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  1. #141
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UniqueMixture View Post
    ^^^All of these are very good reasons NOT to believe in christianity.
    All of these are very good reasons not to belong to specific Christian denominations and congregations. Most of it comes from how humans have chosen to interpret what is in the Bible, and the institutions and doctrines they have created, often from very un-Christian motivations. All of this can require the reasoning person to perform serious mental gymnastics to accept Christianity, but the fundamental belief in Christ and the desire to follow his teachings requires none of it. That being said, there is nothing wrong or inferior about pursuing other spiritual paths. As your item 7 suggests, a cardinal sin of many Christian groups is the claim that they have a monopoly on spiritual truth.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  2. #142
    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 88reconcile88 View Post
    My friend and I were recently discussing God. He is a die hard believer and always talks of 'faith'. He will not listen to my ideas, but yet I will listen to him. I was thinking, how can I go to church and obey specific commands, rituals, teachings etc... When there is tons of religions out there who all have different commands, rituals, teachings etc... And each different religion believes that their religion is the unquestionable truth and everyone else's religion is false. Now obviously ( no logically) not all of the existing religions can be true at the same time. Does each believer think that their religion is correct, and that obeying will bring them peace? If one is right, then the others are wrong. Idolatry is prohibited in the Christian religion, but if you Christians really believe that, then you are saying that the other 4.9 billion people around the world who aren't Christians are worshipping false gods. Christianity only consumes about 33% of people. Why would Christianity be ''the truth"!!! Why wouldn't it be Islam, Buddhism, Taoism, or even Egyptian and Greek mythology.
    This guy used to be a pastor at my church. He's written a couple of books on it.

    [YOUTUBE="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQuvsGe3VL0&feature=related"]Lee Strobel[/YOUTUBE]

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  3. #143
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    I can only quote the Bible, Matthew 27:25, "Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children".

    This is called the blood libel against the Jews, and for 2,000 years the Jews were called deicides, that is, the killers of the deity.

    And the holocaust was justified by ordinary christians, who said of the Jews that, "They are Christ killers".

    @CreativeCait
    Since WW II and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, Christians have not accused the Jews of being Christ killers.

    The only ones accusing Jews of being Christ killers today are Islamists.

    And so it is no wonder that 57 Islamic States have openly and publicly rejected the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

  4. #144
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    Because all who oppose God shall face his divine wrath!

  5. #145
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mia. View Post
    Aggghhhh.... you ever have the experience where you come in way too late on a thread, and you read it, and it's sooo interesting and worthwhile, and people have given so many awesome contributions to the point that each entry provokes a response within you, and then you realize that if you were to actually do that you'd be typing for hours, come up with an obscenely way too long post, and wouldn't get anything done all day long? Yeah.
    I do, less and less, although this is a good thread. Lots of people contributing that dont usually.

  6. #146
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UniqueMixture View Post
    ^^^All of these are very good reasons NOT to believe in christianity.
    Yeah but to be honest you really should prefix it "Atheism says that Christianity is..." otherwise you're not being entirely objective.

  7. #147
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UniqueMixture View Post
    What works for me is not going to work for you because we're different people in different locations, cultures, work environments, etc. This is the problem with ideology, it can only work for a "class" of people rather than for everyone.

    I really want to answer your question, but all I have are a bunch of contradictory rules of thumb that form an inherently incoherent "worldview." To be honest, I think that's what life is. We take a bunch of perceptions that we have string them together with lines of causation and that's what gives them their meaning. All of this is influenced by our context, those parts of us that don't change very much like height, sex, etc. The reason for this is because those factors influence how we feel in different situations. If you're 7'0" tall you're going to experience the world very differently from someone who is 4'0". Worldviews are ways of relating these experiences to other people. I guess I believe in a kind of abstract Absurdism where the lines of causation between object sets are in flux and even the "objects" have many truth values. I believe we create reality with our perceptions. I believe there are realities that are shared and those that are not. Probably a lot of this comes from internal struggles that others don't have to deal with and are unique to myself, not because I am "special" or "better" (everyone is special of course, but you get my meaning) but for reasons like the ethnic origins of my parents, etc that I had very little control over. I'm not going to sit here and pretend I have all of the answers. I just know what works for me and I try to help out where I can.

    Another way of experiencing this whole thing is to close your eyes and breathe very slowly and rhythmically. Continue until you feel the tension diminish. Then open up your eyes and really experience the world around you. Let it hit you. Let it into your heart. Don't think anything about it. Just learn to experience it all with love. When it gets overwhelming, take a break and give yourself the time to process the experience. Then, when you have more strength, continue moving forward.
    ^ You have abandoned Christianity as irrational and absurd and in its place this makes perfect sense?

  8. #148
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    Oh please. Do you really need someone to connect the dots for you?

    These Christianity threads are never anything but so much splitting of imaginary hairs. Prove angels exist before you worry about how many can dance on the head of a pin.
    And once you have excised the imagination from humankind what will you have? Cybermen? Will it be better?

