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Old 02-02-2013, 05:21 PM   #106
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And this is why I'm so anti-religion

Four US states considering laws that challenge teaching of evolution
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Old 02-02-2013, 06:29 PM   #107
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I think it's nothing more than to inflate our own self worth. "See, we are just like HIM!". If that were true, then God is not a perfect being, since we humans are extremly imperfect in every aspect of our lives.
By what standard do you, BEAL, judge all mankind "extremely imperfect in every aspect" if not by God? When you close your eyes and imagine "perfect" what do you see?

Now it so happens that followers of the major religions happen to share your view. We too see mankind as imperfect but we also have an objective standard by which we are judged. I don't judge my perfection against others, I judge my perfection, or lack of, to God. People of different faiths believe as well that they have a pathway to perfection; sacrifice, atonement, self-realization, reincarnation, yoga, good deeds, etc. I happen to believe in personal salvation through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

If your primary worldview is Leftism (and you know who you are!!) then you put your hopes for human perfection in collective redemption through secular utopianism. And speaking of our 44th president. Chris Mathews just recently said of him quote: "He’s not only never broken any law–he’s never done anything wrong. He’s the perfect father. The perfect husband. The perfect American.” So perhaps Beal it is Barack Obama you judge all of mankind by.

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I think if you put God a character, it's a more interesting story (albeit cruel in most parts of the story), but we'd probably have less violence and misery if we all understood our holy books to be 2000 year old stories
What's the proof for that statement? Feel free to expand on that thought.

Most "holy" stories are much older than 2000 years-old by the way but as you must perpetually slam Christianity I'd put the past 1000 years of monotheistic Judeo/Christian-centered Western civilization against any other civilization you'd care to champion as far as advancing human rights, self-determination, economic prosperity, scientific advancement and personal liberty. And yes, it too has been "imperfect."
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Old 02-02-2013, 07:11 PM   #108
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Nobody is perfect Indy.

I don't claim to be, and I never will. I don't see some utopian future where everyone gets along and society runs without hiccup.

What I would like to see is a society that is allow all of it's law abiding members to prosper, or given an equal chance to prosper. Everyone is given the same human rights.

But I'm not stupid to think there won't be discrimination, that there won't be hate, or wars, or silly arguments over silly beliefs. That's human nature.

Yes those old stories (holy books) served a purpose back then, and to some people they still server a purpose. But they're just stories. Nothing in the bible is so awe inspiring that it changed the way life is lived or will be lived. Many people lived by the golden rule without hearing about Jesus.

And many people have and will descriminate against women, gays, and minorities without needing a God to justify or hide behind
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Old 02-02-2013, 07:48 PM   #109
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I'd put the past 1000 years of monotheistic Judeo/Christian-centered Western civilization against any other civilization you'd care to champion as far as advancing human rights, self-determination, economic prosperity, scientific advancement and personal liberty.
Inversely proportionate to the influence religion has had on any of those aspects you mentioned. If not for the Enlightenment, we'd still be toiling in the mud that was the religiously centered middle ages.

Good to see you back, Indy.
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Old 02-02-2013, 08:42 PM   #110
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I believe that Jesus of Nazareth was the human
image of the universal invisible God.
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Old 02-02-2013, 08:51 PM   #111
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What did Jesus look like?
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Old 02-02-2013, 08:52 PM   #112
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It is said that god made mankind in his own image. What do you think this means?
That was written millennia ago, by a single group of people. I believe this was how the Israelites interpreted God back then, without Greek influence or any others.

That said, it depends on what you mean by image. I don't think it means physical image because we are all different. I also wonder if God is actually humanoid, or just a formless energy force, or something I cannot comprehend.
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Old 02-03-2013, 01:34 AM   #113
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I'm an atheist, and my views have essentially been the same my entire life (although I've grown slightly more able to articulate them over the past decade and a half, than in the first decade and a half as one would expect). I didn't even hate going to church as a kid, because I went to a really small Methodist church where about 6-12 people sat around and discussed ideas for an hour or two, sang some songs, and no one damned anyone to hell for disagreeing. I had a minister who flat out told me that he admits to not having read very word of the bible, does not see it as an unerring, unflawed word of god to be taken literally. I liked that guy, even if I did disagree with the whole concept of needing god in my life.

First and foremost, since i think it encompasses the biggest issues i have with religion: i disagree with the contradictory nature of religion. With Christianity, i should believe in a kind and loving god who cared so much about me that he gave his son up for my sins, because if I don't believe in him I'm going to burn for all of eternity? Seems like that love is a little more exclusive a club, now. Then you have the bible, from which quotes can be taken and twisted to justify absolutely anything, regardless of how atrocious and criminal it may be, but remember folks, thou shalt not kill. Raw statistics can be twisted to justify pretty much any argument, as well, so I guess I should regard pie charts as holy? Graphs actually have one better, at best they compile meaningful data. At worst, they're man-made works of fiction...see where I'm going with this?


Saying something is God's will too flys directly in the face of logic, free will, and reasoning. I must think for myself, yet I must follow some mythical being's plan for me? So as a human, separated from other genetically similar mammals first an foremost by being capable of reason, I'm also absolved of all this because there's a divine being going around and willing things otherwise?


