Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
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02-09-2011, 10:15 AM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
(02-09-2011 09:52 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Mr. Woof.

I need to be clear about something. When I say that God is plausible, I'm not talking about Zeus, or Allah, or Yaweh or Crow Spirit.

The truthines of individual religions is irrelevant to me. Maybe only one is right. Maybe they're all wrong. Maybe they're all right. Who knows?

A God simply needs to have dominion over the universe. They need to be supernatural. Is a supernatural God plausible? Yes. That's all I'm saying.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

In saying it like that you make it sound like a logically reasonable possibility. Perhaps it would be best to start off first by saying that we know nature exists. Is it possible that supernature exists? Yes. We don't have any evidence for or against it, however. Is it possible that some energy or presence exists within supernature if it exists? Sure. We have no idea if it exists or what would exist in it so of course that is a possibility. Is that power or presence equivalent to a god or gods? Perhaps, but what line of logic and/or evidence would link the two?

I don't disagree with what you say only the simplicity with which you say it. I consider myself 90% atheist and 10% agnostic. (Figuratively of course since I have no idea how to actually assign probabilities to my beliefs).

“Science is simply common sense at its best, that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic.”
—Thomas Henry Huxley
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02-09-2011, 12:05 PM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
Hey, Bearded Dude.

I do think it's a logically reasonable possibility.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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02-09-2011, 12:15 PM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
(02-09-2011 12:05 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Bearded Dude.

I do think it's a logically reasonable possibility.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

I should have said more reasonably plausible than it really is.

That is a difficult sentence to read.

“Science is simply common sense at its best, that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic.”
—Thomas Henry Huxley
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02-09-2011, 12:38 PM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
Hey, BD.

I don't get it. It's either plausible or it isn't. If it wasn't reasonable and logical, it wouldn't be plausible.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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02-09-2011, 12:44 PM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
(02-09-2011 12:38 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, BD.

I don't get it. It's either plausible or it isn't. If it wasn't reasonable and logical, it wouldn't be plausible.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

It is plausible that the core of the Earth is split into two parts. A solid inner core composed almost entirely of iron and a liquid outer core composed of mostly iron and sulfur.

It is plausible that the core of the Earth is made of condensed supermatter that is made of a new element that is ten thousand times stronger than steel.

Both are plausible because we cannot sample directly from the core but one is more reasonably plausible than the other because we can calculate the density of the core.

“Science is simply common sense at its best, that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic.”
—Thomas Henry Huxley
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02-09-2011, 01:21 PM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
Hey, BD.

Exactly. You can test. There is sum zero evidence for or against God. You can't test. So likelihood doesn't enter into it.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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03-09-2011, 12:16 AM (This post was last modified: 03-09-2011 12:32 AM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
(26-08-2011 10:02 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Sines.

Shmignatures. Can we move on from that?

Some of this has bled into another thread. Anyhoo...

Not all Christians are Biblical literalists. If you can't comprehend how people can be Christians without being Biblical literalists, ask them. Because there's millions of them. Whatever your feelings might be, they exist.

The governing bodies of the various denominations have constant conversations about their church's interpretation of the Bible and about the church's reactions to world events based on those interpretations. For example, what do we think the Bible teaches us about homosexuality and how does that inform our official positions on gay marriage, gay parishioners or gay clergy? These are internal debates that sometimes go smoothly and sometimes rage and cause schisms and cause parishioners to leave the church or others to join. Sometimes different denominations share interpretations and policy, sometimes they do not, with a full range of possibility in between. This is simply the reality of Christian life.

On Atheist categories... Cool. You're one of the few Atheists I've met that prefers categories. Good to know that your ilk exists.

On Templar... Ok. I dig. But again, just because we can't identify them now, doesn't mean they're impossible. Also, it's fine to point at a passage in the Bible and say, "see! It commands you to kill other people!" But if we're looking at the actual theology of individual denominations or organisations, we have to be honest and say, "when was the last time the United Church of Canada went on a killing spree?"

On unicorns... So for clarity, if someone who didn't believe in unicorns killed people who did, because they did, they would not be killing in the name of Aunicornity?

On deviation from Biblical literalism... I don't think a single Christian theologist on the planet would pick Biblical literalism as the keystone trait of all Christianity. I'm reasonably certain however that they would pick, oh, I don't know, Christ.

So go ahead and say moderate Christians are no longer Christians. I just can't imagine any moderate Christians agreeing with you. Or theologists. Or me. Or a lot of people.

More to the point, the denominations are not the result of random invention. They're the result of schism after schism after schism splitting groups. It's akin to cladogenesis. The denominations are the result of an evolutionary process and are not arbitrary.

