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Old 11-19-2004, 05:07 AM   #136
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Originally posted by deep
If to be happy
Is to be at peace with oneself and others
I highly recommend it.
Longing and desiring and striving for something outside of yourself will lead to nothing
If one is not at peace with oneself, to be happy is a good thing.
Maybe people have different ways of being at peace w/ themselves and others.

Striving for nothing outside of oneself seems like an extremely self-centered and unfulfilling way of living to me. I don't know of too many people who live that way, even if what they're "longing" for has nothing to do w/ faith, religion, or God. I'm assuming you are referring only to that.

That just seems like an unfair generalization to me. That's your philosophy and that's all well and good, but maybe it just doesn't work for all people
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Old 11-19-2004, 05:17 AM   #137
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just don't get it. And I think it's grossly unfair that if I were killed tomorrow I would have to be punished forever simply for how I was brought up and for having a questioning mind.
Here is an interesting attribute of God I'd like to bring up:

GOD IS FAIR.

Yes, and we do not completely understand how far his fairness goes. I can't tell you exactly how he decides who will be with him on the new earth (did you guys get that, I didn't say heaven).

But I do know that he laid out some requirements through the Word, and through Jesus. And that overall, you should consider the process of understanding these requirements, through reading, talking with others, praying, and just experiencing the hardships and joys of life, that you are refined into something pleasing to God, and closer to God, so you'll have a love for God when you are with him on the new earth.

The one thing that seems pretty clear, as NB point out, is that if you reject God because of ego, or because you think you know better, or because you obviously are superior to all those red state lemmings (sorry had to do it), and you walk away from God, then guess what, being with Him on the new earth, well, wouldn't exactly be the place for you, especially for eternity.

So are you going to be eternally tortued because of this? Some Christians think that, but many think that you'll just die, and be seperated from God. So, in that case, if you don't believe in him anyway, you're not missing out, because most people that don't believe in God, just believe that when they die it's over.

So back to the original question. God is fair. Some people have a sense of God through looking at creation around them, and have a relationship without ever knowing the Gospel and the sacrifice of Jesus. Others that die young, or reject the Gospel because of the way it was presented to them (e.g., a pedophiliac priest), God understands this and will be fair.

But for those that have had the opportunity laid out in front of them, know the Gospel, and reject it, then there is no place for them to be with God.

Heaven is not a reward, it's chance for those who know God, to be with him on a new earth. I don't know what it's going to be like, but as a believer, one who worships God for his wonderful attributes, I look forward to being with him.

Mark
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Old 11-19-2004, 05:19 AM   #138
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer
There is no god, there are quarks, leptons, bosons which all interact in the mish-mash of matter and energy known as the universe. Fundamental physical laws allow the formation of atomic nuclei, which follows up the chain to create molecules. In this universe amoung the trillions of trillions of trillions of trillions stretching into the infinite ammount of permutations of particles a very particular set of chemical compounds appear on a planet and from those a replicating molecule is formed, and it assimilates into other weird chemical strucuters eventually forming the first celluar life, and then over billions of years replication with difference under population pressures leads to more complex life forms until 4 billion years later a species of insane apes get up and start multiplying in number and they keep doing so to this day, civilization and all. God is an easy answer.
some quotes from a book I have on what you are talking about
after all there are two sides to every story



A current evolutionary position on life’s starting point is summarized in his book, The Selfish Gene, by Richard Dawkins. He speculates that in the beginning, Earth had an atmosphere composed of carbon dioxide, methane, ammonia and water. Through energy supplied by sunlight, and perhaps by lightning and exploding volcanoes, these simple compounds were broken apart and then they re-formed into amino acids. A variety of these gradually accumulated in the sea and combined into proteinlike compounds. Ultimately, he says, the ocean became an “organic soup,” but still lifeless.