  9. #149
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    As a former Catholic, I have been meaning to reply to this, but only now had sufficient time. There is some truth in the above, but it is far from the complete story. The Catholic church and its believers certainly do their share of charitable work, but whether it is hospitals in the U.S. or outreach overseas, these efforts are often hamstrung by restrictive and irrational church doctrines on human reproduction/sex. Others have already addressed the charitable work of Protestants, some of which is similarly constrained, but both Christian groups seem on a par here.

    As for providing social programs, see the above, plus fold in the fact that the hierarchy and decision-makers are primarily male, while the worker bees are largely female. This is not a healthy dynamic to model in any society. Yes, they are organized, and have used this organization to cover up pedophilia and to suppress the views of female religious. Again, some Protestant groups do this, too, but they are far less monolithic.

    Some Catholic schools are much better than public ones, especially in inner city areas; others are worse. It all depends on the local school district. Decline in donations and vocations, and the resulting closure of parishes and schools has not helped. I could not find statistics on priests holding advanced degrees, other than that most receive a professional master's degree upon completing seminary. The only priest with a PhD I ever encountered in a parish was a seminary instructor who sometimes used to say Mass at my church when I was growing up. Whatever their academic credentials, most priests I knew couldn't preach or teach their way out of a paper bag. Some were very kind and compassionate people, but this requires neither education nor intellect.

    Yes, the Catholic church is about the only Christian denomination that has retained any recognition of the feminine divine, though in terms of doctrine, Mary is never more than "just" a human specially favored by God. It's better than nothing.

    Finally, about art and music: you refer to the Catholic church of Palestrina and Boticelli, not the church of today, at least in the U.S. Along with the Latin mass and the altar facing away from the congregation, the church abandoned much of its artistic and cultural heritage in favor of the artistic equivalent of a happy meal - a definite case of throwing out the baby with the bath water. In the words of Andrew Greeley, "It's been a long way from, let us say, the Sistine Chapel, Palestrina, and the Book of Kells. And all that way has been downhill. Most priests have no idea what I'm talking about -- so prosaic and unimaginative and so uncreative has been their education, and is the clerical culture in which they are entombed. " (This may sound harsh, but as a musician I feel this loss very keenly. It was the first layer of the onion to be stripped away in my path away from Catholicism. )
    I dont think you're being harsh, its interesting to see an objective point of view about Roman Catholicism instead of the sorts of things which generally stand in for it, I'm not a former Catholic, since I do practice but routinely miss mass, and I would say that I dont think the church abandoned latin masses or the altar facing away from the congregation so much as adopted a much better practice in those respects (I actually reject the new order of mass and responses which have been introduced recently in order that the vernacular ceremony more closely resemble a direct translation from the latin original).

    There are aspects of medievalism which I respect and can understand anyone holding dear but there are those which I feel have, to use your phrase, entombed the church and threat its life, in certain respects I can not attack completely the elitism or patriarchal nature of the hierarchy as it has served well to permit the transmission largley unchanged of tradition between one generation and the next, there also has not been that much in the way of political meddling or attempts to court temporal power.

    While I disagree with a lot of things Benedict represents I do not disagree with his declaration that the Church shapes consciences but does not interfer with politics (I know this could be a response to history, in Spain and Ireland at least, and present day geo-politics, both secular liberals and political muslims need an opposition to contend with and thankfully the church has not been fool enough to give them what they need, too but all the same its a point of principle with me and I believe it).

    It could just be that I'm an Irish Catholic but the prosaic version of marian doctrine doesnt ring true here, I actually wouldnt mind that if it were the case as I do think there's a concerning and little too extreme form of marian devotion here in Ireland.

    My biggest problem with the RCC at present is that given all the scandals which it has weathered, paedophilia and homosexuality among the clergy, it really is beginning to look like it cant do a very good job of sincerely defending or representing heterosexual norms or family life, in the traditional two parents of opposite sex with children sense. I've always been given to understand that the present rules of celibacy were introduced and enforced to great degree in response to crusades and campaigning which resulted in death and the church having to care for dependents. There have always been rules of celibacy and I can understand its role in some of the discussions of sexuality/physicality vs. spirituality but only so far. Especially with the RCC's admission of members of the Church of England who have wives and children, in response to those congregations rejecting breaks with their tradition by their own modern day hierarchy.

  10. #150
    Senior Member UniqueMixture's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Yeah but to be honest you really should prefix it "Atheism says that Christianity is..." otherwise you're not being entirely objective.
    I'm not an atheist.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    ^ You have abandoned Christianity as irrational and absurd and in its place this makes perfect sense?
    It makes sense to have a way of thinking that is open and allows one to explore the universe freely and creatively. If you're familiar with Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem perhaps you can see how trying to create a set of axioms meant to encompass the totality of the universe is ultimately an excercise in frustration (that is a lot of fun however D: ). Closed logical architectures tend not to deal well with change and are inherently inconsistent anyhow. In addition I would argue they are isolating, from experience, from others, and ultimately from Self.
    For all that we have done, as a civilization, as individuals, the universe is not stable, and nor is any single thing within it. Stars consume themselves, the universe itself rushes apart, and we ourselves are composed of matter in constant flux. Colonies of cells in temporary alliance, replicating and decaying and housed within, an incandescent cloud of electrical impulses. This is reality, this is self knowledge, and the perception of it will, of course, make you dizzy.

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