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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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Results 231 to 240 of 590

  1. #231
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rambling View Post
    I understand my self by looking at the perfection of Jesus. And worshipping Him and being His friend.
    I wonder if you know what this means as we become what we worship, and if you continue to worship Jesus you might end up like Jesus on the Cross.

  2. #232
    Senior Member Passacaglia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rambling View Post
    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.
    The claim of resurrection is certainly an appealing one, and if I'd been born into Christianity no doubt I'd think it was a big deal. And if I'd been born into Judaism I'd think being one of the Chosen people was a big deal; if I'd been born into Islam I'd think the great authenticity of the Quran and the Arabic script was a big deal; if I'd been born into Bahai I'd think that being the latest and most progressive of the Abrahamic faiths was a big deal; if I were a Buddhist I'd think that escaping the endless cycle of reincarnation was a big deal ('cause who would want to live forever?); if I were born into Hinduism, well...I'm sure you see where this is going. The followers of every faith think they have something special, and if I were a Biblical literalist I'd probably relegate my all-powerful Creator to the role of an abusive parent who sets up arbitrary and virtually un-passable tests with cruel punishments to teach his children lessons toward an unspecified purpose too.

  3. #233
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rambling View Post
    Teaching a child to obey a No is crucial to the survival of a child... Boundaries are usually there for a reason.
    In an authoritarian society teaching our child to obey is crucial for the survival of the child.

    On the other hand, in a helping society, where we help our children achieve their life goals, teaching our children empathy and creativity is crucial for their success.

  4. #234
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rambling View Post
    Teaching a child to obey a No is crucial to the survival of a child... Boundaries are usually there for a reason.
    Adam and Eve weren't children, nor are we (at least the adults among us). This is why that story is at best allegory, and a rather harmful one at that. Parents who demand a child obey unreasonable "No's" will lose that child's respect as he grows older and learns more about how the world works. But then that is just what is happening in the Garden of Eden: God wants to prevent humans from having that knowledge. Perhaps this is the origin of the saying "ignorance is bliss".
    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...

  5. #235
    The Typing Tabby grey_beard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackDog View Post
    I may not be understanding your point here properly, if that's the case then please clarify. However . . .

    It is possible to test a lot of things in the physical world. Admittedly there is an element of 'the truth will become apparent' in science, like religion, because experiments can be interpreted differently; I think this is more true of physics than biology, say, although even in biology something correlational can easily be wrong. But the point is that our conclusions have implications in the physical world that are at least theoretically testable. And if they don't bear out in practice, then we know to revise.

    Science does have a fair bit of philosophy and unspoken assumptions. But it seems to work. So that suggests to me that there is something real going on.

    Religion, so far as I can tell, is inherently not testable. We can't really know if something real is going on or not, not in the same sense as we can with a physical experiment.

    That doesn't automatically rule out the possibility of knowing whether or not a religion has something to it, but it does make it difficult to know how we should approach it. I am highly concerned about deluding myself; if something is true I want to to be true for certain.

    So far I've not found a satisfactory methodology for approaching religious questions; I've just succeeded in ruling out all the methodologies I've come across, except accepting its truth as an axiom, rather like Euclid's axioms.

    The results I get when I construct my worldview with a religious axiom are . . . interesting. I prefer the worldview that includes the religious axiom because it is more symmetrical and intellectually complete, but I don't think that is a good enough reason to assert that it is true. So I just have faith that it is.





    Oh, I agree that objective positions can't be used. Or at least none that I've come across. They're all variations of extreme agnosticism. Even when they integrate 'evolutionary advantage' as a justification for behavioral choices, since an is doesn't get you an ought, at most they get a 'placeholder' default behavior to be followed until they get evidence for a better set of behaviors. Since they know their behavior is just a default, that should objectively strip anything like 'moral outrage' at the behavior of others; however, since 'moral outrage' is just another evolutionary behavior shouldn't it continue? But not if they are intellectually honest . . . There are a bunch of problems.