4 Then, according to Dawkins’ description, “a particularly remarkable molecule was formed by accident”—a molecule that had the ability to reproduce itself. Though admitting that such an accident was exceedingly improbable, he maintains that it must nevertheless have happened. Similar molecules clustered together, and then, again by an exceedingly improbable accident, they wrapped a protective barrier of other protein molecules around themselves as a membrane. Thus, it is claimed, the first living cell generated itself.2

5 At this point a reader may begin to understand Dawkins’ comment in the preface to his book: “This book should be read almost as though it were science fiction.”3 But readers on the subject will find that his approach is not unique. Most other books on evolution also skim over the staggering problem of explaining the emergence of life from nonliving matter. Thus Professor William Thorpe of the zoology department of Cambridge University told fellow scientists: “All the facile speculations and discussions published during the last ten to fifteen years explaining the mode of origin of life have been shown to be far too simple-minded and to bear very little weight. The problem in fact seems as far from solution as it ever was.”4

6 The recent explosive increase of knowledge has only served to magnify the gulf between nonliving and living things. Even the oldest known single-celled organisms have been found to be incomprehensibly complex. “The problem for biology is to reach a simple beginning,” say astronomers Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe. “Fossil residues of ancient life-forms discovered in the rocks do not reveal a simple beginning. .*.*. so the evolutionary theory lacks a proper foundation.”5 And as information increases, the harder it becomes to explain how microscopic forms of life that are so incredibly complex could have arisen by chance.

7 The principal steps en route to the origin of life, as envisioned by evolutionary theory, are (1)*the existence of the right primitive atmosphere and (2)*a concentration in the oceans of an organic soup of “simple” molecules necessary for life. (3)*From these come proteins and nucleotides (complex chemical compounds) that (4)*combine and acquire a membrane, and thereafter (5)*they develop a genetic code and start making copies of themselves. Are these steps in accord with the available facts?

The Primitive Atmosphere

8 In 1953 Stanley Miller passed an electric spark through an “atmosphere” of hydrogen, methane, ammonia and water vapor. This produced some of the many amino acids that exist and that are the building blocks of proteins. However, he got just 4 of the 20 amino acids needed for life to exist. More than 30 years later, scientists were still unable experimentally to produce all the 20 necessary amino acids under conditions that could be considered plausible.

9 Miller assumed that earth’s primitive atmosphere was similar to the one in his experimental flask. Why? Because, as he and a co-worker later said: “The synthesis of compounds of biological interest takes place only under reducing [no free oxygen in the atmosphere] conditions.”6 Yet other evolutionists theorize that oxygen was present. The dilemma this creates for evolution is expressed by Hitching: “With oxygen in the air, the first amino acid would never have got started; without oxygen, it would have been wiped out by cosmic rays.”7

10 The fact is, any attempt to establish the nature of earth’s primitive atmosphere can only be based on guesswork or assumption. No one knows for sure what it was like.

Would an “Organic Soup” Form?

11 How likely is it that the amino acids thought to have formed in the atmosphere would drift down and form an “organic soup” in the oceans? Not likely at all. The same energy that would split the simple compounds in the atmosphere would even more quickly decompose any complex amino acids that formed. Interestingly, in his experiment of passing an electric spark through an “atmosphere,” Miller saved the four amino acids he got only because he removed them from the area of the spark. Had he left them there, the spark would have decomposed them.

12 However, if it is assumed that amino acids somehow reached the oceans and were protected from the destructive ultraviolet radiation in the atmosphere, what then? Hitching explained: “Beneath the surface of the water there would not be enough energy to activate further chemical reactions; water in any case inhibits the growth of more complex molecules.”8

13 So once amino acids are in the water, they must get out of it if they are to form larger molecules and evolve toward becoming proteins useful for the formation of life. But once they get out of the water, they are in the destructive ultraviolet light again! “In other words,” Hitching says, “the theoretical chances of getting through even this first and relatively easy stage [getting amino acids] in the evolution of life are forbidding.”9

14 Although it commonly is asserted that life spontaneously arose in the oceans, bodies of water simply are not conducive to the necessary chemistry. Chemist Richard Dickerson explains: “It is therefore hard to see how polymerization [linking together smaller molecules to form bigger ones] could have proceeded in the aqueous environment of the primitive ocean, since the presence of water favors depolymerization [breaking up big molecules into simpler ones] rather than polymerization.”10 Biochemist George Wald agrees with this view, stating: “Spontaneous dissolution is much more probable, and hence proceeds much more rapidly, than spontaneous synthesis.” This means there would be no accumulation of organic soup! Wald believes this to be “the most stubborn problem that confronts us [evolutionists].”11

15 There is, however, another stubborn problem that confronts evolutionary theory. Remember, there are over 100 amino acids, but only 20 are needed for life’s proteins. Moreover, they come in two shapes: Some of the molecules are “right-handed” and others are “left-handed.” Should they be formed at random, as in a theoretical organic soup, it is most likely that half would be right-handed and half left-handed. And there is no known reason why either shape should be preferred in living things. Yet, of the 20 amino acids used in producing life’s proteins, all are left-handed!

