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View Poll Results: What Religion Do You Practice/Not Practice and Why?

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  • I'm an atheist

    36 27.48%
  • I'm agnostic

    25 19.08%
  • Buddhism

    6 4.58%
  • Hinduism

    1 0.76%
  • Islam

    2 1.53%
  • Christianity

    39 29.77%
  • Other

    22 16.79%
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  1. #221
    Senior Member Passacaglia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamain View Post
    If I had the desire to understand, I would study it and try to read things in context, as well as consider the culture of that time.

    What makes you conclude that there are only 4 people at this time? Are you aware that the bible doesn't typically list the birth of female children?

    Do we know much about this city? You probably envision it as we would describe a city now, but do we really know what is meant by city in this passage?
    Genesis 4:17 Cain made love to his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch. Cain was then building a city, and he named it after his son Enoch.
    Yes, like I said, I can think of a couple hypotheses to explain this particular contradiction. And I could join a Bible group, or consult Biblical scholars, or spend hours scouring the internet for answers to the Bible's many oddities and contradictions. (Because the internet never lies, right?) To be fair to other religions though, I'd have to spend as much time learning about each of those faiths. More time, actually, because I already know much more about Christianity than I do about any other religion simply by living in the U.S. for my entire life! Because I should be keeping an open mind, right?

    Which brings me to my magazine metaphor, which I note you haven't responded to. Just as I had 50+ story submissions to screen every day, there are what, about a half-dozen major modern religions plus thousands of less populated and/or extinct religions? I'm sure this seems like a poor metaphor to you because you've already accepted the Bible as something more than fiction, and maybe you were even born and raised with Christianity, so the Bible seems inherently worthy of more consideration than other books. But to myself and others, that's all the Bible is; a book. An old book to sure, and a popular book in the western world; but not unique. It's one of many old books that get shelved in their own special section at Barnes & Noble because enough people think there's some kind of truth in it.

    Since you haven't responded to my metaphor, I'll pose a much more literal question to you: For every hour you've spent reading the Bible, for every bit of energy you've devoted to understanding the Christian faith, have you spent an equal amount of time and energy trying to understand other holy texts and faiths? Not an hour and a bit for all other faiths, mind you; an hour and a bit for each other faith for each hour and bit you've devoted to Christianity. Have you spent as much effort trying to understand the mysteries of Buddha's and of Athena's miraculous births as you have the contradictory mystery of the Holy Trinity? How about Odin's death and wisdom-granting rebirth on Yggdrasil? How about the Quran, which has the unique claim to being written in the divine script itself?

    Why or why not? Answer this question for yourself honestly, and you should get an idea of why Eska and I and others consider the Bible (and other holy texts) too contradictory to believe, even if each of those contradictions have possible explanations.
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  2. #222
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprinkles View Post
    How many times have you said something like this to me? You know I'm like this so it's your own fault when you engage me. Don't give me this highfalutin bullshit.
    Too often, that is to say every occasion you've provided for it, dont worry I wont trouble myself again. I know for sure you're happy being ignorant. Dont worry Sprinkles, after all, its just "highfalutin bullshit" right?

  3. #223
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Too often, that is to say every occasion you've provided for it, dont worry I wont trouble myself again. I know for sure you're happy being ignorant. Dont worry Sprinkles, after all, its just "highfalutin bullshit" right?
    Yeah I'm pretty sure I've heard that before. You didn't keep your word then either.

  4. #224
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Passacaglia View Post
    Yes, like I said, I can think of a couple hypotheses to explain this particular contradiction. And I could join a Bible group, or consult Biblical scholars, or spend hours scouring the internet for answers to the Bible's many oddities and contradictions. (Because the internet never lies, right?) To be fair to other religions though, I'd have to spend as much time learning about each of those faiths. More time, actually, because I already know much more about Christianity than I do about any other religion simply by living in the U.S. for my entire life! Because I should be keeping an open mind, right?

    Which brings me to my magazine metaphor, which I note you haven't responded to. Just as I had 50+ story submissions to screen every day, there are what, about a half-dozen major modern religions plus thousands of less populated and/or extinct religions? I'm sure this seems like a poor metaphor to you because you've already accepted the Bible as something more than fiction, and maybe you were even born and raised with Christianity, so the Bible seems inherently worthy of more consideration than other books. But to myself and others, that's all the Bible is; a book. An old book to sure, and a popular book in the western world; but not unique. It's one of many old books that get shelved in their own special section at Barnes & Noble because enough people think there's some kind of truth in it.

