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  1. #81
    Sheep pill, broster asynartetic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Right. For that matter, what evidence do we have INSIDE of the Bible or any Religious text that a God exists? NONE. This will never be solved. That's why it's called faith. Some people have it, some people don't- and I'm not convinced that we have much choice in the matter of whether we have it or not.
    The faith gene.

    I remember reading an article about a study which suggested atheists generally tend to be more knowledgable about religions than "believers"

    Not to say believers are ignorant, but when one already has chosen a set path or belief system as concrete, they are probably less likely to question or explore other avenues or doctrines, thus holding less knowledge of other belief systems.

    Yes, I've prayed. Not sure I really believed it though. I was young, stupid, and desperate, and I figured, "why not?" My prayers went unanswered.

  2. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by grey_beard View Post
    There's room for both, each in its proper time.

    Jesus said "Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”

    But St. Paul said, "When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things."
    These two quotes crossed my mind as well. And on the face of it, they contradict one another. So perhaps we can say we can find any quote we like in the Bible to support any position. And we know that even the Devil quotes the Bible for his own purposes.

  3. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuzzy Conduit View Post
    The faith gene.
    Faith is a form of trance where our critical mind goes to sleep and we have faith in what we are taught.

    Faith is taught to children who have yet to develop their critical minds and so believe whatever they are taught.

    So growing up means applying our critical mind to our faith.

  4. #84
    The Typing Tabby grey_beard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mole View Post
    These two quotes crossed my mind as well. And on the face of it, they contradict one another. So perhaps we can say we can find any quote we like in the Bible to support any position. And we know that even the Devil quotes the Bible for his own purposes.
    @Mole --

    They don't contradict each other: first you *enter* the Kingdom of Heaven "like a little child" -- then you grow in the faith, into mature manhood, into full stature.
    That's why I said "each in its own time."

    As far as the Devil and scripture, Lucifer *misquoted* it, applying it incorrectly (special pleading): and promptly got PWNED by Jesus quoting back other scripture with the more important, overarching principles. The whole story of that is in Matthew 4.
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  5. #85
    IRL is not real Cimarron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mole View Post
    This is a furphy put around by the Christians. In fact Jesus was a Jewish Zealot who was put to death like many Jewish Zealots before him by the Romans.

    Pontius Pilate would be no more influenced by the Jews than he would fly. Pontius Pilate was a brutal and experienced killer, who even Rome regarded as too brutal. Pontius would kill anyone who spoke against Rome, and this Jew was a Zealot, preaching revolution, Matthew 20:16 "So the last will be first, and the first will be last."

    And as you recall, the Jewish Zealots succeeded in their revolution against Rome in 66 to 70 AD by violently driving the Romans out.
    In regards to the last sentence, unless you meant "temporarily" or "ideologically" successful, it's not true. Or maybe your point was sarcasm by contrast. The Romans massacred tens or hundreds of thousands when they leveled Jerusalem after that "successful" revolution. (just adding for those who weren't aware of the history)
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  6. #86
    hypersane Hive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuzzy Conduit View Post
    The faith gene.

    I remember reading an article about a study which suggested atheists generally tend to be more knowledgable about religions than "believers"

    Not to say believers are ignorant, but when one already has chosen a set path or belief system as concrete, they are probably less likely to question or explore other avenues or doctrines, thus holding less knowledge of other belief systems.

    Yes, I've prayed. Not sure I really believed it though. I was young, stupid, and desperate, and I figured, "why not?" My prayers went unanswered.
    Also growing up in a religious environment kinda eliminates any choice in the matter. However, if you grow up in a place where everyone is religious, you don't see yourself as "religious". That's just the way of life and how things are, and nothing that requires any reflection. A Muslim is only branded a Muslim when there's another group to compare him with. The Hindus didn't become "Hindus" until the British came to their land and gave them the moniker. Before that, they were just regular people living life the "right" way.

