50 reasons people give for believing in a god

cj
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50 reasons people give for believing in a god

On another thread, Caposkia indicated he would be willing to discuss this book with me. I did not want to make this a one on one discussion as I feel it might be interesting to have input from other people. I do request that we don't all gang up on Caposkia, however. Give him a break to participate in other threads, and I am certain he has a life elsewhere.

My thought is to go through Guy Harrison's book and discuss his responses to the 50 reasons in as much detail as we (Caposkia and I) feel is necessary. Some of the chapters we may have more in common with each other and Mr. Harrison, so the discussion may be very short. Other chapters we may have a lot to say to each other.

In order to respect copyright laws, I am not going to copy the entire text of any of the chapters here. Copies are available in print and electronic format for about $10 US. Please consider purchasing a copy - not pirating it - to respect the author. I will give a short summary of a chapter, we can discuss it to death, then move on to the next. If you are interested in seeing how accurate I am, feel free to purchase your own copy. Thanks.

Lastly, I am on Pacific Daylight Time and I, too, have a life elsewhere. Classes are over for the spring term and I am not taking a summer class, so I have time to give this discussion some thought. I will post up the first chapter summary tomorrow afternoon my time.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


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 We all have lives.  I

 We all have lives.  I understand.  Sometimes it takes me up to 2 weeks to respond.  I try to get on weekly.  I'm looking forward to getting started.


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cj wrote:On another thread,

cj wrote:

On another thread, Caposkia indicated he would be willing to discuss this book with me. I did not want to make this a one on one discussion as I feel it might be interesting to have input from other people. I do request that we don't all gang up on Caposkia, however. Give him a break to participate in other threads, and I am certain he has a life elsewhere.

 

I think that this book might be interesting. I like to see the way the data was collected. I'll look to see if I can find it on Amazon for digital download so I can follow along in the discussion.

BTW. The description from Amazon is:

For skeptics looking for appealing ways to approach their believing friends or believers who are not afraid to consider a skeptical challenge, this book makes for very stimulating reading. Many books that challenge religious belief from a skeptical point of view take a combative tone that is almost guaranteed to alienate believers or they present complex philosophical or scientific arguments that fail to reach the average reader.This is undoubtably an ineffective way of encouraging people to develop critical thinking about religion. This is a unique approach to skepticism regarding that presents fifty commonly heard reasons people often give for believing in a God and then he raises legitimate questions regarding these reasons, showing in each case that there is much room for doubt.Whether you're a believer, a complete skeptic, or somewhere in between, you'll find this review of traditional and more recent arguments for the existence of God refreshing, approachable, and enlightening. From religion as the foundation of morality to the authority of sacred books, the compelling religious testimony of influential people, near-death experiences, arguments from Intelligent Design, and much more, Harrison respectfully describes each rationale for belief and then politely shows the deficiencies that any good skeptic would point out. As a journalist who has traveled widely and interviewed many highly accomplished people, quite a number of whom are believers, the author appreciates the variety of belief and the ways in which people seek to make religion compatible with scientific thought. Nonetheless, he shows that, despite the prevalence of belief in God or religious belief in intelligent people, in the end there are no unassailable reasons for believing in a God.

 


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Introduction

This is just to give some background on the author.

Guy Harrison has degrees in history and anthropology. At the time he wrote this book, he was a columnist and travel writer. So he has been to more places around the world than I have. In his introduction, he says he wrote this book in response to religious claims and how they seemed to him to be remarkably similar regardless of which religion was under discussion. His intent was not to harm, embarrass, injure or put down anyone's beliefs.

My instructor for one of my philosophy classes requested a Skype discussion with Mr. Harrison, and he graciously agreed. He really is a gentle person, an atheist who is interested in discussing faith and religion, but far from militant. He said he leaves the militancy to others as it doesn't suit him.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


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Chapter 1 - My God is Obvious

It is truly astonishing to me that anyone can make this claim, yet many do.

There are more than one billion Muslims in the world who claim Allah is obvious, yet it is not so obvious to over 5 billion people who do not believe in Islam.

There are more than 2 billion Christians in the world who claim Jesus and God are obvious, yet that is no so obvious to over 4 billion people who do not believe in Christianity.

Over a billion Hindus who say Krishna is obvious. If these (and other) gods are so obvious, why doesn't everyone believe in the "one true god(s)?"

And there are between 500 million and 750 million people world wide who are "organic atheists," those atheists who live in relatively free societies and have a choice in belief or non-belief without harassment from government or religious leaders. Why isn't god(s) so obvious to them? And these people are most prevalent in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Japan, Canada and France. Hardly countries full of crime and poverty.

A survey of members of the National Academy of Scientists found only 7% believed in a god(s). People who would - most of them - be thrilled to make the kind of splash that proof of a deity - any deity - would give them in the academic world. Think of the rewards and grants your lab would be showered with if you had such proof! Alas, no such luck.

A discussion of references in the book:

American Atheists. "God and the Scientists: A New Debate, an Old Question." August 26, 1999, www.atheists.org/flash.line/athesism6.htm

This is a bad link, and unfortunately, I can not find a better one. So I searched the university library and found this article. There may be more recent research, but i think the problems as discussed in this article likely are still true.

Bergman, G. R. (1996). "Religious beliefs of scientists: a survey of the research." Free Inquiry. 16.3, p41.

The article is available through the library or you can order the particular edition of the magazine through SecularHumanism.org. The conclusion of this article is that it is difficult to define what is religious belief, and how that belief is expressed. Surveys vary a lot with the particular biases of the researcher designing and analyzing the survey. So we can throw out the "93%" of scientists are atheists. Though my thought that any scientist would be ecstatic if they found empirical proof of god(s), still holds.

Zuckerman, Phil. "Atheism: Contemporary Rates and Patterns." The Cambridge Companion to Atheism, ed. Michael Martin, 47-65. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

This article is available on line here: http://www.pitzer.edu/academics/faculty/zuckerman/Ath-Chap-under-7000.pdf

Again, there are issues with definitions of "religion," "religious," and "gods." Dr. Zuckerman addresses this in his paper.

The main point - which does not have any references cited - that there are many religions and they all claim their god(s) is/are obvious I think is pretty firm. Those god(s) are almost always mutually exclusive. Krishna and his relatives bear little resemblance to Allah, Jesus, Jehovah, The Great Spirit, etc. If particular god(s) are so obvious, why the multiplicity of religions? It seems to me that the best one can do at this point is insist on deism, pantheism or unitarianism where all religions are only a shadow of the true reality. Many religious people do not accept this view but cling to the "obviousness" of their own god(s) above any others.

The other references cited are general in nature and I won't discuss them specifically. I include them here for completeness.

Dennett, D. C. Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon. New York: Viking Adult, 2006.

Mythology: Gods, Goddesses and Heroes from Around the World. London: Kingfisher Publications, 2001.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


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↑ (Dana's) Three card Monte .. Zuckerman's sucker bet

  Who is the following referring to, according to their respective religion ?


(Dana's) Three card Monte

 


 re:: Three Card Monte (minus the larceny) . Now find the King --

   The Sustainer; the Abider; Destroyer of the works of sin; Divine Warrior; the Teacher; the Head crusher; he "who never stumbles" (e.g. - sinless one); The herder; the Incarnation of Divine God in human flesh (with Manifestations of Divinity) ; The Bridegroom ; 'The' King; the Supreme Lord;  Healer;  the Obligator/(burdener); the Example ; the Liberator;  the bestower of Wisdom; establisher of the Way ;  was Slain  etc etc.

 p.s. -- It solely makes a point.  I say,  I DIDN'T read the pdf file, yet I still am able to give these examples.


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cj wrote:There are more than

cj wrote:

There are more than one billion Muslims in the world who claim Allah is obvious, yet it is not so obvious to over 5 billion people who do not believe in Islam.

There are more than 2 billion Christians in the world who claim Jesus and God are obvious, yet that is no so obvious to over 4 billion people who do not believe in Christianity.

Keep in mind that the Jews, the Muslims and the Christians (along with several other smaller factions) all believe in the same god; the god of Abraham. They are technically all brothers and sisters of the same god.

That being said, yes, why doesn't every person believe in the same god and why isn't the god of Abraham the oldest religion in the world?

My mother would say, "free will", but I discard this answer. Free will doesn't exist. It is an illusion.

 


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cj wrote:A survey of members

cj wrote:

A survey of members of the National Academy of Scientists found only 7% believed in a god(s). People who would - most of them - be thrilled to make the kind of splash that proof of a deity - any deity - would give them in the academic world. Think of the rewards and grants your lab would be showered with if you had such proof! Alas, no such luck.

