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View Poll Results: Did Jesus physically ascend to heaven?
Yes he did 20 31.75%
No he didn't, it is a pointless fabrication 21 33.33%
No, it is figurative 22 34.92%
Voters: 63. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-23-2008, 10:52 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by coemgen View Post
How is it definitely a fabrication?
For the same reason people believe it literally happened. Faith.

I have faith it's a complete crock.
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Old 11-23-2008, 10:53 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by toscano View Post
I think the 'pointless' gets lost a bit as people may focus on the 'fabrication' part.

it is definitely a fabrication, but there is a point to it, albeit not a terribly altruistic one.
I interpreted the question as how it affected me personally. For me it definitely is a pointless fabrication, though that doesn't mean that it can't have a point in someone else's lives.
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Old 11-23-2008, 10:58 AM   #48
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For the same reason people believe it literally happened. Faith.

I have faith it's a complete crock.
What about the resurrection and other parts of the Gospels? Do you have faith that they're a crock, too?
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Old 11-23-2008, 11:05 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by coemgen View Post
What about the resurrection and other parts of the Gospels? Do you have faith that they're a crock, too?
I believe jesus existed, but as for virgin births, miracles, raising the dead, resurrection, ascensions, son of "god', all a crock imho.
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Old 11-23-2008, 11:29 AM   #50
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I believe jesus existed, but as for virgin births, miracles, raising the dead, resurrection, ascensions, son of "god', all a crock imho.
And you're totally entitled to your opinion. I'd just urge you to look into the argument of the other side. There's more substance to it than one would think.

Consider the facts that following the death of Christ: his disciples died for their faith and what they experienced, there were radical changes in Jewish social structures that had been in place for centuries (a sharp decline in animal sacrifices, etc.), you have a sudden rise in the celebrations of baptism and Communion (practices that wouldn't entirely make sense without a resurrection, especially Christian baptism), and you have the rapid growth of a faith that eventually overwhelms the Roman empire and continues to flourish today.

Would all this have happened if he simply died?
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Old 11-23-2008, 11:34 AM   #51
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My honest answer to most if not all of these questions is that I don't know.

And a while ago I decided that it really didn't matter and I wasn't going to spend my life obsessing over it. Live a good life, do no harm, whatever happens afterwards is what happens afterwards. If there is a higher power, it will sort us out in ways that I think might leave the believers surprised. If there isn't, well then we just go back to the same state of non-existence that we were in before we were born. Either way, I'm not too bothered by it.
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Old 11-23-2008, 11:39 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by coemgen View Post

Would all this have happened if he simply died?
I believe it did.

I've done my homework, I just don't buy it !

I've never seen a trillion dollars but it's not a leap of faith to say they exist. I've never seen gravity but it's not a leap of faith to assume it's for real.

The whole God/Miracles/Jesus/Resurrection/Abraham/Adam/Eve/Rapture thing just asks too much of me to put aside disbelief and just believe.

I respect your beliefs and anyone who *actually* walks the walk of Jesus' message of love, tolerance, forgiveness and helping the poor as opposed to the hate, bigotry, wars-for-profit-and-oil, and free-market-at-all-costs Jesus crowd, which wasn't taught in my Catholic school upbringing...
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Old 11-23-2008, 11:58 AM   #53
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no sale-they both happened.

<>
I've got some questions that I would like a religious person to answer:

1. Look I respect your opinion and if you get lots of benefit from your beliefs then that's great, but what tells you without a shadow of a doubt that you know that the above events happened?

2. Is it faith (belief without proof) or is it actual personal knowledge. Is the bible incorruptable?

3. Is there a possibility that if Jesus could talk to Paul or Joseph Smith that there would be no disagreements?

4. Where is this certainty coming from? I know Mormons live a long time because they don't smoke, drink or do drugs which is good but where is the proof that is necessary to show the rest of us unenlightened that the bible is not a moral fable and is in fact a history at the level beyond Herodetus let alone Thucydides?

5. If I was a historian and I wanted to prove Satan wrong how could I move forward without abandoning historical evidence and jumping onto faith?

6. What happens to a person who lives on a communal farm in China and is not exposed to Christianity? Do those people go to hell because they learned Confucianism/Communism instead?

7. If I become a Mormon and I do so because I want to go to heaven out of fear, am I being moral for its own sake or self-interested?

I mean question 7 comes from looking at St. Augustine's City of God where God deems Grace to some and not others no matter what actions you took in your life. This strand eventually lead to Luther and then Calvin with predestination. I'm not even touching on Mormonism yet which involves Indians in the Americas being deemed Jews painted of color because of God's judgment. What archeologist could believe that when all the evidence shows they are Mongols and not Semitic?

What about the belief that God was once man and man was once a God? Even Aquinas could understand the concept of the "First Cause" to stop Joseph Smith in his tracks:

Cosmological argument - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Humans always ask the question "what came before?"