16 How is it that, at random, only the specifically required kinds would be united in the soup? Physicist J.*D. Bernal acknowledges: “It must be admitted that the explanation .*.*. still remains one of the most difficult parts of the structural aspects of life to explain.” He concluded: “We may never be able to explain it.”12

Probability and Spontaneous Proteins

17 What chance is there that the correct amino acids would come together to form a protein molecule? It could be likened to having a big, thoroughly mixed pile containing equal numbers of red beans and white beans. There are also over 100 different varieties of beans. Now, if you plunged a scoop into this pile, what do you think you would get? To get the beans that represent the basic components of a protein, you would have to scoop up only red ones—no white ones at all! Also, your scoop must contain only 20 varieties of the red beans, and each one must be in a specific, preassigned place in the scoop. In the world of protein, a single mistake in any one of these requirements would cause the protein that is produced to fail to function properly. Would any amount of stirring and scooping in our hypothetical bean pile have given the right combination? No. Then how would it have been possible in the hypothetical organic soup?

18 The proteins needed for life have very complex molecules. What is the chance of even a simple protein molecule forming at random in an organic soup? Evolutionists acknowledge it to be only one in 10113 (1 followed by 113 zeros). But any event that has one chance in just 1050 is dismissed by mathematicians as never happening. An idea of the odds, or probability, involved is seen in the fact that the number 10113 is larger than the estimated total number of all the atoms in the universe!

19 Some proteins serve as structural materials and others as enzymes. The latter speed up needed chemical reactions in the cell. Without such help, the cell would die. Not just a few, but 2,000 proteins serving as enzymes are needed for the cell’s activity. What are the chances of obtaining all of these at random? One chance in 1040,000! “An outrageously small probability,” Hoyle asserts, “that could not be faced even if the whole universe consisted of organic soup.” He adds: “If one is not prejudiced either by social beliefs or by a scientific training into the conviction that life originated [spontaneously] on the Earth, this simple calculation wipes the idea entirely out of court.”13

20 However, the chances actually are far fewer than this “outrageously small” figure indicates. There must be a membrane enclosing the cell. But this membrane is extremely complex, made up of protein, sugar and fat molecules. As evolutionist Leslie Orgel writes: “Modern cell membranes include channels and pumps which specifically control the influx and efflux of nutrients, waste products, metal ions and so on. These specialised channels involve highly specific proteins, molecules that could not have been present at the very beginning of the evolution of life.”14

The Remarkable Genetic Code

21 More difficult to obtain than these are nucleotides, the structural units of DNA, which bears the genetic code. Five histones are involved in DNA (histones are thought to be involved in governing the activity of genes). The chance of forming even the simplest of these histones is said to be one in 20100—another huge number “larger than the total of all the atoms in all the stars and galaxies visible in the largest astronomical telescopes.”15

22 Yet greater difficulties for evolutionary theory involve the origin of the complete genetic code—a requirement for cell reproduction. The old puzzle of ‘the chicken or the egg’ rears its head relative to proteins and DNA. Hitching says: “Proteins depend on DNA for their formation. But DNA cannot form without pre-existing protein.”16 This leaves the paradox Dickerson raises: “Which came first,” the protein or the DNA? He asserts: “The answer must be, ‘They developed in parallel.’”17 In effect, he is saying that ‘the chicken’ and ‘the egg’ must have evolved simultaneously, neither one coming from the other. Does this strike you as reasonable? A science writer sums it up: “The origin of the genetic code poses a massive chicken-and-egg problem that remains, at present, completely scrambled.”18

