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Old 01-29-2009, 05:09 PM   #46
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I would definitely identify myself as a Christian. Grew up in a Christian, church going household. Went to a Christian private school. Have a great respect for the faith and it absolutely is a core part of what makes me.

The very right wing, politicized, kidnapped-by-Republicans-for-votes, very US-centric brand of Christianity that too often these days represents all of Christianity in it’s most public debates is about as foreign to me (and the faith I knew growing up) as Scientology.
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Old 01-29-2009, 05:11 PM   #47
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Well first off, I refrained from posting as long as I did because I really don't like to argue, and I'm not saying that you are.

I realize it was a sweeping generalization, I regret that, but on the hand I don't exactly, as, I really do seem to see the same actions coming on both sides.

If it's the individuals, that's one thing, and honestly, I completely understand where you're coming from in regards to that. I can't stand people who make me embarrassed for my faith (does that make sense?)

I realize it may seem stupid/idiotic/whatever to believe in some of the things Christians believe, I don't deny that, and so, most likely I avoid the opportunity to be ridiculed, because I believe them regardless.

And people are more than free to disagree with me, and I know many many people do.

The Christians who tell people how they must live their lives are not exactly doing what, to me, the Bible tells us to do, and for that, I can understand the reaction, the frustration that it may cause. I'm not trying to do that to anyone, but I see it around me, and like I said from the getgo, the people who make me angry/embarrassed for how they make Christianity at large look hurt more than the people who ridicule.

I think I already answered how I feel about this one? Preach the Gospel, IMO does not mean ram it down their throats, no.

Well, I'm not Catholic, but I completely understand what you mean. And since you said it's not addressed to me, I guess that doesn't matter lol.
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Old 01-29-2009, 05:22 PM   #48
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Right now in college I'm taking a Philosophy of Religion course.
I'm a Christian at heart, but in the mind, I'm pretty sure I'm not.
Nothing negates everything. Is it possible for God to create a rock so big that he himself cannot lift it? It's a question of faith rather than logic. Is there an all-powerful being out there? We all want something that is evident to all five senses.
Some feel that they don't have control over their lives if a God exists. Those who don't believe in God believe in God because they acknowledge a superior being.

I don't know where I'm going with this, but all I'm saying is that everyone has their own philosophy when it comes to religion. Whether you believe in something or not, it doesn't matter.
Sometimes physical evidence isn't enough. It's just.. I dunno.
I can't see love, touch love, taste love, smell love, neither can I hear love.. yet I believe in love.

There may be religion pushers out there, but don't forget, there are pushers who deny God and push others to feel the same.

I don't see any difference. Both are similar except with diverse views.

(I hope I didn't offend anyone either; I'm just sharing my perspective. Someone mentioned it before me, but I agree: theological debates are pretty sweet. So long as it doesn't get out of hand....)
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Old 01-29-2009, 05:24 PM   #49
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I realize it may seem stupid/idiotic/whatever to believe in some of the things Christians believe, I don't deny that, and so, most likely I avoid the opportunity to be ridiculed, because I believe them regardless.


so, just to make sure i understand you, there could be a specific belief that's a part of Christianity, and it might seem on it's face to be idiotic, but you still believe in it regardless because it is a part of Christianity?
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Old 01-29-2009, 05:33 PM   #50
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The entire enterprise is nonsense.

I cannot see how Christian doctrines can imbue the universe with significance when it makes it all a prelude for an afterlife. Is this why atheists have so much trouble being persuasive, the faith has diminished the beauty of the universe to the point it isn't enough?

I cannot grasp why we should accept a blood sacrifice in Palestine to forgive us for most sins. The notion that "he died for our sins" is disgusting, its unsurprising that it appeals to a demographic that enjoys torture pornography (note the blockbuster status of Passion of the Christ). I am not going to accept Jesus Christ, I can live a reasonably ethical life without theology; there are far fewer conundrums than when one decides to select a particular combination from an ancient text.

We are not responsible for the crimes of our forbears, accepting the notion of original sin seems wicked.

Then we have the problem of decent, there was no Adam and Eve, there was no fall of man, there is no need for redemption. If you are a Christian and you accept the mainstream scientific explanation for the origin of humanity then why are you a Christian? Does the death of Jesus have any bearing at all on why you believe, or do you only subscribe to the nicer parts of Jesus of Nazareth?

And onto the resurrection; why do you want magic tricks? Is it not enough to follow a good moral teacher, must you worship miraculous claims, taking them on faith and switching off your sceptical mind? Or if you don't accept the idea of miracles then why should you think that Jesus was the son of God, why should he be an object of worship? What can he be giving you today if he was anything less than supernatural?