A discussion of references in the book:

American Atheists. "God and the Scientists: A New Debate, an Old Question." August 26, 1999, www.atheists.org/flash.line/athesism6.htm

This is a bad link, and unfortunately, I can not find a better one. So I searched the university library and found this article. There may be more recent research, but i think the problems as discussed in this article likely are still true.

The results of that survey can be found here, along with historical results from the same survey. 

http://www.stephenjaygould.org/ctrl/news/file002.html

It is worth noting that the NAS is a rather small subsection of scientists. A wider poll conducted recently by Pew of a larger number of scientists suggests a more widespread belief in god, but still much less than the general public.

http://www.pewforum.org/Science-and-Bioethics/Scientists-and-Belief.aspx

Both surveys were conducted among US scientists and typically the US has a higher percentage of believers than any other developed country. 

 

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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Beyond Saving wrote:cj

Beyond Saving wrote:

cj wrote:

A survey of members of the National Academy of Scientists found only 7% believed in a god(s). People who would - most of them - be thrilled to make the kind of splash that proof of a deity - any deity - would give them in the academic world. Think of the rewards and grants your lab would be showered with if you had such proof! Alas, no such luck.

A discussion of references in the book:

American Atheists. "God and the Scientists: A New Debate, an Old Question." August 26, 1999, www.atheists.org/flash.line/athesism6.htm

This is a bad link, and unfortunately, I can not find a better one. So I searched the university library and found this article. There may be more recent research, but i think the problems as discussed in this article likely are still true.

The results of that survey can be found here, along with historical results from the same survey. 

http://www.stephenjaygould.org/ctrl/news/file002.html

It is worth noting that the NAS is a rather small subsection of scientists. A wider poll conducted recently by Pew of a larger number of scientists suggests a more widespread belief in god, but still much less than the general public.

http://www.pewforum.org/Science-and-Bioethics/Scientists-and-Belief.aspx

Both surveys were conducted among US scientists and typically the US has a higher percentage of believers than any other developed country. 

 

Worth repeating. Thanks for the research.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


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I want this book

      I want this book real bad right now. I would love to just tear down the stupid arguments of my new landlord that blames anything that happens to me or my girlfriend on my being an Atheist. So sick of his shit. Problem is, when one of those assholes finds out your an Atheist, they never cease to give you shit about it.

      For instance, I was out front working on my bike the other morning, cause I could not get it to start. He has to walk by and say: "Well, since you think your the sole power of the universe, you shouldn't have a problem. Since you believe in absolutely nothing."

MAN. I wanted to jump up and bust him right in the jaw. If he wasn't the apartment landlord and we had been in public, I would have.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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Nah, just say something

Nah, just say something like: "It's a shame your imaginary friend doesn't stop you from being a deliberately dishonest, self-righteous jackass." Sticking out tongue

 


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harleysportster

harleysportster wrote:

      For instance, I was out front working on my bike the other morning, cause I could not get it to start. He has to walk by and say: "Well, since you think your the sole power of the universe, you shouldn't have a problem. Since you believe in absolutely nothing."

MAN. I wanted to jump up and bust him right in the jaw. If he wasn't the apartment landlord and we had been in public, I would have.

No, don't punch him. Just say something to the effect of: "Well, since you think you know stuff about things, you shouldn't have a problem making coherent arguments. Since you believe you know what you're talking about."

[/threadjack] 


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blacklight915 wrote:Nah,

blacklight915 wrote:

Nah, just say something like: "It's a shame your imaginary friend doesn't stop you from being a deliberately dishonest, self-righteous jackass." Sticking out tongue

 

LOL

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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RobbyPants

RobbyPants wrote:

No, don't punch him. Just say something to the effect of: "Well, since you think you know stuff about things, you shouldn't have a problem making coherent arguments. Since you believe you know what you're talking about."

Good one.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


cj
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Chapter 2-Almost everybody on Earth is religious

Back on topic and moving along.

The author repeats his previous argument briefly - that there are so many religions, who is right? And there is few doubts in anyone's mind that they are vastly different - even contradictory - from each other. Does this mean any god/s/dess is/are real or that humans are very good at inventing gods?

The new argument is that all religions spend a great deal of time teaching their children about religion. I grew up in a nonreligious household - "god exists, but we don't believe in religion" - and I still was encouraged to attend services with my friends whose families were more vested in a religion.

I use the word "teach" rather than indoctrinate purposefully. The people who are teaching their children about their own religion do not believe they are indoctrinating.

Quote:

in·doc·tri·nate

verb(used with object),in·doc·tri·na·ted,in·doc·tri·nat·ing.

1. to instruct in a doctrine principle, ideology, etc., especially to imbue with a specific partisan or biased belief or point of view.

2. to teach or inculcate.

3. to imbue with learning.

I have decided that indoctrinate is used if you don't agree with the particular doctrine being taught, otherwise, if you agree, the word usually used is teach. This is because the first definition is heavily loaded with words that are usually viewed negatively - partisan, biased. If you happen to hold that particular view, you don't see it as partisan or biased. If you don't hold that view - it is biased.

This is straight up confirmation bias. What you agree with is wonderful, what you don't agree with is nasty. I am just as susceptible as anyone else. No goody two shoes here. So I stick with "teach", religious people teach their children to believe. It would be very unlikely for a child to derive and believe the exact same religion as their parents with out instruction in or observation of same. I agree with the author - religious prevalence among humans is due to religious teachings when young.

 

I have not read the references cited in the book:

Hitchcock, Susan Tyler, and John. L. Esposito. Geography of Religion. Washington, D.C: National Geographic, 2006.

Joshi, S. T., ed., Atheism: A Reader. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2000.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


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cj wrote:Back on topic and

cj wrote:

Back on topic and moving along.

The author repeats his previous argument briefly - that there are so many religions, who is right? And there is few doubts in anyone's mind that they are vastly different - even contradictory - from each other. Does this mean any god/s/dess is/are real or that humans are very good at inventing gods?

The new argument is that all religions spend a great deal of time teaching their children about religion. I grew up in a nonreligious household - "god exists, but we don't believe in religion" - and I still was encouraged to attend services with my friends whose families were more vested in a religion.

I use the word "teach" rather than indoctrinate purposefully. The people who are teaching their children about their own religion do not believe they are indoctrinating.

Quote:

in·doc·tri·nate

verb(used with object),in·doc·tri·na·ted,in·doc·tri·nat·ing.

1. to instruct in a doctrine principle, ideology, etc., especially to imbue with a specific partisan or biased belief or point of view.

2. to teach or inculcate.

3. to imbue with learning.

I have decided that indoctrinate is used if you don't agree with the particular doctrine being taught, otherwise, if you agree, the word usually used is teach. This is because the first definition is heavily loaded with words that are usually viewed negatively - partisan, biased. If you happen to hold that particular view, you don't see it as partisan or biased. If you don't hold that view - it is biased.

This is straight up confirmation bias. What you agree with is wonderful, what you don't agree with is nasty. I am just as susceptible as anyone else. No goody two shoes here. So I stick with "teach", religious people teach their children to believe. It would be very unlikely for a child to derive and believe the exact same religion as their parents with out instruction in or observation of same. I agree with the author - religious prevalence among humans is due to religious teachings when young.

 

I have not read the references cited in the book:

Hitchcock, Susan Tyler, and John. L. Esposito. Geography of Religion. Washington, D.C: National Geographic, 2006.

Joshi, S. T., ed., Atheism: A Reader. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2000.

 

Well first I have to agree with digitalbeachbum that Jews Muslims and Christians believe in the same God... they just have different sources of following.  e.g. Muhammad wrote the Quran and was THEE prophet for the muslims despite NT claims that Jesus was the Son of God.  They still accept that they are decendents of Abraham.  Jews of course are decendents of Abraham and were expecting a different Jesus than the NT Jesus and therefore reject anything Jesus taught... they're still waiting for the coming of the Messiah.  Christans accept that Jesus is the Son of God and came down for our salvation.

Beyond that, I'm not sure about Krishna, but Confucious referenced a lot to Biblical scripture, but did not reference it in His teachings... despite his not wanting a following, people revered him anyway thus the following continues.  There are a few others as well i can't remember... that puts at minimum 1/2 the world accepting that God is obvious and the other half not.  

I have not received the book yet, but it seems quite vague to me that it is left with "god is obvious" and that's it... in what way?  How?  What makes Him so obvious to you?(this being those who claim it)  I've said God is obvious to those who know Him, but for those who don't, they wouldn't associate anything they witnessed with God.  Therefore God may not be so obvious unless you know what you're looking for and can accept it as God's work.  Does the author go into more detail on that?  seems kind of like a cop-out to me.