23 Chemist Dickerson also made this interesting comment: “The evolution of the genetic machinery is the step for which there are no laboratory models; hence one can speculate endlessly, unfettered by inconvenient facts.”19 But is it good scientific procedure to brush aside the avalanches of “inconvenient facts” so easily? Leslie Orgel calls the existence of the genetic code “the most baffling aspect of the problem of the origins of life.”20 And Francis Crick concluded: “In spite of the genetic code being almost universal, the mechanism necessary to embody it is far too complex to have arisen in one blow.”21

24 Evolutionary theory attempts to eliminate the need for the impossible to be accomplished “in one blow” by espousing a step-by-step process by which natural selection could do its work gradually. However, without the genetic code to begin reproduction, there can be no material for natural selection to select.

Amazing Photosynthesis

25 An additional hurdle for evolutionary theory now arises. Somewhere along the line the primitive cell had to devise something that revolutionized life on earth—photosynthesis. This process, by which plants take in carbon dioxide and give off oxygen, is not yet completely understood by scientists. It is, as biologist F.*W.*Went states, “a process that no one has yet been able to reproduce in a test tube.”22 Yet, by chance, a tiny simple cell is thought to have originated it.

26 This process of photosynthesis turned an atmosphere that contained no free oxygen into one in which one molecule out of every five is oxygen. As a result, animals could breathe oxygen and live, and an ozone layer could form to protect all life from the damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation. Could this remarkable array of circumstances be accounted for simply by random chance?

Is Intelligence Involved?

27 When confronted with the astronomical odds against a living cell forming by chance, some evolutionists feel forced to back away. For example, the authors of Evolution From Space (Hoyle and Wickramasinghe) give up, saying: “These issues are too complex to set numbers to.” They add: “There is no way .*.*. in which we can simply get by with a bigger and better organic soup, as we ourselves hoped might be possible a year or two ago. The numbers we calculated above are essentially just as unfaceable for a universal soup as for a terrestrial one.”23

28 Hence, after acknowledging that intelligence must somehow have been involved in bringing life into existence, the authors continue: “Indeed, such a theory is so obvious that one wonders why it is not widely accepted as being self-evident. The reasons are psychological rather than scientific.”24 Thus an observer might conclude that a “psychological” barrier is the only plausible explanation as to why most evolutionists cling to a chance origin for life and reject any “design or purpose or directedness,”25 as Dawkins expressed it. Indeed, even Hoyle and Wickramasinghe, after acknowledging the need for intelligence, say that they do not believe a personal Creator is responsible for the origin of life.26 In their thinking, intelligence is mandatory, but a Creator is unacceptable. Do you find that contradictory?
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Old 11-19-2004, 05:57 AM   #139
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Originally posted by paxetaurora
I don't think that's what she meant--I think she was trying to simply get people to realize that God is *God*, and that anything else we ascribe to God is superfluous.
Except those attributes He has revealed to us through Scripture.
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Old 11-19-2004, 06:03 AM   #140
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Originally posted by Mrs. Edge All I really wanted to know was if God would be willing to "get over it" if someone was a non believer and forgive them. I think if he supposedly loves us that much, he SHOULD! I don't see why more people don't agree with me on this.
We will never accept God if it is done on our terms, by our concept of love and fairness. We are not in a position to bargain with God or suggest that we know a better standard by which He should forgive people.

What we know is what He has told us. Scripture does not represent everything there is to know, only what we need to know.

If I want to go to God, I can't imagine going on anything but His terms.

Quote:
Originally posted by Mrs. Edge No one has yet answered my question about why someone who believes and changes their mind gets into heaven, but someone who never did believe does not. THIS DOES NOT MAKE SENSE!!!!!
Believing is not necessarily an on/off switch. When the choice is truly made, you are indwelled with the Holy Spirit. You are a new person. While you may walk away from the things of faith, there is nothing in Scripture that suggests the Holy Spirit leaves a person.