    Since you haven't responded to my metaphor, I'll pose a much more literal question to you: For every hour you've spent reading the Bible, for every bit of energy you've devoted to understanding the Christian faith, have you spent an equal amount of time and energy trying to understand other holy texts and faiths? Not an hour and a bit for all other faiths, mind you; an hour and a bit for each other faith for each hour and bit you've devoted to Christianity. Have you spent as much effort trying to understand the mysteries of Buddha's and of Athena's miraculous births as you have the contradictory mystery of the Holy Trinity? How about Odin's death and wisdom-granting rebirth on Yggdrasil? How about the Quran, which has the unique claim to being written in the divine script itself?

    Why or why not? Answer this question for yourself honestly, and you should get an idea of why Eska and I and others consider the Bible (and other holy texts) too contradictory to believe, even if each of those contradictions have possible explanations.
    I'm not a believer in solo scripture and biblical literalism so I'm less vexed by what you've said than someone who would profess those beliefs, that said I do think you seem to hold a kind of view here of "anything but" christianity is valid, certainly with respect to recommending knowledge of the other faiths, or perhaps you believe that being acquainted with enough alternatives, with the whole pantheon of world religions then the only possible conclusion may be that all religion is merely ficitious and very possibly worthless.

    I can not say that I have spent as much time on every faith because I am a practicing Roman Catholic, now I'm not a good one, I would not pretend to that because for every occasion when I can honestly say that I have prevailed against temptation and sin I know there are many examples of when I have not, but none the less I am practicing a faith. That's different from having an interest in one or passing acquaintence with one.

    I have investigated all faiths and none, including atheism and humanism, some of my favourite writers are atheists and humanists, but I dont see the dead religions, and even the living ones you mention, to possess any sort of equivalence with my own. Modern consumerism and other cultural trends like it would have people believe its all much of a muchness and to sample as many as possible, especially the novel, until you are satiated but I dont agree.

  5. #225
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    All of which requires that you accept the premise that the church (what church?) is totalitarian, authoritarian and the "baddy" of the piece.

    Surely that is a ridiculous oversimplification?
    It is becoming, thankfully, an anachronism at least in the west In earlier centuries the church was so intertwined with the government that it could be hard at times to determine where real temporal power resided. I was going to write more, but @Jennifer has already provided a fine reply.

    Quote Originally Posted by Passacaglia View Post
    Yes, like I said, I can think of a couple hypotheses to explain this particular contradiction. And I could join a Bible group, or consult Biblical scholars, or spend hours scouring the internet for answers to the Bible's many oddities and contradictions. (Because the internet never lies, right?) To be fair to other religions though, I'd have to spend as much time learning about each of those faiths. More time, actually, because I already know much more about Christianity than I do about any other religion simply by living in the U.S. for my entire life! Because I should be keeping an open mind, right?
    I have studied at least a few other faiths to be able to make a reasonable comparison, primarily because I was considering adopting one of them, and wanted to know enough to make a rational decision. I should point out, though, that despite being raised Christian in the U.S., I didn't even trust my knowledge of Christianity enough to leave it with good conscience. On faiths like Shinto or Bahai, I had too little information; on Christianity, I had too much. How to sort out the wheat from the chaff? This is why I did an intensive bible study, to make sure I had a reasonable foundation on which to decide.

    In this study, and in other discussions before and after, I have met many people who cling to Christianity without much thought or reason. I have also encountered more than a few who follow Christianity and the bible with their eyes open and a truly open and critical mind. These are the folks whose interpretations are allegorical rather than literal, who seek to learn the lessons of the bible rather than prove its historical veracity. It is always a bit sad, though, to see how many mental gymnastics their reasoning must take to reach conclusions much more intuitive and straightforward in other faiths, at least those I have studied.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I'm not a believer in solo scripture and biblical literalism so I'm less vexed by what you've said than someone who would profess those beliefs, that said I do think you seem to hold a kind of view here of "anything but" christianity is valid, certainly with respect to recommending knowledge of the other faiths, or perhaps you believe that being acquainted with enough alternatives, with the whole pantheon of world religions then the only possible conclusion may be that all religion is merely ficitious and very possibly worthless.
    Not at all. Some people here, on the other hand, seem to hold the opinion that only Christianity is valid. There is nothing wrong with deciding to follow Christianity, or any specific faith, because it is right for you. What is counterproductive and short-sighted is to claim by extension that your faith is the only right one at all, for anyone, and that you have nothing to learn from or appreciate in other faiths.