As for Harleysportster, your landlord does not sound very educated on the scriptures.  Sounds like they might be a victim of dispensationalism.  Instead of negative feedback, rationality might be the better way.. likely if they are a victim of dispenationalism, nothing you say will matter because they have to be right.    Instead ask them for the assistance that they know they must have from God... odds are they'll cop-out or try and be amazed that nothing happened.  either way you win.


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That hardly seems surprising; U know nothing at all on Krishna:

That hardly seems surprising seeing you know nothing at all on him        

caposkia wrote:

Beyond that, I'm not sure about Krishna, but

  IF

    Krishna  in whatever form he existed, according to tradition, is to have preceded the time of Abraham by well over 1,400 years ± 75 yrs.,. Btw, He , or the sacred script writers, could NOT have envisaged the Old Testament. Realize, it doesn't hardly seem likely the Kavya (Epic) Literature or the Puranas would be referencing anything out of the Old Testament (whatsoever); Not in the Hebrew Canon either nor anything from the fledgling Yahwehists . . . Just so you know. No Reply is the least bit necessary.  

 

 Image Uploaded; Image has nothing whatsoever to do with this but I had it on my hard-drive

. . . .

 There's-a-time-to-remain-silent-instead-of-opening-your-mouth-and-showing-off-your-ignorance


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caposkia wrote:Well first I

caposkia wrote:

Well first I have to agree with digitalbeachbum that Jews Muslims and Christians believe in the same God...

 

    No, they don't all believe in the same God.   Only Christianity espouses a Trinitarian God.   Islam and Judaism are truly monotheistic in their god concept.   No "one in three, three in one" god exists within the latter two religions.  That distinction may not matter to you but it certainly does to the vast majority of Jews and Muslims.  Even some Christian sects reject a trinitarian interpretation.

 

 

caposkia wrote:
... Jews ... ( snip ) ...were expecting a different Jesus than the NT Jesus and therefore reject anything Jesus taught... they're still waiting for the coming of the Messiah.

 

    The Jewish Messiah shares nothing with the Christian Messiah so why would the Jews accept him ?    

    For starters, the Jewish Messiah is not a God, a Son of God or any variation thereof.  Nor will he come to Earth to be a ritual sacrifice, etc....

  Check it out:  www.jewfaq.org/mashiach.htm

 

   

 

   

 

 


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caposkia wrote:Well first I

caposkia wrote:

Well first I have to agree with digitalbeachbum that Jews Muslims and Christians believe in the same God... they just have different sources of following.  e.g. Muhammad wrote the Quran and was THEE prophet for the muslims despite NT claims that Jesus was the Son of God.  They still accept that they are decendents of Abraham.  Jews of course are decendents of Abraham and were expecting a different Jesus than the NT Jesus and therefore reject anything Jesus taught... they're still waiting for the coming of the Messiah.  Christans accept that Jesus is the Son of God and came down for our salvation.

Beyond that, I'm not sure about Krishna, but Confucious referenced a lot to Biblical scripture, but did not reference it in His teachings... despite his not wanting a following, people revered him anyway thus the following continues.  There are a few others as well i can't remember... that puts at minimum 1/2 the world accepting that God is obvious and the other half not.  

I have not received the book yet, but it seems quite vague to me that it is left with "god is obvious" and that's it... in what way?  How?  What makes Him so obvious to you?(this being those who claim it)  I've said God is obvious to those who know Him, but for those who don't, they wouldn't associate anything they witnessed with God.  Therefore God may not be so obvious unless you know what you're looking for and can accept it as God's work.  Does the author go into more detail on that?  seems kind of like a cop-out to me.

As for Harleysportster, your landlord does not sound very educated on the scriptures.  Sounds like they might be a victim of dispensationalism.  Instead of negative feedback, rationality might be the better way.. likely if they are a victim of dispenationalism, nothing you say will matter because they have to be right.    Instead ask them for the assistance that they know they must have from God... odds are they'll cop-out or try and be amazed that nothing happened.  either way you win.

 

As others have stated, I don't think there is all that much in common between most religions. There isn't all that much in common amongst christian sects. I went to a Methodist church when very young, Foursquare Gospel when in Junior High, Ecumenical Chapel on a military base as a young woman, my sister is Jehovah Witness and has been trying to convert me for the last 40 years. And there is not much in common between all of those different religions. And we haven't left the country yet -as it were. Yes, all of them professed to believe in god, Jesus and the holy ghost (or spirit) but that was about it. Does the wine (grape juice) and crackers (bread) really turn into flesh and blood? Never tasted like blood to me (I had plenty of bloody noses as a kid so I know what blood tastes like - not grape juice). Are god, Jesus, and the holy ghost three entities or one entity? Belief in Jesus as your savior is enough to get you a seat in heaven or do you need expend some effort on good works and charity? Since we aren't supposed to drink the blood or eat the flesh of a sacrifice, should we be like Seventh Day Adventists and be vegetarian? Or should we refuse blood transfusions like my sister? And on and on.

It is still obvious to me that how to interpret what is stated in any particular holy book is interpreted in many different ways by the people who profess to have a common religion based on that book. Some religions appear to have some leeway in how one interprets their book, but others have none. How can they be the same religion?

As I said in my introduction, I am only posting summaries of the chapters. I may miss parts that seem not so important to me, but may be very important to you. I believe this is likely inevitable as we all gain different information from the same book (!!). And often, we gain different information from a book each time we read it. This is as true for some of my favorite sci-fi and fantasy authors as it is for some religious book. And there are 48 chapters to go. Some questions may be answered for you in later chapters.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


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caposkia wrote: Beyond

caposkia wrote:

 

Beyond that, I'm not sure about Krishna, but Confucious referenced a lot to Biblical scripture, but did not reference it in His teachings... despite his not wanting a following, people revered him anyway thus the following continues.  

utter nonsense, complete and utter nonsense.  confucius never "referenced" anything from the bible.  if so, tell me where precisely in the classics or the four books it can be found.  and confucius absolutely did want a following.  the only disappointment for him was that no ruler at that time wanted to get on board with his plans for revamping society.

as for krishna, no hindu seriously believes he authored anything, not even the gita.

i really wish people around here would stop flippantly talking about asian religions when they have no fucking clue about them.

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


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Listen, not to prattle on (which means I will prattle on) ..

  Re :: Listen, not to prattle on . .

 > These things gripes your bottom but look at it as an opportunity

  Baby steps,  baby steps ( self-deprecating humor )

 

 
 First  I am reminded of the state-side comedian  Lewis Black in his stand-up bit about the Coldest Winter ever, from where he was, on the East Coast (it may be on YouTube). He has this moment where it's so cold (How cold was it ?); he couldn't even think (expletive deleted) or even finish a sentence. I know what he means within the bit. Only with me, it is record highs, the heat breaking you down. I once laid on the couch for a whole week, in pure agony, before I finally relented and went to the chiropractor. So, the now off for 3 days, (broken) Air-conditioning is due for fixing, and I am going to for the 'kitties' sake, long before my own personal creature comforts. The cold never bothered me (Nordic), but when it's hot EVEN at night, I cannot seem to rest. (I know where I am at it hasnt been this Hot since at least the mid-1980s). It's plain azz hot and miserable but I joke, this is a good trait  Smiling 
   Yes! I may have mis-spoken.  Sweet talker (tehe), I mis-spoke (*obviously*) no-one can suggest Krishna was the author of any works, poor wording, especially seeing most of the sacred text begin with something like this "was compiled or written by", none of which ever suggested any of the incarnations of Vishnu authored anything (double meaning). Done, K?.   An side : One I vaguely recall was 'supposed to be' written by an incarnation of Ananta or Shesha or the author was thought to be its' incarnation but the  air-conditioner is busted and I havent had either my afternoon coffee, nor been concerned much with details, so I didnt look it up to find out who I was thinking of,. As always any corrections are deeply appreciated anyhow. I wish you wouldnt consider it such a choir or bother to correct people. (Expletive deleted), WE (any of us)  are not Jean, thank Heavens. And do graciously appreciate your expertise, as always. (Prattle alert) .. Grandpa was a deeply irreligious man, showing no interest during any part of his life. But, He always used to use this phrase "Thank Heavens for small favors". It's odd the things that stick with you when youre growing up from your childhood.  

 

 

. . . .