I do tend to agree with axver on the batshit craziness of militant atheism. Truth is, I spend almost no time whatsoever actually thinking about the existence of a god. I was listening to a band called flatfoot 56 recently, who do identify as a Christian band. I've always had a blast at their shows, enjoyed the album, but felt incredibly uncomfortable reading interviews with faith-based questions. It's simply not a part of my everyday life because I don't believe in it. I'm not sure what the statement "I'm not religious, but I'm spiritual" means, other than I just assumed it to be something along the lines of I don't go to church, but if it comes down to heaven or hell when I die ill say whatever they want to hear.

As people have said, Answering these questions as an actual list or meme is pretty much impossible since they are geared toward an assumption that the person answering believes in some form of divine being/beings. And I have no fucking clue what the one about the war on Christmas even means.
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:49 AM   #114
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I'm sorry, but what is a bat shit crazy about a militant atheist? Is it more this person is just annoying in that they talk a lot?

Now compare that to a militant christian who bombs a abortion clinic or a militant muslim who blows himself up at a market.

I'd much rather deal with listening to Richard Dawkins
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:13 AM   #115
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I'm sorry, but what is a bat shit crazy about a militant atheist? Is it more this person is just annoying in that they talk a lot?

Now compare that to a militant christian who bombs a abortion clinic or a militant muslim who blows himself up at a market.

I'd much rather deal with listening to Richard Dawkins
They said that they don't like militant atheism, not that they like militant atheism less than fundamentalist Christianity/Islam.
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:26 AM   #116
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I'm sorry, but what is a bat shit crazy about a militant atheist? Is it more this person is just annoying in that they talk a lot?

Now compare that to a militant christian who bombs a abortion clinic or a militant muslim who blows himself up at a market.

I'd much rather deal with listening to Richard Dawkins
I don't like having anyone shoving their ideology down my throat. No shit, blowing up abortion clinics, suicide bombers, etc are far worse than someone preaching at me. I am also well aware of the fact that there aren't numerous accounts throughout history of ethnic cleansings in the name of atheism (they're all in the name of a major religion, in fact). But I don't see how attempting to force a disbelief in god on someone is any different than one of the basic things I hate about religion--the self-proclaimed devout trying to convert me. While I agreed with essentially every point Hitchens made in God is Not Great, at times it got a little tedious like it was trying to convert me in the same way that band I mentioned came off in a couple interview clips I watched. With the Hitchens book, it was preaching to the choir, forcing me to think yes, I know, I agree, now get on with it! Rather than the creepy sense that wow, these Christian guys really want people to come to their shows and "get saved." The latter feels much more sinister to me because I disagree with it, but a convention celebrating atheism (as axver mentioned) is really just the same brainwashing lunacy as a festival like cornerstone.
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:22 PM   #117
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The 'militant' atheism is more a reaction to the fundamental religious groups. There needs to be strong opposition or else the shit like in that link at the top of the page gets put through and nobody says anything. If the religious fundamentalists went away (please, go away), the 'militant' atheism wouldn't be needed.

And IWB, if you're reading God is Not Great under your own free will, you're not allowed to complain about feeling like Hitchens was trying to convert you. It's kind of the point of the book.
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:25 PM   #118
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but a convention celebrating atheism (as axver mentioned) is really just the same brainwashing lunacy as a festival like cornerstone.
There is nothing in atheism akin to brainwashing. If anything, it's brain unwashing. It promotes skepticism, free thinking, and logic. I would never attend one, but it certainly isn't lunacy
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Old 02-03-2013, 01:39 PM   #119
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These questions were posed to specifically elicit personal beliefs and understandings just to see how individuals view faith.

It was not meant to be anti-religion or anti-atheism/agnosticism. It was not meant to promote any religion--some of the questions may be Christian-centric, but it is culturally the religion I'm most familiar with. It was not meant to promote belief at all. I just wanted to hear individual responses and tried to pose the questions in such a way that
talking points weren't solicited.

I see the danger (and often the idiocy) of fundamental radical religious belief and its interference in society. My history here as an agnostic is pretty well documented as is my history here of curiosity about individuals and their approaches to many facets of life, including but not exclusive to religion.

My intent is that the thread be nonjudgmental--a kind of Studs Terkel-influenced thread to see what people do and what they think and what they believe. That being said, I don't control the thread or the direction it takes. There have been many other threads opened for the express purpose of the type of discussion unfolding. And although I might wish for the discussion to focus on the questions, if wishes were horses....
I will admit to a literary and philosophical interest in the concept of god, whether or not I believe in one.

I am a huge fan of Dawkins' evolution books and have read and kept most of them, but I have no need of someone to convince me (or validate me) one way or the other. I will probably get to The God Delusion soon enough. I expect to start going through Hitchens in the next year or so.
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Old 02-03-2013, 01:44 PM   #120
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It is said that god made mankind in his own image. What do you think this means?

(I'm also interested in the answers of those who see the Bible as a literary work and god as a character--how would you answer that question as a literature student?)
Certainly my (literary) take on this was to determine whether this statement tells us about the nature of mankind or of god.

Does it tell us, that like god, we were made as creators and also destroyers?

Or does it tell us that about god that he is as flawed as humans are?

The statement does not say we are made in god's imperfect image.
There's no qualifier there.
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