    Anyway, yeah, spiritual attitudes are largely hereditary. But I don't think the "faith genes" are linked to being stubborn about your ways. Check this thread where that phenomenon is discussed. It's not limited to religious beliefs.

    However, this study suggests that the serotonin system has an important role governing an individual's attitude on spirituality. Granted, an experimental group of 15 people doesn't yield any conclusive evidence and more research is needed, but at least it provides a starting point.
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  7. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hive View Post
    He also told an anecdote of when a friend of his had been in fourth grade. There was a new kid at their school who quickly became the target of bullying. The pastor's friend felt that it was wrong, yet did nothing about it and even participated sometimes since kids easily succumb to peer pressure. He was a devout Christian however, and one night he had prayed to God, asking for advice how to handle this, because he wanted to help his classmate and felt guilty for doing nothing. After praying, he experienced something of a "moment of clarity" and felt compelled to do what is right and stand up for the bullied kid, which he did, again and again, even if he also became a target by doing so, because he was convinced that it was the right thing to do.
    Great example of useful prayer.

    I personally don't think it was the God of Abraham that gave him that moment of clarity, but then again, it doesn't matter. A real resolution came out of it.

    I think it's too bad that agnostics and atheists have totally discarded prayer. I think it can have a lot of positive power. I think a self-affirmation is a type of prayer.

    You can make up deities, or pray to "real" ones, or pray to you subconscious or Higher Self. Or to the Universe or to nature or to whatever. It can be as simple as "Thank you for this food." Being grateful has shown to bump up happiness.

    Anyone that's hit total rock bottom, has probably cried out in prayer, atheist, religious, or whatever.

    I don't personally pray for sick people, but I will go visit them, or give them a call. I might pray for some moment of clarity like "how can I help?" "What can I do, Oh whatever the hell is out there?"

    A lot of it is all about setting an intention, and waiting for any opportunities to follow through on it.
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  8. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cimarron View Post
    In regards to the last sentence, unless you meant "temporarily" or "ideologically" successful, it's not true. Or maybe your point was sarcasm by contrast. The Romans massacred tens or hundreds of thousands when they leveled Jerusalem after that "successful" revolution. (just adding for those who weren't aware of the history)
    Yes, but for five years, 66-70 AD, the Jewish Zealots drove the Romans out of Jerusalem and Palestine.

    But just as the Romans obliterated Cathage for their insult to Roman power, so the Judaic Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 AD for the same insult to Roman power.

    Never forget, Cathago delenda est.

    Remember Cathage, the Judaic Temple, Iraq and Afganistan - all the result of insulting Roman power, or the Roman power of the day.

  9. #89
    reflecting pool Typh0n's Avatar
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    Mole, your anti-American rhetoric has been excessive lately.

    It gets annoying after a while.

  10. #90
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    Well you need to ask yourself if you need to be a Christian to believe in a god of some sort. Do you need the dogma, the bible study, all of the rules and the connotations that come with being a Christian in order to feel affirmed in a belief of a higher power? Some people choose to be a Christian to have the sense of community, which may be good for them if their situation permits. Like if they have no friends, but are really lonely, so they go to church to find some perhaps like minded people to associate with. Or some people may go to church for the social standing. Or some may go because of the pressure from their peers or their various social groups or families.

    I guess what I'm asking is, why do you feel the need to be a Christian?

    Quote Originally Posted by OptoGypsy View Post
    I'm surrounded by Christian zealots as peers so it's more in line of a social standing and using it as a tool of spreading word on life and humanity instead of treating it as a ticket to heaven.
    Is this a very Christian thing to do? I'm sure not many Christians ask themselves that anyway, judging by some of the crap that I see going on. Would it coincide with the faith to get "in" with your social standing? You can spread the word on life and humanity using other means, and most certainly not in a discriminatory tone or judgmental tone as that.

    I would state my opinion on the whole thing, but I'm sure it would spark a large flame war.
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