  We MUST remember sin is crouching at the door

     > My point was very simple.  Most Christians have no familiarity with any of the stories, Kunti who ? Arjuna who ? Pandavas what ?. Krishna was he the guy with the flute or the or ascetic who re-defines the words mood swings ? This I find deeply disturbing to say the least,. Most Christians, not all, only have impressions of Eastern religions are from the flower-children of the 1960s & 1970s, in the United States. With little knowledge of the exploits of the 'gods'. Yes, dare I say it, no familiarity w-h-a-t-s-o-e-v-e-r, which I could say ad nauseam ad infinitum, and it still wouldnt sink in . . .  

   An aside :: The Bhagavad Gita is a 700–verse Hindu scripture that is part of the ancient Sanskrit epic Mahabharata.

  Apparently, holy angels don't find much use for Hindu texts. One Christian re-tells of an account of a 'holy' angel telling them as much. I too begin to wonder. Because every-time I pick up a Hindu book, the North-wind blows (something fierce)! THAT'S thirty-nine out of thirty-nine consecutive times, sports fans.  Now before you think I've gone soft in the head, caulk that up to the heat and "Oh, Dana is kidding.. WE THINK!" We create our own fun! Especially when it's plain azz hot and miserable (tehe).

  Having patience by not being excessively frustrated is a valuable character trait, plus we all know Brian37 needs his religious education (joke,  joking). Too hot to not prattle on, & am still able to manage a joke. I'll be fine (thanks for the concern). 

   


  I am being somewhat unfair to Caposkia because I don't think he (personally) tends to treat the Bible, as if it was written outside of, time (especially with the lengthy thread he's been engaged in). That said, others 'suggest' the Bible is something older than written language itself by the way they treat it. In the Beginning 'The Word'. He managed to paint himself into a right corner, in another Thread, but he shoots from the hip. But Let's not get into that, shall we ? So, We feel your pain (tehe).  No we have no idea!

  Seriously, It must be excruciating and down right irritating, as if, one was to speak of the  Napoleonic engagement at waterloo. And people were to reply: Now, Napoleon is the short little fellow with the funny hat (bad hats, we all know them) ?!?

 (Back to business . . . )

  I am not sure about this but  I did however use a search-engine and googled (the good one) Cap's remarks.  Near as I can figure, he may mean the following ( not speaking for Caposkia ) :

 Analects of Confucius: Book XII chapter 2

 "It is, when you go abroad, to behave to every one as if you were receiving a great guest; to employ the people as if you were assisting at a great ceremony; not to do to others as you would not wish done to yourself; to have no murmuring against you in the country, and none in the family." In Book XVII chapter 6  Virtue... "Gravity, generosity, sincerity, earnestness, and kindness. If you are grave, you will not be treated with disrespect. If you are generous, you will win all. If you are sincere, people will repose trust in you. If you are earnest, you will accomplish much. If you are kind, this will enable you to employ the services of others."

 

Gospel of St Luke  Ch. XI (and a reference in Saint Matthew's Gospel):

  Woe to you who are well fed now,     for you will go hungry. Woe to you who laugh now,  for you will mourn and weep. Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you,  for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets.  Love your Enemies  “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you .. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them..

  You'd have to check with Cap to see if this is what he was thinking of.

  p.s. -- I have got to stop reading blogs (smirk)!! There may be some hidden fault in saying this but I meant well. Oh, Btw, MIT has a .pdf file anyone can access to check the reference, OKay?

  F i n


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 I bet we have discussed

 I bet we have discussed most or all of the 50 reasons here on this wonderful forum. Up to the depths of our knowledge and limits of our logic.
Thus I will make more of a personal opinion here as to why I think so many of us believe in God.

Well judging for what I see in others around me and those closest to me the God belief that many have is not something that they give much thought like we do. It's a weak belief.

I think people who are so afraid of dying don't have such a strong belief in their God. On the other hand and rather Shocking I do think that those who crashed against the WTC had a much stronger belief in their Gods. And arguably gave that notion more thought than the common believer.

People believe in religion dogma because religion is a strong part of culture and believing in a religion gives you a sense of belonging. Thus I know people who are religious mainly because it's a normal thing in society
http://www.floatinguniversity.com/lectures-christakis

They usually don't argue like this but if you observe them and the ambiguities in their behaviour you come to this conclusion.

Another reason is that on a deeper psycological level we are hardwired to have a belief of continuity, purpose and justice as if no matter how long it takes, there has to be some sort of conspiracy in the making of the Universe that would make some sense, continuity and purpose of our lives. This is built in our brains, we are made to have faith, and the reason for that in my opinion (and I understand this can be controversial) is to maintain more easily mental health. I have felt in some occasions this instinct to have "faith"; that is the strong willingness to believe in a Being that would make sense of a personal existence that in my view has no sense.

Faith is a unconscious instinct that makes us believe in a "Godfather". Only because we cannot find this "godfather" in the natural world it becomes supernatural.

If you bravely go against your instincts and emotions you are taking the hard path in this world. You usually have to go against the norm and have to carefu study your arguements.

If you want to have your own built idea to support it better and to be your own you are then breaking the chains of culture. Atheists usually take this hard path.

In questions as deep has creation and life you have a LOT to study. A study for life!! Most don't care, they rather spend their energies on other subjects. So they take the easy path; they become believers on the religion their social-culture medium.

They usually use more their brains than Theists. There ARE exceptions.

Many who take the path that I took will end up atheists. My brother is the closest example. I am a rarity. I do believe in some sort of intelligent First Cause that semantics dictates, in some broad definitions I am forced to call this FC God. But people like me are the minority. Religious people and atheists are the majority.

 

 

______________________________________________________________
"I once prayed to god for a bike, but quickly found out he didnt work that way...so I stole a bike and prayed for his forgiveness"

"All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force... We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter." (Max Planck)

"the existence of mind in some organism on some planet in the universe is surely a fact of fundamental significance. Through conscious beings the universe has generated self-awareness. This can be no trivial detail, no minor byproduct of mindless, purposeless forces. We are truly meant to be here." Paul Davies


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I seem the lack the ability to catch typing err errors.

   Nu 20

     Err -- Edit (Edit: It's 'chore' and not dawn's hallelujah choir.  With five other typing errors)

 


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Chapter 3-Faith is a good thing

Yes, we probably have discussed most of these ideas 50 times each. But I will continue on for awhile longer and see how tired we all get of the discussion. This is a longer chapter than the previous two.

Harrison starts each chapter with quotes, which I haven't mentioned before. I am very fond of Mark Twain and so I will repeat this one - "Faith is believing what you know ain't so."

Another quote, not referenced in this book, is one from my philosophy professor, Pete Boghossian, "Faith is pretending to know something you don't know."

Faith in the religious context is not the same faith as one may have in family and friends. Nor is it the same faith as one would have in whether the sun will rise in the east tomorrow. These other types of faith are based on experience and empirical evidence. We may have a relative or friend that we have faith in their caring, loyalty, helpfulness that is based on our past experiences with that person.

I don't have faith in my friends and relatives existence. I don't need faith. I only need to take a minute and post something up online, give them a call, drive over to their house - they exist, no faith required.

There are believers in some god/s/dess - and I have met a few of them - that do not try to justify, rationalize, explain or otherwise present evidence for their particular religious belief. They just have faith that their particular god/s/dess exists. We are back to --- WHICH god/s/dess? How do you know which? Telling me you belief and have faith is nice, but how do you know which one? Lots of other people have faith that their god/s/dess exists, not yours. How would anyone be able to choose which one to have faith in? A believer's particular god/s/dess being the obvious one to them does not satisfy my need for explication.

Perhaps faith is a cover for one's doubt. The acknowledgement that there isn't any evidence for one's belief. That you hang on to this belief without evidence. The curious part - to both Mr. Harrison and myself - is why some people appear to feel pride in the fact that they are believing in something they can not defend, and so they take pride in admitting that lack of defense and evidence. And their having faith makes them a better person than the person who can not bring themselves to believe without evidence. Not everyone with a religious faith is like this, but I have met people who do appear to think they are better than I because they have faith and I don't --- and I won't have in that sense.

Harrison makes the assertion that faith is intellectually lazy. You don't have to work at having faith once you get over the initial hump to belief. If you have to keep making that leap of faith - I ask, why? Why are you constantly challenged in your faith and why do you believe you must hang on to it at all costs? Including the cost of having faith in having faith.

I would rather my doctor did not have faith that I would be cured, but instead relied on scientifically tested methods of treatment. That my internet provider did not have faith in gremlins and boggles, but instead relied on the laws of physics and computer engineers. And so on. If you teach someone to have faith and all will be well - eventually, you will come to a situation where faith can not cure or mediate or solve or prevent a problem. And if you have not had the training to use your intellect and reason a way to a solution, what good will having faith do you? When my car won't start I don't pray, I call a mechanic.

