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Old 03-15-2006, 07:30 PM   #31
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Originally posted by nbcrusader


There is no passing the buck element in this theology. The iron horse is pointing to the beginning of evil, not that every bad act is the result of the Devil or a demon.
By the same standard, we cannot blame God for our act either.

The basic premise (at least in Christianity) is that evil is our problem, a problem for which we need a solution.

That is what I believe.

God created us with a free will. In doing so God took a great risk
because free will gave us a choice to choose good or evil.

But what alternative is there?

If we were created as puppets on a string, what would we think of a tyrant God who controled our every thought and action?
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Old 03-15-2006, 10:34 PM   #32
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Make sure when you ask God/dess for a harvest in your life, you do so with a hoe in your hand.
This reminds me very much of a saying from the Talmud: "If you should be planting a sapling and hear that the Messiah has arrived, first finish planting the sapling; then go out and greet the Messiah." The point being, among other things, that the proper role of hope is to reaffirm and strengthen our resolve to do what we know is right. To hope, not for final escape from our duties and the limitations which necessitate them, but rather that our acts in carrying these duties out will bear the fruits our faith teaches they will, passing on both hope and sustenance to those who may come after--since it is not for us to know precisely when this chain of obligations will end.
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Originally posted by Irvine511
i think belief functions much, much differently in the mind of the believer than a thought does in the mind of a thinker -- there's a humility and caution with thought that one does not find with a strongly held religious belief.
While there may be some humility involved in the process of testing and revising rational propositions against the challenges offered to them by others, I would say that nonetheless the belief (ha ha) in the ultimate meaningfulness and purpose of rational inquiry which underlies and enables such testing is itself fundamentally arrogant--however instinctive and unavoidable. Not that I would suggest religious belief is by contrast innately humble; I don't--though I would hesitate to call it innately arrogant prior to the point where it merges with rational thinking to yield a set of conclusions about what follows from it (i.e. the particularities of religious dogma and practice). In either case, though, a worthwhile "compromise" humility can be achieved by complementing that arrogance with an awareness that, fallible as we are, we cannot ultimately lay claim to an exclusive monopoly on the knowledge our thoughts and beliefs alike are straining towards.
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it strikes me that if we are to take a diest perspective, or the fact that God has endowed humans with free will, then evil arises through built-in imperfections, and it is man's task to battle against his own nature -- sort of a Sissyphus thing, the struggle is the reward.
This I would agree with--though perhaps with the caveat that it is not our imperfections which are evil, but rather the consequences of our failed attempts to reconcile, manage and "correct" them within the limited framework of what we can understand. Because we failed to adequately keep faith (not just in the religious sense), because we failed to question whether we were truly living up to our own beliefs (ditto), etc., etc.
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Old 03-16-2006, 05:51 AM   #33
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Re: The Evil in This World

Quote:
Originally posted by the iron horse
I am a Christian and I believe the evil in this world comes from Lucifer (the fallen angel) and the ones who followed in the rebellion against God.


And, I believe, the wrongs in this world come from the evil in our hearts.

We seem, so many times, to be happy to dance with the Devil.


What do you believe?
I dance with the devil, yet i'm a nice bloke. I blaspheme all the time, yet I help people with problems and support charities and good causes.

Evil comes from stupidity and urges that aren't necessary. Evil is promoted and exposed through the media and literature
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Old 03-16-2006, 10:02 AM   #34
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by yolland
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While there may be some humility involved in the process of testing and revising rational propositions against the challenges offered to them by others, I would say that nonetheless the belief (ha ha) in the ultimate meaningfulness and purpose of rational inquiry which underlies and enables such testing is itself fundamentally arrogant--however instinctive and unavoidable. Not that I would suggest religious belief is by contrast innately humble; I don't--though I would hesitate to call it innately arrogant prior to the point where it merges with rational thinking to yield a set of conclusions about what follows from it (i.e. the particularities of religious dogma and practice). In either case, though, a worthwhile "compromise" humility can be achieved by complementing that arrogance with an awareness that, fallible as we are, we cannot ultimately lay claim to an exclusive monopoly on the knowledge our thoughts and beliefs alike are straining towards.


would that everyone of faith were like you, and also like NBC.

so often, and i felt this way about the initial post in the thread, beliefs are simply laid out there as statements of fact, and they become fact by virtue of their status as "a religious belief" -- that the require no explanation, no thought, no justification, no testing in the real world to see how the hold up in the face of evidence to the contrary. it often seems as if the presence of a religious text inspires a head-in-the-sand thinking about certain subjects. i'd think that belief tempered by doubt is that much stronger, but it seems as if there's an unwillingness to test one's beliefs when they provide comfort and stability in a very, very complex world.

and i know that there are many people of faith you are rigorous in their thought process. i just felt as if the manner in which this thread was started -- here's what i *believe* -- was both confrontationalist and feel-good-ist (if such a word might exist), as it feels so good to make strong declarations of faith in a public forum.
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Old 03-16-2006, 11:03 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511



his big example is that the story of Jesus standing up for the prostitute who was being stoned and said the famous "let he who is without sin cast the first stone" is probably false, or invented.

and i think this ties into what i'm trying to get at -- i think a Belief in the devil is preposterous. whereas an understanding of how evil might function in the world via a constructed personification of evil called Lucifer might be helpful for our thinking.
out of all Jesus quotes I would have thought this one to be a real one, care to elaborate as to why it is false, invented or misinterpreted?

by the way nice discussion
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Old 03-16-2006, 11:18 AM   #36
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out of all Jesus quotes I would have thought this one to be a real one, care to elaborate as to why it is false, invented or misinterpreted?


that's not my claim, it's the claim of Prof. Bart Ehrman's and his book "Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why."

to know more, i'd have to actually read the book, but i did hear him say on The Daily Show that this was one example of what he thought was a fabrication in the Bible -- he said that the story was probably made up hundreds of years later, but it was in tune with the overall Jesus Message.

which is too bad, since i really like that story.
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Old 03-16-2006, 12:03 PM   #37
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Originally posted by Irvine511
did you watch the Daily Show last night?

this guy was on, and it was very interesting:

[q]Scholar Bart Ehrman's new book explores how scribes -- through both omission and intention -- changed the Bible. Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why is the result of years of reading the texts in their original languages.