    In practice humans must pick an option, or at minimum a set of axioms, and then make decisions based on those assumptions. But I continue to be aware that other systems could be constructed, and that I don't have a good objective reason to invalidate those other systems. That bothers me, because I don't want 'a system', I want The System.

    What would you consider an objective criteria?




    I don't think all systems bring equal results, but positing that good results are the criteria is a problem because our definition of good results is subjective unless you go with a naturalistic pseudo evolutionary definition, but that in turn leads you back around to the extreme agnosticism which has the problems I outlined above.

    If good results are not the criteria, what are?



    See, I don't think that faith in the context of religion is at all similar to faith in the context of other things. My faith in regards other people just means I have no reason to believe they are fakes, and I might have some evidence that they are not. But that would change if new evidence came up. So I wouldn't call that faith, just my best estimate of the situation.

    On the other hand, religious faith should be unshakeable; at least in Christianity, repeatedly this is emphasized. The disciples who believed without seeing Jesus resurrected are praised above 'doubting Thomas' who needed the evidence. To take one example.

    So if religious faith should be unshakeable, the logical conclusion to me is that it should be totally divorced from any evidence. But if that's the case, what caused you to believe in the first place?

    I am not certain on whether my idea of faith is a sound concept; I have the sense something is missing . . .



    I haven't concluded that God doesn't exist, on the contrary I firmly believe that He does on the basis of faith. I just don't have a good system to justify that belief because I think my current conception leaves much to be desired.

    My basic trajectory is inspired by this thought experiment: "What if in a thousand years science found this or that. Would it affect my belief?" And if the answer is yes, then I conclude that I can't have found an unshakeable basis for religious belief. If my basis is not unshakeable, then how can it be intellectually satisfying? How can I be willing to put my life on the line for something that the jury is still out on?

    Does that make sense?
    I'm tempted to stay up too late answering you.

    But the Cliff's Notes to the Cliff's Notes to the Cliff's Notes include a couple of the following items.

    You are approaching theology as though it is a model designed to either be intellectually satisfying, or to have predictive capability.
    Theology (on its own terms) purports not to derive as a model by hypothesis / testing / revision, but but reason coupled with revelation;
    and to act not through intellectual knowledge, but through the heart, through trust.

    The quip is often made that "in the beginning, Man Created God" and Voltaire's line that "if God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent Him":
    but theology maintains the opposite: that God, in creating man, was theomorphic.

    As an interesting contrast, compare the Greco-Roman deities -- being jealous of humans and competing with one another, killing their own offspring to secure their positions,
    having affairs...*those* sound like gods made in the image of man. And the worship of those gods included getting drunk or having sex with temple prostitutes.
    If you claim religion is used to justify what people want to do anyway? Hmm, sure.
    Compare to the Old Testament: ONE God, not a multitude of Gods corresponding to different geographical areas -- instead of 'sacred groves' and holiness inhering to a *spot*, *mankind* is sanctified:
    "Be holy, for I am holy," the Old Testament God says, "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than yours"...and instead of commanding drunkenness and fornication
    as His worship, the command is to give to the poor, to not defraud the widows and powerless; instructions on ritual cleanliness (including burying feces outside the camp); and wonder of wonders,
    The Ten Commandments (granted, our society doesn't do so good on only worshipping God, or keeping the Sabbath Day, and the entire advertising industry kind of screws the entire "thou shalt not covet")...(1)
    And the Jewish Law contains prohibitions on loan sharking (usury), restrictions on slavery and indentured servitude, and requirements for witnesses in death penalty cases.

    So there is a "test case" as it were, between a God claimed to not have been invented by Man, and gods whom everyone pretty much agrees were man-made.

    As far as belief vs. knowledge: there is a difference between intellectual belief in "there is *a* God" and the belief, the relationship, with the Christian God. It is the difference between savoir and connaître,
    the difference between "why" (cause and effect, mechanistic) and "why" (teleology, purpose, artistic effect).