 

References:

Barker, Dan. Losing Faith in Faith: From Preacher to Atheist. WI: Freedom From Religion Foundation, 1992. (This is the only book I have read on this chapter's list. I enjoyed the book. It was an interesting and detailed look at Mr. Barker's life.)

Carroll, Robert Todd. The Skeptic's Dictionary: A Collection of Strange Beliefs, Amusing Deceptions, and Dangerous Delusions. New York: Wiley, 2003.

Dawkins, Richard. The God Delusion. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2006.

Dennet, Daniel C. Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon. New York: Viking, 2006.

Juergensmeyer, Mark. Terror in the Mind of God: The Global Rise of Religious Violence. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003.

Mills, David. Atheist Universe: Why God Didn't Have a Thing to Do with It. Philadelphia, PA: Xlibris, 2003.

Shermer, Michael. The Science of Good and Evil. New York: Times Books, 2004.

 

As a side note. Yes, these are all works that are one-sided. No, they are not presenting a balanced view of the debate. I listed them (and others) only in the interest of full disclosure as to Mr. Harrison's sources. I want to read the others I haven't read - when I have some spare time.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


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(No Subject )

 

(No  Subject )

 

 
 


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danatemporary wrote:That

danatemporary wrote:

That hardly seems surprising seeing you know nothing at all on him        

caposkia wrote:

Beyond that, I'm not sure about Krishna, but

  IF

    Krishna  in whatever form he existed, according to tradition, is to have preceded the time of Abraham by well over 1,400 years ± 75 yrs.,. Btw, He , or the sacred script writers, could NOT have envisaged the Old Testament. Realize, it doesn't hardly seem likely the Kavya (Epic) Literature or the Puranas would be referencing anything out of the Old Testament (whatsoever); Not in the Hebrew Canon either nor anything from the fledgling Yahwehists . . . Just so you know. No Reply is the least bit necessary.  

 

 Image Uploaded; Image has nothing whatsoever to do with this but I had it on my hard-drive

. . . .

 There's-a-time-to-remain-silent-instead-of-opening-your-mouth-and-showing-off-your-ignorance

Why not?  It is generally understood that most ancient stories true or not were verbally passed on typically long before they were written down.  I'm under the impression there's a lot more history to those stories than we know at this time.  


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ProzacDeathWish

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

caposkia wrote:

Well first I have to agree with digitalbeachbum that Jews Muslims and Christians believe in the same God...

 

    No, they don't all believe in the same God.   Only Christianity espouses a Trinitarian God.   Islam and Judaism are truly monotheistic in their god concept.   No "one in three, three in one" god exists within the latter two religions.  That distinction may not matter to you but it certainly does to the vast majority of Jews and Muslims.  Even some Christian sects reject a trinitarian interpretation.

What you're looking at is the reason those religions are not the same religion... If you look into the history, they all by origin follow the same God.  They might not all agree that it's the case, but history speaks for itself.  Christianity would not be Christianity without the Jewish history as its basis.  Christians believe that the followers of the OT were not aware of God's 'being' being shared by 2 others.  

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

 

 

caposkia wrote:
... Jews ... ( snip ) ...were expecting a different Jesus than the NT Jesus and therefore reject anything Jesus taught... they're still waiting for the coming of the Messiah.

 

    The Jewish Messiah shares nothing with the Christian Messiah so why would the Jews accept him ?    

    For starters, the Jewish Messiah is not a God, a Son of God or any variation thereof.  Nor will he come to Earth to be a ritual sacrifice, etc....

  Check it out:  www.jewfaq.org/mashiach.htm

There understanding of who the coming messiah is nothing like the Christian Messiah, which is the very reason why Jesus Christ was crucified according to the NT.  It's really what the NT is all about.


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cj wrote: As others have

cj wrote:

 

As others have stated, I don't think there is all that much in common between most religions. There isn't all that much in common amongst christian sects. I went to a Methodist church when very young, Foursquare Gospel when in Junior High, Ecumenical Chapel on a military base as a young woman, my sister is Jehovah Witness and has been trying to convert me for the last 40 years. And there is not much in common between all of those different religions. And we haven't left the country yet -as it were. Yes, all of them professed to believe in god, Jesus and the holy ghost (or spirit) but that was about it. Does the wine (grape juice) and crackers (bread) really turn into flesh and blood? Never tasted like blood to me (I had plenty of bloody noses as a kid so I know what blood tastes like - not grape juice). Are god, Jesus, and the holy ghost three entities or one entity? Belief in Jesus as your savior is enough to get you a seat in heaven or do you need expend some effort on good works and charity? Since we aren't supposed to drink the blood or eat the flesh of a sacrifice, should we be like Seventh Day Adventists and be vegetarian? Or should we refuse blood transfusions like my sister? And on and on.

It is still obvious to me that how to interpret what is stated in any particular holy book is interpreted in many different ways by the people who profess to have a common religion based on that book. Some religions appear to have some leeway in how one interprets their book, but others have none. How can they be the same religion?

As I said in my introduction, I am only posting summaries of the chapters. I may miss parts that seem not so important to me, but may be very important to you. I believe this is likely inevitable as we all gain different information from the same book (!!). And often, we gain different information from a book each time we read it. This is as true for some of my favorite sci-fi and fantasy authors as it is for some religious book. And there are 48 chapters to go. Some questions may be answered for you in later chapters.

Questions may possibly be answered later.  If you don't mind though, I'm still going to question what seems askew in the moment.  Not to question your intentions or the authors credibility, rather to see if there's more to it or not.  I'm also looking for your understanding on the subject.

Do you really believe that the wine/juice and bread/cruton o' Christ is supposed to actually physically turn into blood and flesh?  Yes, it's worded as "is" in scripture, but that is a typical wording of a representation of something.  It is our understanding that the "last supper" was one of the Passover meals and Jesus symbolized the parts of the meal to represent the sacrifice that He was about to make.  I don't believe in the moment and ever did the wine turn into blood nor the bread turn into flesh... I don't think many christians actually believe that or believed that... though I'm sure some out there do.

Interpretation unfortunately has a lot of discrepancy when it comes to the Bible.  There is a clear understanding of the core beliefs if one really wants to find them and understand them.  As far as the rest of it, to use it as a reason to separate yourself from the rest of the following is hypocrasy I feel.   Yes, there is a bit of information that can be up for interpretation due to the lack of information on the subject, but if it is so vague in scripture, True followers also accept that it is not detrimental to your following.

 There is a section in  Romans 14:  "Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgement on his opinions.  One person has faith that he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats vegetables only.  The one who eats is not to regard with contempt the one who does not eat, and the one who does not eat is not to judge the one who eats, for God has accepted him.  Who are you to judge the servant of another?  To his own master he stands of falls; and he will stand, for the Lord (YHWH) is able to make him stand.  One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike.  Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind.  He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord, and he who eats, does so for the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who eats not, for the Lord he does not eat, and gives thanks to God.  For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself; for if we live, we live for the Lord or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord's.  For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.  But you, why do you judge your brother?  Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt?  For we will all stand before the judgement seat of God."  and it goes on... a good chapter in all for believers to read.

This is a great message to believers and puts all those who claim others are wrong for doing or not doing something e.g. abstaining from blood transfusions as the Jw's do and then say everyone else is sinning because they don't.  (that's also a poor misunderstanding on their part, but that's for another thread)  

In conclusion on that point, to separate from other followers because they don't do as you do yet are not breaking any commandment in doing or not doing so is against the teachings of scripture.

Going onto believing in Jesus.  Believing doesn't save you, accepting the gift that Christ died and repenting of your sins does.  The work is the process of turning away from sin and walking with God.  Charity or otherwise will not save you.  That is pretty clear in scripture.  The NT says in many ways that no one can achieve salvation.  If it was achievable by us, then Jesus didn't need to die for us because we could save ourselves.  That message again is clear though dispensationalist leaders will manipulate and change scripture to fit their ideals.  People will blindly follow them.  These people are talked about a lot in scripture as well.

 

 


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iwbiek wrote:caposkia

iwbiek wrote:

caposkia wrote:

 

Beyond that, I'm not sure about Krishna, but Confucious referenced a lot to Biblical scripture, but did not reference it in His teachings... despite his not wanting a following, people revered him anyway thus the following continues.  

utter nonsense, complete and utter nonsense.  confucius never "referenced" anything from the bible.  *snip

Which is why I stated specifically; "but did not reference it in His teachings..."  If you compare and contrast, you'll find a lot of similar teachings and sometimes exact quotes.  I did a research paper in college on him.

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

if so, tell me where precisely in the classics or the four books it can be found.  and confucius absolutely did want a following.  the only disappointment for him was that no ruler at that time wanted to get on board with his plans for revamping society.