But, as mentioned above, the answer is limited to what God reveals to us. To go beyond that is only speculation.
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Old 11-19-2004, 06:42 AM   #141
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Annj, the Selfish Gene has been first published in 1976. Science has since then made giant leaps on this subject. For instance, his work mainly focusses on the theory that organic molecules were formed on earth, while todays evidence increasingly points towards the notion that interstellar and circumstellar organic molecules were delivered on Earh by comets and meteorites.
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Old 11-19-2004, 07:32 AM   #142
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being a former christian (the first 19 years of my life) i'd just like to mention that it is almost pointless to argue with evangelicals about spiritual matters. generally the bible and/or gospel is thrown at you as absolute truth being the word of god. how is one to argue with that? you can attempt to use science, reason, logic, et al but in the end they have god's word and you don't. good luck.

for me, i just don't think there is anything we as humans can know about god other than the possibility that it exists. is the tanakh the word of god, is the gospel the word of god, is the koran the word of god? is god god, is allah god, is sheva god?

probably not.

until i am proven otherwise i will accept that revealed religion is the creation of god in man's image. consider me a doubting thomas if you will, but if jesus appears to me bearing wounds from the cross then i'll believe. thomas had that opportunity - i think we all should.

that being said i don't deny the possible existance of god. for me, god is a very real albeit distance thing. but i require proof of any notion beyond the general idea that it exists. i could go on and on about how most revealed religions are products of ancient sun mythology and egyptian religion etc. etc. but i find it tiresome.

they took my brother
they ripped him from me
to twist his words as they did his body
deny his family
deny his beauty
to lay him down at the feet
of those he couldn't save
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Old 11-19-2004, 07:35 AM   #143
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Please allow me to bring a new subject on the table...

I highly recommend we all watch The Passion of The Christ. It speaks for itself what Jesus had to go through to give us eternal life. I've heard people say (not on this site, but others) dying is easy, anyone can do it. In reality, every flaw Christ took was out of his love and his willingness to save us. I had no idea how brutal his crucifixion was before I saw this movie, and no wonder why the theaters were silent, people were weeping, and comforting each other.

From what I understand, some people still didn't "get it", whereas many others were transformed through this movie. There was a murderer who killed his girlfriend, covered it up for years, then saw this movie, and admitted to it! He turned himself in because he realized he couldn't just live with the guilt of his sin without confessing it.

There is finally proof that Hollywood can come out with something meaningful.
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Old 11-19-2004, 07:44 AM   #144
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Please allow me to bring a new subject on the table...

I highly recommend we all watch The Passion of The Christ.
my favorite part was when mel felt the need for comic relief and implied that jesus invented modern furniture.

on a more serious note, it did nothing for me for a variety of reasons.
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Old 11-19-2004, 07:47 AM   #145
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my favorite part was when mel felt the need for comic relief and implied that jesus invented modern furniture.

on a more serious note, it did nothing for me for a variety of reasons.
Skepticism? You have to see it with an open mind and an open heart. Otherwise, you're wasting an hour in a half watching what the media calls "mindless violence." I learned so much about Jesus' suffering when this movie came out. After watching it, I had to wonder how people can continue their cruelty, their hate, and their judgements after all God has done for them. I still don't understand how that can be.
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Old 11-19-2004, 07:55 AM   #146
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being a former christian (the first 19 years of my life) i'd just like to mention that it is almost pointless to argue with evangelicals about spiritual matters. generally the bible and/or gospel is thrown at you as absolute truth being the word of god. how is one to argue with that? you can attempt to use science, reason, logic, et al but in the end they have god's word and you don't. good luck.

for me, i just don't think there is anything we as humans can know about god other than the possibility that it exists. is the tanakh the word of god, is the gospel the word of god, is the koran the word of god? is god god, is allah god, is sheva god?

probably not.

until i am proven otherwise i will accept that revealed religion is the creation of god in man's image. consider me a doubting thomas if you will, but if jesus appears to me bearing wounds from the cross then i'll believe. thomas had that opportunity - i think we all should.