    I would use language as an analogy. Humans have an innate need and ability to communicate, much of which is done through language. Different languages have developed in different parts of the world, all serving this purpose in their own way. In preferring our own language, however, and even neglecting to learn others, we don't usually cast aspersions on speakers of other languages, or claim ours is better. Some of us learn additional languages, to be able to communicate directly with more people, or simply for the enjoyment of learning. We also recognize the contributions of other languages to our own, and the commonalities that are found in language groups.

    Religion operates in a similar way, meeting the need for spiritual connection and communication. We can place our own religion first without denigrating others or refusing to try to understand them even a little bit.
    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...
    Likes Passacaglia liked this post

  6. #226
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Have you heard of the Jefferson bible?
    Yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Yes, I am familiar with that view, I believe that Jung had a version of it too.
    The Bahai's call it progressive revelation. Much of Joseph Campbell's writings touch on it as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Perhaps reinventing the wheel was the wrong analogy, perhaps memory serves as a better one, because that is what any tradition properly understood is.

    I do not see how the process which in an individual or on an individual scale of forgetting, of complete amnesia and relearning from scratch would appear patently absurd and ruinous or indicative of some powerful trauma when considered on a societal scale is progressive.
    I am not sure I understand your meaning here. No one is suggesting amnesia, but rather dismissal of the old or other version as lacking relevance, its meaning lost. We see this in the bible itself, as Jesus both follows the Jewish laws, but goes beyond to teach a new law. A similar transition occurs between Islam and Bahai faith. Every teacher knows students have different ways of learning, and not everyone responds well to the same thing.
    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...

  7. #227
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    Religion operates in a similar way, meeting the need for spiritual connection and communication. We can place our own religion first without denigrating others or refusing to try to understand them even a little bit.
    And we can now have sprititualiy without religion as in the book Waking Up: Spirituality Without Religion by Sam Harris.

  8. #228
    Senior Member Rambling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Passacaglia View Post
    Though not unique to Chistianity due to coming from the Old Testament, the story of Adam and Eve would be great comedy if so many people didn't take it as literal fact:

    Yahweh creates Adam and Eve, the Tree of Life, and the Tree of Knowledge, puts all of them in Eden together, and then tells A & E "Don't eat the apples." Thus Yahweh is either deliberately setting A & E up for the Fall, or he doesn't know what any halfway decent parent knows -- that putting a thing within arm's reach of a person, particularly a young/innocent person, and then telling them not to touch it is virtually a sure-fire way to get them to do exactly that. Afterward when Yahweh discovers that the apple is missing from the Tree of Knowledge, he searches for but can't find A & E because they're hiding behind a bush! Oh and IIRC, soon after leaving Eden, A & E discover preexisting cities full of people!

    From an ancient Yawheh-is-arbitrary-and-capricious perspective, there might arguably not be any inherent contradiction. (At least until A & E discover those cities.) And I'm sure that modern believers have all kinds of ways to reconcile this stuff. (Heck, early Christian Gnostics had a rather elaborate and interesting explanation!) But from a modern God-is-benevolent-and-all-knowing perspective, the whole story is very contradictory at least on its surface.

    See Also: Wiki Article on Biblical Consistency
    Teaching a child to obey a No is crucial to the survival of a child... Boundaries are usually there for a reason.

  9. #229
    Senior Member Rambling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Passacaglia View Post
    Yes, like I said, I can think of a couple hypotheses to explain this particular contradiction. And I could join a Bible group, or consult Biblical scholars, or spend hours scouring the internet for answers to the Bible's many oddities and contradictions. (Because the internet never lies, right?) To be fair to other religions though, I'd have to spend as much time learning about each of those faiths. More time, actually, because I already know much more about Christianity than I do about any other religion simply by living in the U.S. for my entire life! Because I should be keeping an open mind, right?