    (1) Stephen Prager has an interesting piece on the Jewish insistence on monogamy, and what this practice has meant for society.
    Dennis Prager -- Judaism's Sexual Revolution: Why Judaism (and then Christianity) Rejected Homosexuality
    "Love never needs time. But friendship always needs time. More and more and more time, up to long past midnight." -- The Crime of Captain Gahagan

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  6. #236
    The Typing Tabby grey_beard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    Adam and Eve weren't children, nor are we (at least the adults among us). This is why that story is at best allegory, and a rather harmful one at that. Parents who demand a child obey unreasonable "No's" will lose that child's respect as he grows older and learns more about how the world works. But then that is just what is happening in the Garden of Eden: God wants to prevent humans from having that knowledge. Perhaps this is the origin of the saying "ignorance is bliss".
    Yes, but not quite the way you say it.

    "You shall be as gods, knowing good and evil."



    "And will you teach us Death?" asked the Lady, to [the] shape where it stood above her.
    "Yes," it said, "It is for this that I came here, that you may have Death in abundance."
    "Love never needs time. But friendship always needs time. More and more and more time, up to long past midnight." -- The Crime of Captain Gahagan

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  7. #237
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grey_beard View Post
    Yes, but not quite the way you say it.

    "You shall be as gods, knowing good and evil."

    "And will you teach us Death?" asked the Lady, to [the] shape where it stood above her.
    "Yes," it said, "It is for this that I came here, that you may have Death in abundance."
    How are people expected to do good and avoid evil if they do not know the difference? And death is the natural end of life.

    "Thou art God - Thou art Goddess."

    For a good commentary on this story, see The Wisdom of the Serpent, or Elaine Pagels' bood Adam, Eve and the Serpent.
    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...

  8. #238
    Pubic Enemy #1 Crabs's Avatar
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    i used to be an eclectic wiccan, but now i'm somewhere between agnosticism and new age spirituality. there are so many mysteries in the universe. i feel intimately connected to mother nature.

  9. #239

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    How are people expected to do good and avoid evil if they do not know the difference? And death is the natural end of life.

    "Thou art God - Thou art Goddess."

    For a good commentary on this story, see The Wisdom of the Serpent, or Elaine Pagels' bood Adam, Eve and the Serpent.
    That's what it comes down to for me I think.

  10. #240
    The Typing Tabby grey_beard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    How are people expected to do good and avoid evil if they do not know the difference? And death is the natural end of life.

    "Thou art God - Thou art Goddess."

    For a good commentary on this story, see The Wisdom of the Serpent, or Elaine Pagels' bood Adam, Eve and the Serpent.
    In the case in question, they were explicitly *told* what was bad, what not to do.

    And Death is the natural end of life, but God is supernatural. "The last enemy to be destroyed is death."

    I read "The Wisdom of the Serpent" and my bullshit detectors clogged within seconds.
    Too many errors to list; but chronological snobbery; taking scriptures out of context (cutting a phrase in half and basing his argument only on half of it);
    speculation presented as fact; presentation of Christian heresy (Gnosis) as being representative doctrine; sweeping human sacrifice under the rug in passing; and linking materialism
    (matter and nature as soulless, mechanistic) to Christianity rather than the occult / magic. Not to mention historical inaccuracy -- he actually claims that
    giving up animal and human sacrifices gave rise to violence in the arts, and violent crime. And the Hermetic movement being supposedly inspired by Hermes Trismegistus,
    but really dependent upon Taoism? Which one is it? (I can't think of anything particularly "earthy" and "feminine" about Tao...mining comes from goddess worship? Srsly?)
    The piece as a whole struck me as trying to throw everything he could think of against a wall, to see what sticks.

    Most telling, in Williams' work: "Death is not her enemy but simply an aspect of her rhythm." vs. "The last enemy to be destroyed is death."
    I'm surprised he didn't bring in Kali and the Thuggees as part of this...

    ...for the nonce, you do realize that part of Williams' writing is accusing the essential element of the female as being a snake. I'm sure the gender feminists would just *love* that...

    By the way, what's a bood?
    "Love never needs time. But friendship always needs time. More and more and more time, up to long past midnight." -- The Crime of Captain Gahagan

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