Hey, Mark.

You may have a point about the Bible being a mess. I'm no Biblical scholar, but it makes a degree of intuitive sense to me and I'll tell you why.

In genetics we say genotype and phenotype. The genotype is the genetic instruction and the phenotype is the actual trait that is expressed based on a combination of the original genotype and the environment in which the gene is expressed. If the act of expression and the environment had no effect on the genotype, there would be a 1:1 expression of the genotype. But because there is not, a great deal of variation can occur when different organisms express the same genotype.

The Bible is basically the chromosome, or a large part of the chromosome, that codes for Christianity (I've begun to use the word memosome as the memetic analogue to a chromosome). If there was a 1:1 expression, there would be no variation in Christianity. But that is not the case. The various denominations are the phenotypic expressions of the code present in the Bible.

Throw into this mix the idea that the Bible is self-contradictory, offers different answers to the same question, is poorly organised, is held as literal by some and parable by others, that the various meanings have different interpretations, and you begin to collect mutations within the original code.

That's just a surface look. You can explore that for days. The point is that there is no 1:1 expression in Christianity. That's why there's variation.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

Hi Matt,

re "On deviation from Biblical literalism... I don't think a single Christian theologist on the planet would pick Biblical literalism as the keystone trait of all Christianity." I have to disagree with you here. Most of them rant on about the benefits of returning to "the true teachings of the Bible." Our friend S.T. is an example. The Bible, particularly the New Testament, is what defines Christianity.

I do, however, agree that most Christians hypocritically ignore many of the Bible's teachings in the interests of staying out of prison, so I agree with you that "Not all Christians are Biblical literalists."

So I would say they pay lip service to obeying scripture, but in reality ignore and reinterpret most of it.

Also, I agree with what you conclude ie " the Bible is self-contradictory, offers different answers to the same question, is poorly organised, is held as literal by some and parable by others, that the various meanings have different interpretations, and you begin to collect mutations within the original code", so I fail to understand how you can earlier state "it makes a degree of intuitive sense to me and I'll tell you why." I may have misunderstood you, but it sounds to me as if you are contradicting yourself.

Regards, Mark

(25-08-2011 01:15 PM)Sines Wrote:  First off, if an atheist has a supremacist attitude about atheism, it's that supremacism that makes him do the things he does, not his atheism. Remember, atheism and christianity are not the opposites. Atheism and theism are. Theism can't make you do anything either. Even if you believe that there is a god, and he commands X, Y, and Z, that doesn't mean you have to do what he says. As before, it's up to the person to decide what to do with the facts.

If there were a crusader out there who sought to wipe out religion by any means neccesary, he would not be killing for atheism, he'd be killing for anti-theism, or some other philosophy. I know I'm being a bit pedantic, but it's this distinction that people ignore when they try to blame mass-murders on atheism.

Second, while religion in general does not demand killing (Hooray for Jains!), christianity does.

The All Loving God of Christianity Wrote:Deuteronomy 13

6 If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” (gods that neither you nor your ancestors have known, 7 gods of the peoples around you, whether near or far, from one end of the land to the other), 8 do not yield to them or listen to them. Show them no pity. Do not spare them or shield them. 9 You must certainly put them to death. Your hand must be the first in putting them to death, and then the hands of all the people. 10 Stone them to death, because they tried to turn you away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 11 Then all Israel will hear and be afraid, and no one among you will do such an evil thing again.

It's right there, in plain text. God commands you to kill. And if you believe that the bible is the word of god, and should be followed... then murdering apostates follows naturally from that one premise.

Nowhere in The God Delusion does Dawkins tell us to kill the religious. Nowhere in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights does it tell me to slaughter people because of thought crime. If I found out any thing I liked or respected said "Murder those who disagree with you, just because they disagree with you," I would suddenly lose all respect for it. Perhaps the thing had some good advice. But if it did, it did only by accident, because clearly the person or persons behind it were monsters.

And thats the rub. Whatever philosophy an atheist adopts, there is no charter they adopt that tells them to kill. On the other hand, whether moderate or extremist, both kinds of christians adopt a book as sacred and important that proscribes murder for people who change their minds about worshiping their god. That's the difference. This is why I can safely say people killed in the name of chrisitianity, because christianity says that the bible is the word of god, and that one should do what god says. And anyone reading that passage, that accepts the bible as the word of god, which should be followed, cannot arrive at any other conclusion than to murder people for apostasy, no without some cognitive dissonance.