    Which brings me to my magazine metaphor, which I note you haven't responded to. Just as I had 50+ story submissions to screen every day, there are what, about a half-dozen major modern religions plus thousands of less populated and/or extinct religions? I'm sure this seems like a poor metaphor to you because you've already accepted the Bible as something more than fiction, and maybe you were even born and raised with Christianity, so the Bible seems inherently worthy of more consideration than other books. But to myself and others, that's all the Bible is; a book. An old book to sure, and a popular book in the western world; but not unique. It's one of many old books that get shelved in their own special section at Barnes & Noble because enough people think there's some kind of truth in it.

    Since you haven't responded to my metaphor, I'll pose a much more literal question to you: For every hour you've spent reading the Bible, for every bit of energy you've devoted to understanding the Christian faith, have you spent an equal amount of time and energy trying to understand other holy texts and faiths? Not an hour and a bit for all other faiths, mind you; an hour and a bit for each other faith for each hour and bit you've devoted to Christianity. Have you spent as much effort trying to understand the mysteries of Buddha's and of Athena's miraculous births as you have the contradictory mystery of the Holy Trinity? How about Odin's death and wisdom-granting rebirth on Yggdrasil? How about the Quran, which has the unique claim to being written in the divine script itself?

    Why or why not? Answer this question for yourself honestly, and you should get an idea of why Eska and I and others consider the Bible (and other holy texts) too contradictory to believe, even if each of those contradictions have possible explanations.
    I choose to study the bible in preference since no other mainstream religion claims a resurrection over death, whihc does strike me as a fairly key difference since death is inevitable.

    As for truth, and the magazine article, you are judging stories based upon the magazine audience who are trained to expect information presented in a particular and rather scientific style. This style of writing and communication was not viewed as so important until about 200 years ago when science became more important.

    Consider truth contained in children's stories. Why tell your kids about Goldilocks or Red Riding Hood or Sleeping Beauty or any other myth? Truth is sometimes ewsier to remember and understand when it is formed in human shape and in human stories instead of in scientific textbooks (which do go out of date, by the way, so no claim to absolute truth there).. Ah, did I say formed in human shape... I understand my self by looking at the perfection of Jesus. And worshipping Him and being His friend.

  10. #230
    Senior Member Passacaglia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I'm not a believer in solo scripture and biblical literalism so I'm less vexed by what you've said than someone who would profess those beliefs, that said I do think you seem to hold a kind of view here of "anything but" christianity is valid, certainly with respect to recommending knowledge of the other faiths, or perhaps you believe that being acquainted with enough alternatives, with the whole pantheon of world religions then the only possible conclusion may be that all religion is merely ficitious and very possibly worthless.
    Christianity is as valid or invalid as any other religion. I'm emphasizing other religions in my conversation with jamain to illustrate the agnostic/atheist POV. As an alternate illustration, take you for comparison:

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I can not say that I have spent as much time on every faith because I am a practicing Roman Catholic, now I'm not a good one, I would not pretend to that because for every occasion when I can honestly say that I have prevailed against temptation and sin I know there are many examples of when I have not, but none the less I am practicing a faith. That's different from having an interest in one or passing acquaintence with one.
    And who could blame you? I suspect that if you were to give as much time to even just the other big world religions as you do to Catholicism, you'd have to give up your job, your friends, your hobbies, or all of the above! So you chose a faith that feels right to you, one that you're comfortable and familiar with, quite likely the one you were raised with, and are now living happily with your choice.

    (Correct me if I'm wrong.)

    Which illustrates my point: Everyone's life has a limited 'bandwidth,' no matter how open minded one is. Unless one happens to be truly convinced that there is a singular religious truth and that it can be determined with just a little more searching -- like an alcoholic who knows he'll feel better after just one more drink -- there's only so much time and energy that can be devoted to investigating religion. Everyone has to draw a line somewhere and decide how to live their lives; whether by picking a big organized religion, a more individualistic religion, choosing pure spirituality, deciding to reserve judgment on spiritual matters, and/or to simply live without faith.

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