Greeting from a Christian
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27-02-2013, 01:24 PM (This post was last modified: 27-02-2013 01:32 PM by Vosur.)
RE: Greeting from a Christian
(27-02-2013 01:23 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  Welcome DeathMarch. There's a bunch of other programmers around here as well. ... Most ain't Christian, though. ... Hell, the crazier ones think they're their own personal Jesus. Smile
And then there's that crazy prophet who worships the actress Gwyneth Paltrow as if she were a goddess. Confused

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27-02-2013, 01:50 PM (This post was last modified: 27-02-2013 02:07 PM by DarthMarth.)
RE: Greeting from a Christian
Well, I see I had nothing to worry about. Thanks for the warm welcome. Smile Kind of a lot of questions, but I'll do my best.
Phaedrus:
1. I attend an evangelical free church ("free" meaning there is no external body or organization that controls us, just our members). Though I do feel at home there, I don't identify too strongly with that denomination or any, or feel bound to agree with them on everything.
2. Hell: Yes, but I think the common conception of hell as a place of "eternal, conscious torture" held by many Christians (and atheists) is misleading at best, harmful at worst. Original sin: In the sense of people being innately sinful, yes. In the sense of Adam somehow being the source of this inherited tendency, no. Vicarious redemption: Not too familiar with the phrase, but I think so.
3. Just studied the book of James a few weeks ago, which basically says you need good works to be "saved". My view on this is similar to that of other Protestants in that good works are the proof and inevitable result of having faith that saves.
4. Science: The best and most useful (you could argue only) way we have of learning truth about the natural universe.
5. Big bang: Yes. Abiogenesis: Still hard to believe, but presumably it happened one way or another. It's incredibly unlikely that inorganic molecules would "happen" to assemble themselves into self-reproducing matter, but then there are a lot of other incredibly unlikely things that led to us being here. Evolution: Yes.

Chas: No, just Godless and Deconverted. No offense, but because of the tone (especially that of Dawkins' introduction to Godless) they aren't exactly fun reading for a Christian. Is there any particular reason I should look into them as well? (Godless seemed fairly comprehensive)

kingschosen:
1. I have done a lot of thinking on Calvinism vs. Arminianism and I don't think it's a simple matter of "predestination vs. free will". Basically, I think the two are the results of Christians interpreting the Bible with two different sets of philosophical presuppositions, or definitions or terms like "free will", "causation", "determinism", and so on. I fall pretty close to Arminianism.
2. Either a theistic evolutionist or an evolutionary creationist. What is the different between the two?
3. Basically that Jesus is coming back (in one year, one hundred years, ten thousand...hopefully before we destroy ourselves!), and it will be impossible to miss. Beyond that, I have no idea. I'd have to look into it more.
4. I don't believe in biblical literalism or inerrancy. I suppose this would make my theology more on the liberal side. For example, the Bible presupposed (doesn't argue) that the sky is a solid dome, because that's what the authors believed. Does that mean we should believe the same? Of course not. I do believe the Genesis 1 account was written literally--from the ancient viewpoint and worldview of the Hebrews. If you try to read it from a modern, scientific perspective, you're either going to tie your brain in knots trying to reconcile the two or conclude that it's BS.
5. I have been doing a lot of ANE history and culture research in the last month or so, which has been fascinating and helpful. I am planning on starting a MATS (MA in Theological Studies) this summer focusing on studying the Bible in Greek and Hebrew. Right now I just dabble in biblical Greek word studies.
6. PM totally sent.

Vosur: Going right to the jugular!
1. Yes. (Perhaps this means I don't "get" 1 Corinthians 15:19, but even with no eternal hope I would rather live as a Christian than not)
2. Not sure what you mean here; this is kind of a vague question. Epistemological basis? Explanative basis?
3. Yes. Unlike in Seth Andrews' account, I definitely don't feel like I was "indoctrinated" into the faith. I honestly wasn't too curious about faith at all until my second half of high school, and I don't feel like that interest was because Christianity was drilled into my head--more like the slow awakening of a desire to actually explore what everyone had been telling me about for myself.