The problem is we have evidence and knowledge through history and archeology and it's hard to throw that away in favor of faith in books written by people. History books and archeology books are more books by people who only change their minds when compelling evidence shows otherwise. Archeologists have artifacts, carbon dating to match with historical texts. Do Mormons have evidence that isn't doctored? Are scientists Satanic?

Now I've been polite to many Mormons who have knocked on my door and I've invited them in and they could never answer these arguments without faith in the Bible and the book of Mormon.

If Christians are just relying on faith shouldn't they say "I believe this to be true" instead of saying that it happened like they witnessed it themselves?" This leads to a very disturbing thought: Is the prescription for belief in the accuracy of Christianity based on evidence that's supposed to be scientificially accurate?

I know there is fear that when people abandon religion they can throw out the baby with the bath water and invent new ones that are even worse. Eg. The Da Vinci Code which posits that the holy grail is a vagina.

Brace Yourselves! Holy Grail Is... | The New York Observer

Reading this movie review was more fun than watching the movie itself.

Without the self-discipline that is engendered with religion the fabric of society can fall, unless people seek morality and ethics for themselves, which I think is possible.

There are lots of atheists who go in the other direction and say "there is no God" but also have no explanation for our existence and create materialistic religions like Marxism that talk about a heaven on earth, or Marxist environmentalists that look at the fall of man as industry and we need to pay a tithe (carbon taxes) to Al Gore proponents on the faith that the world will be saved if we do so.

There is definately a danger following a loss in Christian faith, but isn't it possible for humans to find multiple sources of understanding in ethics and morality so we can judge for ourselves right and wrong and be self reliant?

When I look at religious groups all I see is business models, networking and marketing.

For now I just say "let me look at the evidence so far but until then the after life and creation are a question mark because no one knows for a fact either way."
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Old 11-23-2008, 12:09 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by purpleoscar View Post
7. If I become a Mormon and I do so because I want to go to heaven out of fear, am I being moral for its own sake or self-interested?

I mean question 7 comes from looking at St. Augustine's City of God where God deems Grace to some and not others no matter what actions you took in your life. This strand eventually lead to Luther and then Calvin with predestination. I'm not even touching on Mormonism yet which involves Indians in the Americas being deemed Jews painted of color because of God's judgment. What archeologist could believe that when all the evidence shows they are Mongols and not Semitic?
You might like Mortimer Adler then, who was probably one of the last secular philosophers to specialize in Aristotelian and Thomist philosophy. His observations on religion are very interesting, as it is neither a position of unthinking adoration nor contempt.

Quote:
"I suggest that the men and women who have given up religion because of the impact on their minds of modern science and philosophy were never truly religious in the first place, but only superstitious. The prevalence and predominance of science in our culture has cured a great many of the superstitious beliefs that constituted their false religiosity. The increase of secularism and irreligion in our society does not reflect a decrease in the number of persons who are truly religious, but a decrease in the number of those who are falsely religious; that is, merely superstitious. There is no question but that science is the cure for superstition, and, if given half the chance with education, it will reduce the amount that exists. The truths of religion must be compatible with the truths of science and the truths of philosophy. As scientific knowledge advances, and as philosophical analysis improves, religion is progressively purified of the superstitions that accidentally attach themselves to it as parasites. That being so, it is easier in fact to be more truly religious today than ever before, precisely because of the advances that have been made in science and philosophy. That is to say, it is easier for those who will make the effort to think clearly in and about religion, not for those whose addiction to religion is nothing more than a slavish adherence to inherited superstition. Throughout the whole of the past, only a small number of men were ever truly religious. The vast majority who gave their epochs and their societies the appearance of being religious were primarily and essentially superstitious.”
Adler, though, would disagree with attempts to label "atheism" as just another religion.

Quote:
"For my part, I respect the honest clear-minded atheist who denies that God exists and tries to offer thought out reasons for the denial. I respect the honest, critically minded agnostic who denies we can ever know whether God exists or not, and treats religious belief as a pure act of faith, incapable of being supported or challenged by rational analysis or empirical knowledge of the world. I respect the person who, in his horror of the superstitions and persecutions that have attended the practices of religious institutions, rejects the whole of religion as something from which man should emancipate himself. But I cannot respect those who corrupt the integrity of words in the very act of addressing matters of central importance in theology and religion. I cannot respect those who instead of calling atheism by its right name, contrive a peculiar set of excuses for atheism (as in the "death of God movement") and then -- in spite of laws against false labeling -- call the result a new theology."
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Old 11-23-2008, 02:02 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by coemgen View Post

So, again, it's kind of a flawed poll if you're trying to figure out how many "godless" FYMers there are.

Of course, those who aren't Godless, but aren't Christian don't really count either in the poll, or the discussion.
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Old 11-23-2008, 02:10 PM   #56
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6. What happens to a person who lives on a communal farm in China and is not exposed to Christianity? Do those people go to hell because they learned Confucianism/Communism instead?