He didn't want a following as far as being regarded as a god or religious leader, only a follower to what he taught, but for people to use it on their own and not regard it to him.

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

as for krishna, no hindu seriously believes he authored anything, not even the gita.

i really wish people around here would stop flippantly talking about asian religions when they have no fucking clue about them.

including you?


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danatemporary wrote:    I

danatemporary wrote:

    I am not sure about this but  I did however use a search-engine and googled (the good one) Cap's remarks.  Near as I can figure, he may mean the following ( not speaking for Caposkia ) :

 Analects of Confucius: Book XII chapter 2

 "It is, when you go abroad, to behave to every one as if you were receiving a great guest; to employ the people as if you were assisting at a great ceremony; not to do to others as you would not wish done to yourself; to have no murmuring against you in the country, and none in the family." In Book XVII chapter 6  Virtue... "Gravity, generosity, sincerity, earnestness, and kindness. If you are grave, you will not be treated with disrespect. If you are generous, you will win all. If you are sincere, people will repose trust in you. If you are earnest, you will accomplish much. If you are kind, this will enable you to employ the services of others."

 

Gospel of St Luke  Ch. XI (and a reference in Saint Matthew's Gospel):

  Woe to you who are well fed now,     for you will go hungry. Woe to you who laugh now,  for you will mourn and weep. Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you,  for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets.  Love your Enemies  “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you .. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them..

  You'd have to check with Cap to see if this is what he was thinking of.

  p.s. -- I have got to stop reading blogs (smirk)!! There may be some hidden fault in saying this but I meant well. Oh, Btw, MIT has a .pdf file anyone can access to check the reference, OKay?

  F i n

This could be one of many.  It's really throughout his teachings.  If it was just one parallel, it could easily be likened to common attitude or knowledge like give respect to get respect.


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> 'Someone' who studied religion in a purely secular, academic..

 

iwbiek wrote:

as for krishna, no hindu seriously believes he authored anything, not even the gita.

i really wish people around here would stop flippantly talking about asian religions when they have no fucking clue about them.

including you?

 

  You may not believe this but remarks on this board are far more visible than on other boards. Before you rush to condemn, please remember Iwbiek remark was spurn by a clear error in wording by yours-truly. What you clearly DO NOT know is about a growing frustration 'at various remarks'. Thus not only the remark(s) in this thread.

 Quote of Iwbiek's in OCT. , in the following

Iwbiek wrote:

brian, I really think you're not getting what he's (unspecified) saying, and i'm starting to think it's deliberate on your part brian.

it seems to me (to ME, mind you) he started this thread to lay out his beliefs and open them up to comments.  you call them hogwash.  fair enough, but it seems to me you don't call them hogwash on their own merits.  you continue parroting that holy books and imaginary beings are not "necessary," and he continues telling you he never said they were.  he seems to be saying that at least tentatively accepting some portions of holy books and some sort of benevolent being has been helpful to him, and him alone.  if you want to try telling him those things can't possibly be helpful to him, fine.  that would seem to address his arguments on their own merits.  anything else would be your interpolation.

on the whole, i have to say you seem to have rote arguments that you pull out at every opportunity, and a situation like this, where those arguments are not entirely relevant, only serves to underscore that.  i honestly think you don't hear people sometimes.  i also have to say, as someone who studied religion in a purely secular, academic setting, that your cavalier way of lumping together all religions--christianity, islam, judaism, buddhism, ancient pagan religions, etc.--as if they were all one mass of interchangeable fairy tales is troubling.  often, statements you make about religions i specialize in--for example, buddhism--are just plain ignorant, and i think that comes from an attitude that one only needs one set of arguments against any and all religions, because all of them are basically the same sort of nonsense.

truthfully, i think you should take a crash course in world religions for awhile.  i can even recommend some books, if you'd like.

 


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> 'Someone' who studied religion in a purely secular, academic..

 

iwbiek wrote:

as for krishna, no hindu seriously believes he authored anything, not even the gita.

i really wish people around here would stop flippantly talking about asian religions when they have no fucking clue about them.

including you?

 

  You may not believe this but remarks on this board are far more visible than on other boards. Before you rush to condemn, please remember Iwbiek remark was spurn by a clear error in wording by yours-truly. What you clearly DO NOT know is about a growing frustration 'at various remarks'. Thus not only the remark(s) in this thread.

 Quote of Iwbiek's in OCT. , in the following

Iwbiek wrote:

brian, I really think you're not getting what he's (unspecified) saying, and i'm starting to think it's deliberate on your part brian.

it seems to me (to ME, mind you) he started this thread to lay out his beliefs and open them up to comments.  you call them hogwash.  fair enough, but it seems to me you don't call them hogwash on their own merits.  you continue parroting that holy books and imaginary beings are not "necessary," and he continues telling you he never said they were.  he seems to be saying that at least tentatively accepting some portions of holy books and some sort of benevolent being has been helpful to him, and him alone.  if you want to try telling him those things can't possibly be helpful to him, fine.  that would seem to address his arguments on their own merits.  anything else would be your interpolation.

on the whole, i have to say you seem to have rote arguments that you pull out at every opportunity, and a situation like this, where those arguments are not entirely relevant, only serves to underscore that.  i honestly think you don't hear people sometimes.  i also have to say, as someone who studied religion in a purely secular, academic setting, that your cavalier way of lumping together all religions--christianity, islam, judaism, buddhism, ancient pagan religions, etc.--as if they were all one mass of interchangeable fairy tales is troubling.  often, statements you make about religions i specialize in--for example, buddhism--are just plain ignorant, and i think that comes from an attitude that one only needs one set of arguments against any and all religions, because all of them are basically the same sort of nonsense.

truthfully, i think you should take a crash course in world religions for awhile.  i can even recommend some books, if you'd like.

 


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cj wrote:Yes, we probably

cj wrote:

Yes, we probably have discussed most of these ideas 50 times each. But I will continue on for awhile longer and see how tired we all get of the discussion. This is a longer chapter than the previous two.

we're just getting started.  I'm sure all have discussed this many times, but I'm interested on your angle as you are about mine.  I'm not worried about what other people think

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

Harrison starts each chapter with quotes, which I haven't mentioned before. I am very fond of Mark Twain and so I will repeat this one - "Faith is believing what you know ain't so."

Another quote, not referenced in this book, is one from my philosophy professor, Pete Boghossian, "Faith is pretending to know something you don't know."

Faith in the religious context is not the same faith as one may have in family and friends. Nor is it the same faith as one would have in whether the sun will rise in the east tomorrow. These other types of faith are based on experience and empirical evidence. We may have a relative or friend that we have faith in their caring, loyalty, helpfulness that is based on our past experiences with that person.

I would claim that my "faith" is based on experience, study and evidence.  Empirical only if you can accept that results are consistent, but not necessarily constant and there is no control that we are aware of to base a constant off of.  I'm thinking more of timing and not necessarily magnitude of results though magnitude fluxuates as well depending on the circumstance.

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

I don't have faith in my friends and relatives existence. I don't need faith. I only need to take a minute and post something up online, give them a call, drive over to their house - they exist, no faith required.

I don't believe it's the existence of God that faith is needed for.  I don't believe that's what the Bible was talking about be it that during that time, there was little question that metaphysical gods existed.  Rather it's faith that God is who He says He is and that He will follow through with what He says. 

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

There are believers in some god/s/dess - and I have met a few of them - that do not try to justify, rationalize, explain or otherwise present evidence for their particular religious belief. They just have faith that their particular god/s/dess exists. We are back to --- WHICH god/s/dess? How do you know which? Telling me you belief and have faith is nice, but how do you know which one? Lots of other people have faith that their god/s/dess exists, not yours. How would anyone be able to choose which one to have faith in? A believer's particular god/s/dess being the obvious one to them does not satisfy my need for explication.

agreed

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

Perhaps faith is a cover for one's doubt. The acknowledgement that there isn't any evidence for one's belief. That you hang on to this belief without evidence. The curious part - to both Mr. Harrison and myself - is why some people appear to feel pride in the fact that they are believing in something they can not defend, and so they take pride in admitting that lack of defense and evidence. And their having faith makes them a better person than the person who can not bring themselves to believe without evidence. Not everyone with a religious faith is like this, but I have met people who do appear to think they are better than I because they have faith and I don't --- and I won't have in that sense.

Those who think they are better than you because they have faith are missing the point.  

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

Harrison makes the assertion that faith is intellectually lazy. You don't have to work at having faith once you get over the initial hump to belief. If you have to keep making that leap of faith - I ask, why? Why are you constantly challenged in your faith and why do you believe you must hang on to it at all costs? Including the cost of having faith in having faith.