GirlyMan: That is an awesome misspelling of my name, but the real one is better. It was inspired by Marth with a Beam Sword in SSBM.

"Know that we own minds that could devour the sun/And what we've done will remain although it's gone" - Scar Symmetry
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27-02-2013, 01:57 PM
RE: Greeting from a Christian
Quote:I do believe the Genesis 1 account was written literally--from the
ancient viewpoint and worldview of the Hebrews. If you try to read it
from a modern, scientific perspective, you're either going to tie your
brain in knots trying to reconcile the true or conclude that it's BS.


Glad to hear that. Brain tied in knots... Well that's a pretty good description of Kent Hovind, Ken Ham, Kirk Cameron, and the gang. Tongue

E 2 = (mc 2)2 + (pc )2
614C → 714N + e + ̅νe
2 K(s) + 2 H2O(l) → 2 KOH(aq) + H2 (g) + 196 kJ/mol
It works, bitches.
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27-02-2013, 02:10 PM (This post was last modified: 27-02-2013 02:13 PM by Vosur.)
RE: Greeting from a Christian
(27-02-2013 01:50 PM)DarthMarth Wrote:  Vosur: Going right to the jugular!
That's how I roll. Cool

(27-02-2013 01:50 PM)DarthMarth Wrote:  1. Yes. (Perhaps this means I don't "get" 1 Corinthians 15:19, but even with no eternal hope I would rather live as a Christian than not)
That's certainly an interesting response. Why is it that you prefer to live as a Christian as opposed to living as a non-believer/non-Christian?

(27-02-2013 01:50 PM)DarthMarth Wrote:  2. Not sure what you mean here; this is kind of a vague question. Epistemological basis? Explanative basis?
You're right, I'm sorry for the lack of clarification. I was asking on what evidential basis you believe. In other words, are you a Christian because the available empirical evidence supports your beliefs or because you have faith that they are true? Perhaps your answer constitutes a third option that is not foreseen in my question's dichotomy, in which case you should feel free to correct it.

In any case, thanks for answering my questions so far. Bear with me, there's probably going to be a lot more where these came from.

(27-02-2013 01:50 PM)DarthMarth Wrote:  3. Yes. Unlike in Seth Andrews' account, I definitely don't feel like I was "indoctrinated" into the faith. I honestly wasn't too curious about faith at all until my second half of high school, and I don't feel like that interest was because Christianity was drilled into my head--more like the slow awakening of a desire to actually explore what everyone had been telling me about for myself.
All right, I see. It was more or less the same for me, albeit it seems that I've come to a different conclusion.

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27-02-2013, 02:10 PM
RE: Greeting from a Christian
(27-02-2013 01:57 PM)Phaedrus Wrote:  
Quote:I do believe the Genesis 1 account was written literally--from the
ancient viewpoint and worldview of the Hebrews. If you try to read it
from a modern, scientific perspective, you're either going to tie your
brain in knots trying to reconcile the true or conclude that it's BS.
Glad to hear that. Brain tied in knots... Well that's a pretty good description of Kent Hovind, Ken Ham, Kirk Cameron, and the gang. Tongue
Ken Ham's fascination with dinosaurs (and people riding them) utterly mystifies me.

"Know that we own minds that could devour the sun/And what we've done will remain although it's gone" - Scar Symmetry
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27-02-2013, 02:11 PM
RE: Greeting from a Christian
(27-02-2013 01:50 PM)DarthMarth Wrote:  Chas: No, just Godless and Deconverted. No offense, but because of the tone (especially that of Dawkins' introduction to Godless) they aren't exactly fun reading for a Christian. Is there any particular reason I should look into them as well? (Godless seemed fairly comprehensive)

Those two books are very informative and would help you understand a large proportion of the members of this forum.

And if you haven't read them, how do you know what the tone is?

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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27-02-2013, 02:21 PM
RE: Greeting from a Christian
Welcome new guy Smile

Um yeah... so... see ya around...

BTW sometimes Christians don't feel... hella welcome here Undecided It's basically because... our idea of being nice is different to yours, I think. So be prepared for

Lots of swearing.
Lots of anti-God anti-Jesus stuff.
The odd ad-hominem.
Trolls.