Ehrman says the modern Bible was shaped by mistakes and intentional alterations that were made by early scribes who copied the texts. In the introduction to Misquoting Jesus, Ehrman writes that when he came to understand this process 30 years ago, it shifted his way of thinking about the Bible. He had been raised as an Evangelical Christian.

Ehrman is also the author of Lost Christianities: The Battle for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew, which chronicles the period before Christianity as we know it, when conflicting ideas about the religion were fighting for prominence in the second and third centuries.

The chairman of the religious studies department at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, Ehrman also edited a collection of the early non-canonical texts from the first centuries after Christ, called Lost Scriptures: Books that Did Not Make It into the New Testament.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...toryId=5052156[/q]

his big example is that the story of Jesus standing up for the prostitute who was being stoned and said the famous "let he who is without sin cast the first stone" is probably false, or invented.

and i think this ties into what i'm trying to get at -- i think a Belief in the devil is preposterous. whereas an understanding of how evil might function in the world via a constructed personification of evil called Lucifer might be helpful for our thinking.
I did not see his interview, but his ideas are not unique.

I find it interesting that 2000+ years later, someone feels they are in a better position to declare what Jesus said than the written manuscripts from the 1st Century.

Basically, they are saying "You can't trust what has been believed for years, trust me on that."

Similarly, with folks like the "Jesus Seminar", the general accusation of agenda driven interpretation is promoted by those trying to re-write Scripture to fit their agenda driven interpretation.
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Old 03-16-2006, 12:07 PM   #38
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Originally posted by nbcrusader
[B]Basically, they are saying "You can't trust what has been believed for years, trust me on that."

actually, it seems to me that the one thing we can trust is that a literal interpretation of the Bible is bound to be flawed and that anyone who thinks the Bible *hasn't* been tampered with and manipulated is fooling themselves.
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Old 03-16-2006, 12:09 PM   #39
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actually, it seems to me that the one thing we can trust is that a literal interpretation of the Bible is bound to be flawed and that anyone who thinks the Bible *hasn't* been tampered with and manipulated is fooling themselves.
Then spell out the manipulation by comparing the manuscripts from the 1st Century, with later ones, including today's translations.
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Old 03-16-2006, 08:52 PM   #40
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Originally posted by nbcrusader


Then spell out the manipulation by comparing the manuscripts from the 1st Century, with later ones, including today's translations.


it seems to me that this is precisely what the professor is doing.
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Old 03-16-2006, 10:17 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
I find it interesting that 2000+ years later, someone feels they are in a better position to declare what Jesus said than the written manuscripts from the 1st Century.
The trouble with this argument is that this ignores all the scriptural-type writings that were discarded by A.D. 400 (approximately when the New Testament was canonized), not to mention the disagreement over the centuries by the "church fathers" themselves as to what was true.

http://www.ntcanon.org/table.shtml

There's a good diagram. Hover over the column headings to see who believed what.

Regardless, lumping in all of the writings from this time period would reveal a very diverse picture of what people believed Jesus to be.

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Old 03-17-2006, 02:02 PM   #42
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Originally posted by Irvine511
it seems to me that this is precisely what the professor is doing.
Actually, the professor is seeking to refute the earliest transcripts. The common mistake when trying to refute today's translations of the Bible is the idea that they are based on prior translations. Rather, modern translations go to the earliest know manuscripts as source.
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Old 03-17-2006, 02:13 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon
The trouble with this argument is that this ignores all the scriptural-type writings that were discarded by A.D. 400 (approximately when the New Testament was canonized), not to mention the disagreement over the centuries by the "church fathers" themselves as to what was true.

http://www.ntcanon.org/table.shtml

There's a good diagram. Hover over the column headings to see who believed what.

Regardless, lumping in all of the writings from this time period would reveal a very diverse picture of what people believed Jesus to be.

Melon
Well, you raise a number of different issues here. And the issues you’ve raised all role into the basic concept of inerrancy.

If Scripture is not inerrant, who cares what writings were included or excluded, whether in the 1st Century, or in the 21st Century.

If God guided the hand that wrote the original books, then God could guide the original believers in what was Canon.
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Old 03-17-2006, 02:33 PM   #44
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Originally posted by nbcrusader
If Scripture is not inerrant, who cares what writings were included or excluded, whether in the 1st Century, or in the 21st Century.


i know this wasn't a question for me, but it doesn't matter whether or not the Bible is inerrant; the danger is when people believe the Bible is inerrant, and then trump their "beliefs" on the basis of manipulated documents and the rest of us have to deal with the consequences.
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Old 03-17-2006, 02:37 PM   #45
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Originally posted by nbcrusader


Actually, the professor is seeking to refute the earliest transcripts. The common mistake when trying to refute today's translations of the Bible is the idea that they are based on prior translations. Rather, modern translations go to the earliest know manuscripts as source.


i take the distinction, but i don't see how this is "nothing new" especially because the professor isn't making what you see as a common mistake -- he's saying that the earliest known manuscripts were, like all writing, subject to the limitations of both the time and the authors, and how, when a religion is fighting for legitimacy, it seems to make sense that "truthiness" is more useful than simple facts when you're religion is underground and you're being tossed to the lions.
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