It's like having faith that you're going to wake up tomorrow morning.  We all know there's a small possibility that tomorrow won't come for you, but it's likely that it will and you deduce that through many factors.  

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

I would rather my doctor did not have faith that I would be cured, but instead relied on scientifically tested methods of treatment. That my internet provider did not have faith in gremlins and boggles, but instead relied on the laws of physics and computer engineers. And so on. If you teach someone to have faith and all will be well - eventually, you will come to a situation where faith can not cure or mediate or solve or prevent a problem. And if you have not had the training to use your intellect and reason a way to a solution, what good will having faith do you? When my car won't start I don't pray, I call a mechanic.

That's good and all, but what is intelligence when you are being physcially tortured because someone else doesn't like what you do?  Your doctor might have a solid understanding of scientifically tested methods of treatment, but that' all goes out the window when someone is torturing him for the very reason that He is a doctor.  What will that intelligence serve him in that moment?  This is one example of the purpose of faith to get one through.  This sadly is a reality for many Christians around the world.  

See: The Voice of Martyrs.  (http://www.persecution.com)


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cj wrote:Yes, we probably

*double Post*


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> 'Someone' who studied religion in a purely secular, academic..

 

  Caposkia's visible remark to a comment left by Iwbiek

Caposkia wrote:

iwbiek wrote:

as for krishna, no hindu seriously believes he authored anything, not even the gita.

i really wish people around here would stop flippantly talking about asian religions when they have no fucking clue about them.

including you?

  Dana wrote :: You may not believe this but remarks on this board are far more visible than on other boards. Before you rush to condemn, please remember Iwbiek's remark was spurn by a clear error in wording by yours-truly. Further. What you (the good one) clearly DO NOT know is about a growing frustration 'at various remarks'. Thus not only the remark(s) in this thread, hey not by just Dana gal either, K?  Don't presume to know people's level of eduction or background. We have a wonderful and well-read Biker who has a kiddie avatar and people not paying attention actually draw all sorts of invalid assumptions from it. He didnt take too kindly, to this treatment, by that at one point apparently. I personally have a library of rare academic works about the ANE that would be the envy of most small colleges (unfortunately my stuff is still in storage).

 Quote of Iwbiek's in OCT. , in the following

Iwbiek wrote:

brian, I really think you're not getting what he's (unspecified) saying, and i'm starting to think it's deliberate on your part brian..  i honestly think you don't hear people sometimes.  i also have to say, as someone who studied religion in a purely secular, academic setting, that your cavalier way of lumping together all religions--christianity, islam, judaism, buddhism, ancient pagan religions, etc.--as if they were all one mass of interchangeable fairy tales is troubling.  often, statements you make about religions i specialize in--for example, buddhism--are just plain ignorant, and i think that comes from an attitude that one only needs one set of arguments against any and all religions, because all of them are basically the same sort of nonsense.

truthfully, i think you should take a crash course in world religions for awhile.  i can even recommend some books, if you'd like.


  He wrote specifically, As 'Someone' who studied religion in a purely secular, academic..

 



 Oh, And Another thing ..

 I left not one or even two but several  individual  YouTube Videos in another Thread ..  I am having PC troubles and this is all Timing out. They are visible and highly visible YouTube Videos, "I" left. Appreciate YOUR comment on them, the videos of the other Thread, when time permits (of, course). It's easy general impressions IF you can only muster that at least.

 


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caposkia wrote:What you're

caposkia wrote:

What you're looking at is the reason those religions are not the same religion...

 

Well, duh.

 

caposkia wrote:
If you look into the history, they all by origin follow the same God.

 

  You are a person for whom evidence has no meaning.  Even the two truly monotheistic religions, Judaism and Islam, would rarely if ever make this theological claim just as they would both vehemently disagree with Christians as to the divinity of Jesus.

 

  

caposkia wrote:
Christianity would not be Christianity without the Jewish history as its basis.

 

     Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses, United Pentecostals, Branch Davidians, etc would not be "cults" without Christianity as its basis.  See how that process works ?

 

capsokia wrote:
Christians believe that the followers of the OT were not aware of God's 'being' being shared by 2 others. 

 

    Yes, I know.

 

 

 

caposkia wrote:

 

 

There ( sic ) understanding of who the coming messiah is nothing like the Christian Messiah, which is the very reason why Jesus Christ was crucified according to the NT.  It's really what the NT is all about.

 

 

 The New Testament is to the Jews what the Koran is to Christianity and for all the same reasons.

 

 


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 caposkia, in your posts

 caposkia, in your posts #28 and #32 your are mistakenly attributing iwbiek's responses to me.  I do not possess his detailed knowledge of such matters.  


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It is good response, and I

It is good response, and I really don't have a lot to say to what you have posted. So I am going to cut the size down for the couple of things I wish to respond to.

caposkia wrote:

Do you really believe that the wine/juice and bread/cruton o' Christ is supposed to actually physically turn into blood and flesh?  Yes, it's worded as "is" in scripture, but that is a typical wording of a representation of something.  It is our understanding that the "last supper" was one of the Passover meals and Jesus symbolized the parts of the meal to represent the sacrifice that He was about to make.  I don't believe in the moment and ever did the wine turn into blood nor the bread turn into flesh... I don't think many christians actually believe that or believed that... though I'm sure some out there do.

 

Nah, I don't believe in transmutation - though I have belonged to a church where that was the doctrine. My only point was that there is a lot of variability. And for every speck of scripture that you can quote promoting tolerance, the other christians can quote plenty to support what they believe.

 

caposkia wrote:

Interpretation unfortunately has a lot of discrepancy when it comes to the Bible.  There is a clear understanding of the core beliefs if one really wants to find them and understand them.  As far as the rest of it, to use it as a reason to separate yourself from the rest of the following is hypocrasy I feel.   Yes, there is a bit of information that can be up for interpretation due to the lack of information on the subject, but if it is so vague in scripture, True followers also accept that it is not detrimental to your following.

 

"Core" beliefs really do vary substantially from church to church, even from individual to individual who may attend the same church. If you really examine your beliefs with other christians, you may find that you don't even agree on the meaning of "love your neighbor as yourself." And any other quotes you may wish to recite. The options appear to me to be - 1. be overly strict and adhere to as well as you possibly can to precisely what your church leaders teach as their interpretation 2. be very lenient (seemingly your position) and preach for a more tolerant, "find your own way" set of beliefs 3. don't bother (that's me).

 

caposkia wrote:

<skipping Romans...>

In conclusion on that point, to separate from other followers because they don't do as you do yet are not breaking any commandment in doing or not doing so is against the teachings of scripture.

Going onto believing in Jesus.  Believing doesn't save you, accepting the gift that Christ died and repenting of your sins does.  The work is the process of turning away from sin and walking with God.  Charity or otherwise will not save you.  That is pretty clear in scripture.  The NT says in many ways that no one can achieve salvation.  If it was achievable by us, then Jesus didn't need to die for us because we could save ourselves.  That message again is clear though dispensationalist leaders will manipulate and change scripture to fit their ideals.  People will blindly follow them.  These people are talked about a lot in scripture as well.

 

Before you can believe in the "gift" and "repenting," you have to believe in Jesus, correct? There is no way I can get all dewy eyed over a godling suffering for a few days and then allowing others to suffer their entire lives if I don't believe in the godling in the first place.

Secondly, I have to believe I have done any serious sinning to get all repentant about. I haven't, not in years. Granted, at one point I did my best to live life to the fullest, but that was literally 30-40 years ago. At one point, I did ask for forgiveness, but I got really too busy with raising children and career and etc to be bothered wasting time and energy on sinning. So what do I repent of? Wanting to be physically 30 again? Wanting my husband to be physically 30 at the same time? Wishing I had the money for a new car? Petty. Purely petty sinning. It isn't worth any effort on my part to get all up tight and start whizzing and moaning about how I'm going to hell for lust and envy and other imaginary sins.

Continuing in that vein, it makes more sense to me to repent, apologize, and make reparation to any person I have sinned against. Who gives a rat's patootie over what some godling thinks about my actions? What is important is the relationships I have with other people. Relationship with an imaginary god/s/dess might be important to one's self-image. Since my self-image does not include being a religious person, I don't feel a need for imagining that said godling has good opinion of me.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


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Chapter 4 - Archaeological Discoveries Prove That My God Exists

No, they prove that people believed in god/s/dess. That is the essence of Harrison's entire essay.