If you filter that stuff out then there's some interesting stuff that goes on and lots of boring stuff.

I also get your point about not wanting to read God delusion. I read it for the first time a while back and loved it and started recommending it to lots of people but they all hated it and I couldn't figure out why - then I realised it's 'cos Dawkins doesn't bother to hide his dislike of religion *at all*, and that can be a very bitter pill to take for many - and they get so riled over *that* that they don't realise that the *arguments* and logic are very well laid out, indeed beautifully so... so yeah, I think it's really a nice book for atheists, but not for people who're just looking around for a different perspective but still theists.
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27-02-2013, 02:29 PM
RE: Greeting from a Christian
Well, aren't you a brave soul. I look forward to reading your answers to the questions some have put to you. I'll reserve my questions for later.
welcome.
tj
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27-02-2013, 02:45 PM
RE: Greeting from a Christian
Chas: Dawkins' foreword to Godless was, to say the least, unpleasant towards people with any kind of faith, and unless a book like it made some important points that Godless doesn't, I wouldn't place a huge priority on reading it. I do understand that it is one of the most important books of the "new atheism" movement, so there's a decent chance I will get it eventually.
(27-02-2013 02:10 PM)Vosur Wrote:  That's certainly an interesting response. Why is it that you prefer to live as a Christian as opposed to living as a non-believer/non-Christian?
Perhaps a similar reason to some of the critiques I read of the "Christian" values in the Bible in Godless. For some, like the violence in the Old Testament, it's natural for a modern reader to be shocked. For other virtues, like the emphasis on, say, poverty or humility, it seemed like Barker was mostly expressing personal dissatisfaction or disagreement with them as ethics; they don't conform to his definition of what it means to live a "good" life. I guess I'm the opposite, then. Though I won't force it on others, I genuinely prefer, say, giving away a large portion of my income (which I can spare from being a software engineer) rather than keeping it for myself. Basically, I've internalized the moral teachings of Christianity, whereas Barker seems to have internalized a different morality that is not compatible with them. And you will tend to prefer living according with whatever morality you have internalized. (This is probably an incomplete response)
(27-02-2013 02:10 PM)Vosur Wrote:  You're right, I'm sorry for the lack of clarification. I was asking on what evidential basis you believe. In other words, are you a Christian because the available empirical evidence supports your beliefs or because you have faith that they are true? Perhaps your answer constitutes a third option that is not foreseen in the dichotomy of my question, in which case you should feel free to correct it.

In any case, thanks for answering my questions so far. Bear with me, there's probably going to be a lot more where these came from.
You might be onto something with your "third option". Part of the reason I joined is because I'm wondering if theists and atheists have different epistemologies (philosophies of knowledge and truth), with the skeptical one placing a high emphasis on evidence and proof as the basis for knowledge. For me, I'm not sure the skeptical model of "weigh the evidence for and against a claim before believing anything" as if you were in a court room is universally applicable. I've heard arguments that the alternative to this model is just believing whatever you want (Barker wrote "With faith, anything goes"), but this seems like the same kind of reasoning that leads fundamentalists to demand Biblical literalism because without it, "you can interpret the Bible however you want". There is also a definite feedback effect where your starting point (which is never really neutral) affects how you interpret the available evidence.

(27-02-2013 02:29 PM)TJLuczynski Wrote:  Well, aren't you a brave soul. I look forward to reading your answers to the questions some have put to you. I'll reserve my questions for later.
welcome.
tj
FYI, what I meant in my opening post was that I didn't come here just to debate. But if that can't be helped, ask away!

"Know that we own minds that could devour the sun/And what we've done will remain although it's gone" - Scar Symmetry
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27-02-2013, 03:05 PM (This post was last modified: 27-02-2013 03:10 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Greeting from a Christian
(27-02-2013 01:50 PM)DarthMarth Wrote:  GirlyMan: That is an awesome misspelling of my name, but the real one is better. It was inspired by Marth with a Beam Sword in SSBM.

Pffft, it's just something I do dude, DeathMatch. ... I mean for my own amusement and shit. Tongue I ain't never read no sorta "Atheist Manifesto" ... Never felt no need.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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