First off, I don't consider myself to be religious; I consider myself to be spiritual. To be religious, to me, is mostly about being more concerned with the legislative side of whatever religion you follow, and less about your relationship with God. Does that make sense?

In regards to your sixth question, that is one of my all-time biggest questions. I even have a hard time believing that non-Christians, who are exposed to Christianity, are destined for hell simply because they are not Christian.

I believe God is the final judge and only He will decide who goes to Heaven or not. I think we will all be surprised who gets in or not. I believe no one has the right to question who goes to Heaven, because like I said, God is the final judge.

I take to heart what a St Thomas Aquinas once said, "I've met people who never heard of the name Jesus, but were closer to God than a priest or a nun."

That says a lot.
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Old 11-23-2008, 02:21 PM   #57
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You might like Mortimer Adler then, who was probably one of the last secular philosophers to specialize in Aristotelian and Thomist philosophy. His observations on religion are very interesting, as it is neither a position of unthinking adoration nor contempt.

Adler, though, would disagree with attempts to label "atheism" as just another religion.
Wow thanks! I would like to look into that. I've heard his name but never got to reading any of his books.

If my post wasn't clear I'll say that there are probably many Atheists that don't fall into secular religions. I've just seen many atheists in university
that treat their heaven on earth philosophy in a faith based way, or superstitious way as Adler would say. Another example I remember Bono talking about heaven on earth on the Vertigo Tour in Poland. This Marxism mixed with a practicing Christian faith is hilarious to me. What should we call it? Transcendental materialism?
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Old 11-23-2008, 02:43 PM   #58
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I take to heart what a St Thomas Aquinas once said, "I've met people who never heard of the name Jesus, but were closer to God than a priest or a nun."

That says a lot.
Aquinas is very sympathetic. That strand of Augustine (Platonic) and Aquinas (Aristotelian) has had its lasting effect on the church. People get pulled to different conclusions. Augustine's City of Man is quite disturbing to believers as it should be. Many humans yearn for a meritocracy.

It's just stark that humans can invent ideas that are more consistent than the bible, but then again the bible is a collection of books and authors who try and put their stamp on their beliefs. It's like a screenplay done by committee that has plot holes. You will not find all the answers in the bible.

I've also talked to a friend at work about the Koran. He talks and acts in a modern way but when he proceeded to tell me in a very calm, and in an as matter of fact way, how we don't need Democracy because Islam is a holistic political and religious system and Sharia law is all we need I couldn't believe what he said. I mean if you don't like Democracy why immigrate to Canada? He's from Pakistan and it technically is supposed to be a democracy so I think he's disgusted with the democratic example he has seen and yearns for an end to it.

So far I'm liking Buddhism and especially Stoicism. I don't agree with all their tenets but much of their personal ethics seems to be steeped in human experience. I agree that there is a mystery of consciousness and life that makes it irresistible to pursue some kind of spirituality.
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Old 11-23-2008, 02:47 PM   #59
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My honest answer to most if not all of these questions is that I don't know.

And a while ago I decided that it really didn't matter and I wasn't going to spend my life obsessing over it. Live a good life, do no harm, whatever happens afterwards is what happens afterwards. If there is a higher power, it will sort us out in ways that I think might leave the believers surprised. If there isn't, well then we just go back to the same state of non-existence that we were in before we were born. Either way, I'm not too bothered by it.
I see where you're coming from. And an honest I don't know is not a bad thing.

Just a few questions though —What's a good life? What's the standard? What if a higher power reached out to us and we don't take his hand —would you really just want him to sort it out in the end?

I'm not asking these questions to guilt you into anything, just throwing them out there for discussion. Also, just to speak from a personal perspective, I don't see myself obsessing over all of this. It truly is a relational thing for me. And I'm not in the relationship to "stay out of hell," I'm in it to live my life as God intended it to be, experience God's love and love him back.
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Old 11-23-2008, 03:04 PM   #60
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I believe it did.

I've done my homework, I just don't buy it !

I've never seen a trillion dollars but it's not a leap of faith to say they exist. I've never seen gravity but it's not a leap of faith to assume it's for real.

The whole God/Miracles/Jesus/Resurrection/Abraham/Adam/Eve/Rapture thing just asks too much of me to put aside disbelief and just believe.

I respect your beliefs and anyone who *actually* walks the walk of Jesus' message of love, tolerance, forgiveness and helping the poor as opposed to the hate, bigotry, wars-for-profit-and-oil, and free-market-at-all-costs Jesus crowd, which wasn't taught in my Catholic school upbringing...
That's fine if you don't buy it, I just enjoy the discussion.

I guess it all depends on if there's a God. If there is, it's not far-fetched to believe in miracles, resurrection, virgin birth, etc.

I agree with actually walking out Jesus' message. I'm trying to do so. It's not easy, but it's been a good path for me to take.
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