that being said i don't deny the possible existance of god. for me, god is a very real albeit distance thing. but i require proof of any notion beyond the general idea that it exists. i could go on and on about how most revealed religions are products of ancient sun mythology and egyptian religion etc. etc. but i find it tiresome.
[/i]




perfectly said. i'm reading this very, very interesting thread and really have very little to add, since those who "believe" seem to be coming from a very different planet than i do. i'm not asserting the superiority of my planet, but there's a massive problem in communication between people who see the Bible as Absolute Truth -- though debates can happen about scripture, it is still the Ultimate Authority on all things -- and those who are aware of the Bible's incalculable historical importance, aren't athiests, but cannot allow them to surrender their minds to an inherited belief system (that, incidentally, has been the source of pretty much all pain and suffering in the world).

i'm a big fan of the jesus message, there's as strong an argument for God as there is against God, and i like the whole Christmas present thing of life after death -- seriously, how can you argue wtih a religion that promises eternal life? that's what everyone wants, and Christianity gives it to them ... it also gives them rationalizations as to why they're poor and don't have health care, but that's another topic. i simply can't surrender my skepticism and rationality to a belief system filled with what appear to be 1,000,001+ little rules that seem entirely arbitrary and fully human creations. skepticism and rationality are tools that have kept me out of trouble in the past, and based upon my experience, i'd rather trust my own judgement than consult the english translation of a millenia old text every time i need to make some sort of decision.
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Old 11-19-2004, 08:01 AM   #147
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Skepticism? You have to see it with an open mind and an open heart. Otherwise, you're wasting an hour in a half watching what the media calls "mindless violence." I learned so much about Jesus' suffering when this movie came out. After watching it, I had to wonder how people can continue their cruelty, their hate, and their judgements after all God has done for them. I still don't understand how that can be.

i won't see it because i have no desire to watch a man being tortured for 2.5 hours. i dislike violence, especially one that's reported to revel in pain.

some excerpts from Christopher Hitchens -- my favorite drunk british journalists -- review of the film:

"A few years ago, Mel Gibson got himself into an argument after uttering a series of crude remarks that were hostile to homosexuals. Now he has made a film that principally appeals to the gay Christian sado-masochistic community: a niche market that hasn't been sufficiently exploited. If you like seeing handsome young men stripped and tied up and flayed with whips, The Passion Of The Christ is the movie for you. Some people used to go to Ben-Hur deliberately late, and just watch the chariot race while skipping the boring quasi-Biblical stuff. Alas, that isn't possible with this film. Along with the protracted torture comes a simple-minded but nonetheless bigoted version of the more questionable bits of the Gospels. It's boring all right - much of the film is excruciatingly tedious - but it also manages to be extraordinarily nasty. ... In order to keep up this relentless propaganda pressure, Gibson employs the cheap technique of the horror movie director. Just as you think things can't get any worse, he shoves in a gruesome surprise. The flogging scene stops, and you think: "Well, that's over." And then the sadistic guards pick up a new kind of flagellating instrument, and start again. The nails go through the limbs, one by one, and then, for an extra touch, the cross is raised, turned over and dropped face-down with its victim attached, so that the nails can be flattened down on the other side. The vulg-arity and sensationalism of this would be bad enough if there wasn't a continual accompaniment of jeering, taunting Jews who want more of the same."

there's more, but i'll end this post now.
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Old 11-19-2004, 08:10 AM   #148
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Originally posted by Irvine511
i'm a big fan of the jesus message, there's as strong an argument for God as there is against God, and i like the whole Christmas present thing of life after death -- seriously, how can you argue wtih a religion that promises eternal life? that's what everyone wants, and Christianity gives it to them ... it also gives them rationalizations as to why they're poor and don't have health care, but that's another topic. i simply can't surrender my skepticism and rationality to a belief system filled with what appear to be 1,000,001+ little rules that seem entirely arbitrary and fully human creations. skepticism and rationality are tools that have kept me out of trouble in the past, and based upon my experience, i'd rather trust my own judgement than consult the english translation of a millenia old text every time i need to make some sort of decision.
The concept of the afterlife is not exclusive to Christianity.


Since this seems to be an important starting point - what will happen to you when you die?
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Old 11-19-2004, 08:18 AM   #149
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The concept of the afterlife is not exclusive to Christianity.


Since this seems to be an important starting point - what will happen to you when you die?

i wouldn't pretend to know. i can live with that.
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Old 11-19-2004, 08:21 AM   #150
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
i wouldn't pretend to know. i can live with that.
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