Then there is the deprecating attitudes, the groveling smugness masquerading as piety which I always sense when people talk about how they are saved, that only accepting Jesus is able to forgive sins. While we may not be responsible for our ancestors crimes, we should be responsible for our own, I don't like people getting excused from their obligations with Jesus.
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Old 01-29-2009, 05:41 PM   #51
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i would also like to add that i'm really not much of a sinner.

sure, i'm not perfect, not at all, but i really don't think i violate too many of those commandments on a regular basis.

what do i have to apologize for? i can think of mistakes i've made, but i think i'd rather atone for them and learn from them rather than trot them out as proof that i'm shit and that i need someone to forgive me of them. i'm perfectly capable of forgiving myself as i am of forgiving others. i think that many of the reasons why people do bad things have to do with circumstances well beyond our control.

are we really that bad? don't people act however they do for very good reasons and not just because it feels good to be bad or something? if no harm comes from an action -- say, lustful thoughts, or smoking pot, or saying a swear -- how can it be sinful? you could argue that it's hurting yourself, but is it?
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Old 01-29-2009, 05:44 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by youtooellen View Post
Right now in college I'm taking a Philosophy of Religion course.
I'm a Christian at heart, but in the mind, I'm pretty sure I'm not.
Nothing negates everything. Is it possible for God to create a rock so big that he himself cannot lift it? It's a question of faith rather than logic. Is there an all-powerful being out there? We all want something that is evident to all five senses.
Some feel that they don't have control over their lives if a God exists. Those who don't believe in God believe in God because they acknowledge a superior being.

I don't know where I'm going with this, but all I'm saying is that everyone has their own philosophy when it comes to religion. Whether you believe in something or not, it doesn't matter.
Sometimes physical evidence isn't enough. It's just.. I dunno.
I can't see love, touch love, taste love, smell love, neither can I hear love.. yet I believe in love.

There may be religion pushers out there, but don't forget, there are pushers who deny God and push others to feel the same.

I don't see any difference. Both are similar except with diverse views.

(I hope I didn't offend anyone either; I'm just sharing my perspective. Someone mentioned it before me, but I agree: theological debates are pretty sweet. So long as it doesn't get out of hand....)
But you can measure love, you can see types of brain damage which prevent people from feeling love, the biological basis of emotions is a very reasonable position to hold. Making love a transcendent, and immeasurable experience, you are putting it off limits; that folksy homespun attitude may sound beautiful, but it is a case of reality denial.

The spiritual experience may be a lot like love, a brain state which imbues existence with significance and feelings of deep connectedness to people out there and something intrinsic about the universe. Why this happens is an avenue for investigation and understanding, but it is not wise to leap on board a theological explanation, because given the numbers you are likely to have picked the wrong theological explanation.

The beliefs that people hold have nothing to say about their reality. George Bush believed that Iraq had WMD stockpiles, Wall Street believed that Bernie Madoff was a solid operator, Joseph Priestly believed in phlogiston, Tanna Islanders believed that John Frum would return with more cargo etc.

The science of religious experience is going to be driving debate in the 21st Century, no doubt many will make them compatible, but for atheists it really seems like one more domain where God is not necessary to explain the phenomena.
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Old 01-29-2009, 05:46 PM   #53
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Ok this may be going off on a tangent but i dont like it sometimes when people talk about their faith in a way that it justifies their actions

The most annoying case for me being Tony Blair saying God will judge him for whatever happens in the middle east due to his war policy

That was rediculous. I'm sure the electorate at the next general election would have enough brains to judge whatever he did. He took the easy option out there. He could have said "i believe in God and with gods help i made these decisions but we will have to see what the people of the world think about them and what the conseqences are"

To me what he said is equally as bad as what muslim fanatics ramble on about

And once again this is from experience. I was in english class at school and the teacher was talking about a sci-fi novel which indicated a belief in the big bang theory. There were 2 christians who walked out the class as they refused to listen to the teacher. If you believe in what you believe, why is there the need to seek reassurance from others to say, ok your right? If you believe in something and dont go about hurting others then great. No need to get the rest of the world to pat you on the back.

Its not just some Christians who do this. I live with a muslim guy at uni who talks about his faith all the time. I think he gets the hint that i'm not interested at all when i leave the kitchen.

I also cant stand philosophy. Had a class on it at uni and it was torture. I am not too interested in the reasons of how we got here and why. I love history (did it at uni), but anything theoretical is a no-no for me. Life is so short. By the time you answere these questions you will have passed many years by. You got to make the most of it and just get on. If religion helps you do that then fair enough.
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Old 01-29-2009, 05:47 PM   #54
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are we really that bad? don't people act however they do for very good reasons and not just because it feels good to be bad or something? if no harm comes from an action -- say, lustful thoughts, or smoking pot, or saying a swear -- how can it be sinful? you could argue that it's hurting yourself, but is it?
Yes, sinful thinking is another horrific idea.

