minds simply are not made to grasp abstractions well, they are better made for directing our tree-climbing and child rearing activities instead. At least if this argument is not altogether plausible, it is understandable. But how could it be the case that some things simply don't abide by the laws of nature, or are miraculous?

    What evidence do we have in favor of the existence of miracles other than apocryphal and vague testimonies of the archaic, vulgar folk? With regard to the testimonies of the modern people, contemporary psychology has evinced to us that our mind has a host of biases that lead us to have confused and distorted perceptions about the world that are often a result of wishful thinking, intellectually irresponsible assessment of information and poor reasoning?


    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    Therefore instead of rejecting faith, it should be embraced by those who love reason.
    Those who love reason should find other ways to keep their fears in check. That way they overcome their fears and are not forced to accept the limitations on their reasoning ventures that faith imposes.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

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  7. #87
    Badoom~ Skyward's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    Church is cool as long as you remember that you should be getting in touch with God, not church.
    Exactly. My Christian belief relies heavily on bible reading and speaking in tongues to be more connected with Christ and his will for me on this world. I don't think of myself as religious, but I think of myself as spiritual. I read the bible and the Holy Spirit gives me insight into what it truly means. It is basically God-guided intuition.

    Pentecostalism really just relies on each member of the church having a close relationship with the Lord. Church on Sundays and Wednesdays is a gathering to help each individual's relationship with Christ. New members of the church are treated warmly (Some people are even freaked by how nice Pentecostal congregations can be. Which is sad since, when should a person be made nervous by genuine niceness? Life-trained paranoia I guess.).

    People who do not practice speaking in tongues are missing a key part of their Christian spirituality. Baptists are... interesting to me because many believe that speaking in tongues was only for people back then. If Baptism is a deep-cleaning of the soul, why don't followers of Baptist preaching have multiple baptisms to keep themselves clean?

    I imagine baptism and speaking in tongues as keeping a home clean. Baptism is the first major cleaning and renovating (same house, just not as dirty) and speaking in tongues is proof that the Holy Spirit of the Lord has entered your heart.

    After I received the Spirit for the first time I felt much lighter.

    And back to the OP:

    Jesus lived and died for our sins. He was God's sacrifice to allow all people to have an intimate relationship with God, not just the High Priests that were allowed past the Veil in the temple and into the presence of the Holy of Holies. That is why I never really thought of Catholic Confessions as useful. Why not confess to God who already knows but is waiting for you to come to him? It is much easier to trust him than a human.

    -----------------------




    And also: SolitaryWalker/BlueWing has the opinion that many members of the athiest scientific community poses: 'Lo'jik is the only God worth following because I'm afraid of taking leaps of faith. I must logically know EVERYHING. I am only satisfied by more knowledge. If a certain path limits the knowledge I can gain, even if I just think it is limiting me when it isn't, I scream and run away and deem it 'illogical.' People who follow logic only are just as bad as stereotypical SJs. They only accept concrete knowledge and have no faith in the things they cannot explain and they deem those things as 'irrelevant.' Or they may think they can explain it and end up way off base because they have insufficient data. (People who rely on logic rely on data. They make assumptions based off of data and if there is a way to gain information in a non-concrete form they call it irrelevant because it changes without a way to know how it is going to change. This is the same thing that causes many 'logic elitists' to scorn the Feeling function. They will also read this paragraph and call it irrelevant. If they do not I will expect PMs from them who have more questions.

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  8. #88
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skyward View Post
    And also: SolitaryWalker/BlueWing has the opinion that many members of the athiest scientific community poses: 'Lo'jik is the only God worth following because I'm afraid of taking leaps of faith. I must logically know EVERYHING. I am only satisfied by more knowledge. If a certain path limits the knowledge I can gain, even if I just think it is limiting me when it isn't, I scream and run away and deem it 'illogical.' People who follow logic only are just as bad as stereotypical SJs. They only accept concrete knowledge and have no faith in the things they cannot explain and they deem those things as 'irrelevant.' Or they may think they can explain it and end up way off base because they have insufficient data. (People who rely on logic rely on data. They make assumptions based off of data and if there is a way to gain information in a non-concrete form they call it irrelevant because it changes without a way to know how it is going to change. This is the same thing that causes many 'logic elitists' to scorn the Feeling function. They will also read this paragraph and call it irrelevant. If they do not I will expect PMs from them who have more questions.

    Loppu.
    Okay, lets not use logical reasoning to help us decide if we want to believe in God. Why should we, or should we not? I may have a feeling we should not, yet somebody else may have a feeling we should. At that point the question becomes altogether irrelevant. If we are not using logical reasoning, we may believe in whatever we want. So in the case person A can freely believe in God because he feels that he should and person B can freely choose not to believe in God because he feels that he should not, there is no reason for the two of them to even have a discussion. There is no reason for them to have a discussion because since we are not using logic, we do not have a method that can be used to gauge how justifiable a belief is.

    Both of their views are equally justified. If belief in God takes a justifiable leap of faith, why not take the same leap of faith to believe in dragons that appear to people through revelation? After all, you can't prove that dragons don't exist, maybe I can access them through prayer and they will be with me in spirit? Maybe the martial arts champion of the world and the toughest boxer pray to dragons and they give then strength. That is the reason why they are such ferocious fighters! What can you do to refute that? It is justified on the same grounds as the belief in God. But, wait, we are not supposed to be using logic, so we can't even talk about whether my belief in dragons is refutable or any less justifiable than a belief in God.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As for your comments on the Feeling function and the intuitive method of reaching conclusions about the world, the feeling function and intuitive reasoning may be good for a lot of activities, yet arriving at true and justified beliefs about the world simply is not one of such activities.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

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  9. #89
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    Okay, lets not use logical reasoning to help us decide if we want to believe in God. Why should we, or should we not? I may have a feeling we should not, yet somebody else may have a feeling we should. At that point the question becomes altogether irrelevant. If we are not using logical reasoning, we may believe in whatever we want. So in the case person A can freely believe in God because he feels that he should and person B can freely choose not to believe in God because he feels that they should not, there is no reason for them to even have a discussion. Case closed.
    That pretty much sums that angle up nicely.

    (And it's sort of why I personally get no value out of the Unitarian Universalist denom, although others might.)
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

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  10. #90
    No Cigar Litvyak's Avatar
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    It's a real joy to read your posts, SW.

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