So there. That's the problem with this "Kill in the name of X". Atheism is an insufficient belief to lead to murder. Humanism is an insufficient belief to lead to murder. Anti-theism is an insufficient belief to lead to murder. "The Bible is the word of god which must be followed," IS a sufficient belief to lead to murder, as outlined above. And it's held by millions of people around the world. That they don't actually do what the Bible says is not a point in favor of Christianity, it's a point in favor of humanity, for knowing evil when they see it.

What if I was a member in good standing of, lets make up an organization for the sake of argument, The Knights Untemplar? An organization which believed in the execution of all religious persons, and the destruction of all religious objects? Would you say, "Oh, well, he's actually a nice guy who doesn't really kill people"? Somehow, I doubt it.

*phew* Sorry for the angry rant, but this kind of thing does bother me a lot. I am an anti-theist, in no small part because of verses from the bible (And other holy books) like that. They are evil in those who follow them, and cognitive dissonance in those that don't. They make the evil kill, and the good make up excuses for evil. The only thing that mollifies me at all, the prevents me from having to accept the death of all religious people for the safety of mankind, is that 99.9999% of all Christians are more moral than Yahweh. Even Fred Phelps is a hundred fold better person than Yahweh. But still, it breaks my heart to see good people calling evil sacred.

Hey Sines, just wanted to thank you for being so "spot on" in this post. It is not an angry rant at all...you have "nailed" one good point after another. Well written!
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05-09-2011, 10:04 AM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
Hey, Mark.

How is it that you can disagree with me that Biblical literalism is not the keystone trait of Christianity and think that not all Christians are Biblical literalists? To be the defining trait it must be universal. Christ is universal in Christianity. Biblical literalism is not.

The list of Bible issues was more a collection of people's complaints rather than a definitive statement by me. It was simply meant to illustrate how mutations can occur. Like I said, I’m no Biblical scholar.

No. I am not contradicting myself. I said that what YOU SAID made a degree of intuitive sense to me. Learn to take a compliment, homey.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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06-09-2011, 01:53 AM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
(02-09-2011 09:52 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Mr. Woof.

I need to be clear about something. When I say that God is plausible, I'm not talking about Zeus, or Allah, or Yaweh or Crow Spirit.

The truthines of individual religions is irrelevant to me. Maybe only one is right. Maybe they're all wrong. Maybe they're all right. Who knows?

A God simply needs to have dominion over the universe. They need to be supernatural. Is a supernatural God plausible? Yes. That's all I'm saying.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

Hello Ghost.
I have come to believe, given the great miseries in the world, in accordance with our cognitive abilities to percieve as a species ,that a loving god could not exist.
In terms of possible higher netherworlds, it is possible we are learning things, for what end, I have no idea. Could powerful but inadequate supernatural entities, perhaps be experimenting with us as some scientists do with mice and monkeys?
As for a 'perfectly' good god, my view to nature for both man and beast precludes any perfect god. As a mere mortal, I am unable, to relate meaningfully to potential superbeings. Huh
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06-09-2011, 03:36 AM (This post was last modified: 06-09-2011 03:49 AM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
(05-09-2011 10:04 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Mark.

How is it that you can disagree with me that Biblical literalism is not the keystone trait of Christianity and think that not all Christians are Biblical literalists? To be the defining trait it must be universal. Christ is universal in Christianity. Biblical literalism is not.

The list of Bible issues was more a collection of people's complaints rather than a definitive statement by me. It was simply meant to illustrate how mutations can occur. Like I said, I’m no Biblical scholar.

No. I am not contradicting myself. I said that what YOU SAID made a degree of intuitive sense to me. Learn to take a compliment, homey.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

Hi Matt, firstly, see http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=30001

Re " To be the defining trait it must be universal." I assume you are stating that for the Bible to be the defining trait of Christianity it must be accepted as such by all Christians. Is that what you meant? I don't necessarily agree, but the discussion is a little pointless anyway. The fact is that nearly every single Christian thinks his beliefs are derived from the Bible. Not all believe everything in the bible is literally true (as you point out), although many do. They all talk about Jesus, and about "Christ," and the only source they use to build their discussions on has always originated from the Bible. Academics and others occasionally discuss non canonical texts, but hardly ever in churches.

What you mean by "Christ is universal in Christianity" I'm not sure. If you mean his existence...I absolutely agree. If you are talking about "his" teachings....no, they are not universally accepted.

Re "I said that what YOU SAID made a degree of intuitive sense to me. Learn to take a compliment, homey." OH....OK....Your post makes a whole lot more sense to ME now. LOL

If you reread what you wrote, I could be forgiven for assuming you were saying that the bible made intuitive sense to you. Anyway...it doesn't matter now...I now get it.
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