It is old fashioned thoughtcrime. I am supposed to be punished for what I think, how very practical for any powers wishing to control a population.

What type of masochist would embrace these ideas?
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Old 01-29-2009, 05:50 PM   #55
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And once again this is from experience. I was in english class at school and the teacher was talking about a sci-fi novel which indicated a belief in the big bang theory. There were 2 christians who walked out the class as they refused to listen to the teacher. If you believe in what you believe, why is there the need to seek reassurance from others to say, ok your right? If you believe in something and dont go about hurting others then great. No need to get the rest of the world to pat you on the back.

Its not just some Christians who do this. I live with a muslim guy at uni who talks about his faith all the time. I think he gets the hint that i'm not interested at all when i leave the kitchen.
Maybe it is because separatism and ignorance are valuable attitudes in certain religious movements.

The "intelligent design" movement is the classic example, it really is a dead end of faith.
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Old 01-29-2009, 05:50 PM   #56
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so, just to make sure i understand you, there could be a specific belief that's a part of Christianity, and it might seem on it's face to be idiotic, but you still believe in it regardless because it is a part of Christianity?
Yeah, I do. And I realize that brings ridicule down on me, but, it's my faith, and I don't see what harm it's doing anyone.

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i would also like to add that i'm really not much of a sinner.

sure, i'm not perfect, not at all, but i really don't think i violate too many of those commandments on a regular basis.

what do i have to apologize for? i can think of mistakes i've made, but i think i'd rather atone for them and learn from them rather than trot them out as proof that i'm shit and that i need someone to forgive me of them. i'm perfectly capable of forgiving myself as i am of forgiving others. i think that many of the reasons why people do bad things have to do with circumstances well beyond our control.

are we really that bad? don't people act however they do for very good reasons and not just because it feels good to be bad or something? if no harm comes from an action -- say, lustful thoughts, or smoking pot, or saying a swear -- how can it be sinful? you could argue that it's hurting yourself, but is it?

I don't consider any of that a sin, and I don't believe that God wants us to think that everything we do is a sin either. Living in guilt is not the way it's supposed to be, imo. No one's perfect.
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Old 01-29-2009, 05:59 PM   #57
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I think most religious people are normal, get on with their daily business and dont bother anyone else. Its the crazy few which place a bad name on everyone.

Some people take things way to seriously

In the UK the BBC got loads of criticism for showing Gerry Springer the Opera as it was meant to have offended Jews and Christians. I never saw it but there was a massive storm over it.
Jerry Springer: The Opera - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The same with the Danish Mohammed Cartoons. Yes it was wrong and offensive, but at least act with some dignity instead of buring down the Danish embassy in retaliation.

Hindus in India in Adoyha knocked down a 16th Century mosque in the 1990's as they believed that it was built on the site of a temple which signified where Rama was born. This led to mass riots and many deaths. Talk about going backwards!

Next i'll have a decendant from a farmer wherever i am in the UK saying "oy we used to have a farm where your house is in 1674! I want it back!"
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Old 01-29-2009, 06:05 PM   #58
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Why isn't living in guilt the "way it's supposed to be"?

How can you justify that intuition?

Quote:
Matthew 5:28

But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
This seems like a pretty clear statement on the issue, we can't lust after others, thinking about it is the equivalent of doing it. That meek and mild virgin is declaring my thinking about women in a sexual way to be the equivalent of having sex; if only.

Every Christian is a pick and mix Christian, they have to take what they find suitable for their lives, and what is consistent with their cultural norms, and turn it into their belief system. Any religious claims of perfect revelation are wrong, every single reader brings their own biases onto a text, even if the Bible was the inherent word of a creator deity the religious practices would still be inconsistent, and people would still let their own moral intuitions shape their religious beliefs.

Our evolved morality shapes our religious experience, our evolved morality is nearly a human universal, our evolved morality is why so many religious faiths and legalistic codes have common elements, our evolved morality is why atheists are able to be honourable people.

We are a species of animal with unrivaled culture and technology, our intelligence is a separating difference between us and our other chimp cousins, we don't need divinity to separate us from our origins, in fact accepting that fact and its implications is a solid exercise in the best type of humility.
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Old 01-29-2009, 06:08 PM   #59
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Yeah, I do. And I realize that brings ridicule down on me, but, it's my faith, and I don't see what harm it's doing anyone.


what if you had a gay child? or what if you had a best friend who told you that she had an abortion?

would circumstance and life experience ever come into play, or do you filter everything through your faith-based beliefs?
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Old 01-29-2009, 06:09 PM   #60
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In the UK the BBC got loads of criticism for showing Gerry Springer the Opera as it was meant to have offended Jews and Christians. I never saw it but there was a massive storm over it.
Jerry Springer: The Opera - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


i've seen it. it was deliciously offensive.
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