I will add that regardless of the authenticity, age, or provenance of a particular find, nothing has been found that definitively proves god/s/dess. They only prove that people believe(d) that god/s/dess exist(s)(ed). There are writings about Athena, Zeus, Thor, Odin, Osiris, Anubis, and so on. We can authenticate these writings with artifacts that demonstrate people thought these deities were real and important in their lives. And so we find something that demonstrates people thought the Abrahamic god and Jesus existed. That doesn't mean they existed any more than Zeus and company existed.

I could argue about various claims that particular archaeological finds verify the bible is factually correct - and we have done so on this site. But all of these finds and their probable authenticity are irrelevant if the question is - does god really exist.

References

McCrone, Walter C. Judgment Day for the Shroud of Turin. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 1999.

 

Oh, I took an archaeology of prehistory class recently and my instructor said - nothing in the bible has been proven to be correct archaeologically speaking. I am not certain about whether "nothing" in the bible is verified by archaeology, but I would recommend studying peer-reviewed archaeological journals (many are online) (or try National Geographic) before insisting on inerrancy or errancy of the bible.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


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cj

cj wrote:

No, they prove that people believed in god/s/dess. That is the essence of Harrison's entire essay.

I will add that regardless of the authenticity, age, or provenance of a particular find, nothing has been found that definitively proves god/s/dess. They only prove that people believe(d) that god/s/dess exist(s)(ed). There are writings about Athena, Zeus, Thor, Odin, Osiris, Anubis, and so on. We can authenticate these writings with artifacts that demonstrate people thought these deities were real and important in their lives. And so we find something that demonstrates people thought the Abrahamic god and Jesus existed. That doesn't mean they existed any more than Zeus and company existed.

I could argue about various claims that particular archaeological finds verify the bible is factually correct - and we have done so on this site. But all of these finds and their probable authenticity are irrelevant if the question is - does god really exist.

References

McCrone, Walter C. Judgment Day for the Shroud of Turin. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 1999.

 

Oh, I took an archaeology of prehistory class recently and my instructor said - nothing in the bible has been proven to be correct archaeologically speaking. I am not certain about whether "nothing" in the bible is verified by archaeology, but I would recommend studying peer-reviewed archaeological journals (many are online) (or try National Geographic) before insisting on inerrancy or errancy of the bible.

 

 

 

                 Your prehistory class instructor is WRONG!  Many aspects of the bible DO stand up to archaeology science, [the god & religious aspects certainly do NOT] Yet,  the walls of Jericho did collapse [flooding and heavy rain caused the mudbricks to give way];  A Hebrew warlord did capture the Jebusite city of Jerusalem by subterfuge [maybe his name was David, maybe not], there was a Babylonian exile,  there was a Sodom and Gomorrah [leveled by earth quake], Hebrew tribes did migrate into canaan and take  up city life, sometimes warfare was involved sometimes NOT. 

 

 

                 The bible storys highly fictionalize what were real people and completely invent others out of whole cloth; There probably was someone like David, Abraham & Joshua ; archaeology does back up their alleged actions; Their actual names we can debate.  Moses, Jesus & Peter Simon are likely complete fiction there is nothing in archaeology that backs up their existence.

 

 

         

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? Interesting Reference you got there . . . .

cj wrote:

References

McCrone, Walter C. Judgment Day for the Shroud of Turin. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 1999.

Using McCrown is the absolute antithesis of what a reference for further study should be. Judgment day for the Shroud of Turin was a Monograph of McCrone's side of the story within his own study of, of, you guest it: the Turin Shroud. He felt it necessary to publish his findings due to the STURP team back in '78 backlash and later retort of swearing on a stack of Bibles that no pigment was EVER found on the artifact. He (the man) had studied the Substrate of the linen's fibers. Not history or religion or Mythology. It was solely about the Shroud of Turin, using sticky adhesive tape 'under a microscope'; where he found some evidence of paint pigments of image areas verses control areas, of, again: The Shroud of Turin.
I should think it a very safe bet he does not mention these various gods and wouldn't be qualified to comment if he did. Not saying he couldn't be qualified as an amateur mythographer. But, Fact is he was not even that.


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Jeffrick

Jeffrick wrote:

                 Your prehistory class instructor is WRONG!  Many aspects of the bible DO stand up to archaeology science, [the god & religious aspects certainly do NOT] Yet,  the walls of Jericho did collapse [flooding and heavy rain caused the mudbricks to give way];  A Hebrew warlord did capture the Jebusite city of Jerusalem by subterfuge [maybe his name was David, maybe not], there was a Babylonian exile,  there was a Sodom and Gomorrah [leveled by earth quake], Hebrew tribes did migrate into canaan and take  up city life, sometimes warfare was involved sometimes NOT. 

                 The bible storys highly fictionalize what were real people and completely invent others out of whole cloth; There probably was someone like David, Abraham & Joshua ; archaeology does back up their alleged actions; Their actual names we can debate.  Moses, Jesus & Peter Simon are likely complete fiction there is nothing in archaeology that backs up their existence.        

 

I figured she was incorrect about everything being wrong - but I didn't feel qualified to stick my 2 cents into the discussion. Your examples do point out that the stories about why these disasters happened were often incorrect, however. And from that perspective, the stories are inaccurate.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


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danatemporary wrote:cj

danatemporary wrote:
cj wrote:

 

References

McCrone, Walter C. Judgment Day for the Shroud of Turin. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 1999.

Using McCrown is the absolute antithesis of what a reference for further study should be. Judgment day for the Shroud of Turin was a Monograph of McCrone's side of the story within his own study of, of, you guest it: the Turin Shroud. He felt it necessary to publish his findings due to the STURP team back in '78 backlash and later retort of swearing on a stack of Bibles that no pigment was EVER found on the artifact. He (the man) had studied the Substrate of the linen's fibers. Not history or religion or Mythology. It was solely about the Shroud of Turin, using sticky adhesive tape 'under a microscope'; where he found some evidence of paint pigments of image areas verses control areas, of, again: The Shroud of Turin. I should think it a very safe bet he does not mention these various gods and wouldn't be qualified to comment if he did. Not saying he couldn't be qualified as an amateur mythographer. But, Fact is he was not even that.

 

I have not read the book and so would not venture an opinion on it or the author. I have read other articles about the shroud - there are plenty online - and you can find experts in something-or-other who are willing to say it is authentic or it is not. I'm satisfied that there is sufficient evidence that medieval people had the technology to produce the shroud and that there was a proliferation of other acknowledged scams designed to remove money from people who couldn't afford to give it away. I am thinking of the numerous "pieces of the cross" - if you collected up all of the bits claimed by medieval priests to be a part of the "one true cross" Jesus supposedly died on, the resultant cross would have been exceptionally large.

I'm going with medieval fake. Again, all it demonstrates is that people believe in god/s/dess, not that any such deity ever existed.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


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Okay it's simply mislabeled. .

cj wrote:

danatemporary wrote:
cj wrote:

 

References

McCrone, Walter C. Judgment Day for the Shroud of Turin. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 1999.

Using McCrown is the absolute antithesis of what a reference for further study should be. Judgment day for the Shroud of Turin was a Monograph of McCrone's side of the story within his own study of, of, you guest it: the Turin Shroud. He felt it necessary to publish his findings due to the STURP team back in '78 backlash and later retort of swearing on a stack of Bibles that no pigment was EVER found on the artifact. He (the man) had studied the Substrate of the linen's fibers. Not history or religion or Mythology. It was solely about the Shroud of Turin, using sticky adhesive tape 'under a microscope'; where he found some evidence of paint pigments of image areas verses control areas, of, again: The Shroud of Turin. I should think it a very safe bet he does not mention these various gods and wouldn't be qualified to comment if he did. Not saying he couldn't be qualified as an amateur mythographer. But, Fact is he was not even that.

 

I have not read the book and so would not venture an opinion on it or the author. I have read other articles about the shroud - there are plenty online - and you can find experts in something-or-other who are willing to say it is authentic or it is not. I'm satisfied that there is sufficient evidence that medieval people had the technology to produce the shroud and that there was a proliferation of other acknowledged scams designed to remove money from people who couldn't afford to give it away. I am thinking of the numerous "pieces of the cross" - if you collected up all of the bits claimed by medieval priests to be a part of the "one true cross" Jesus supposedly died on, the resultant cross would have been exceptionally large.

I'm going with medieval fake. Again, all it demonstrates is that people believe in god/s/dess, not that any such deity ever existed.

 



Well, If nothing else it allows for a clarification about the reference. No worries, Christians being the lazily slothful creatures they are, wont be calling you or anyone on any finer points. And, Thanks for the clarification about the Heading Under Reference. Everyone go back to what they were doing; nothing to see here.

p.s. -- It's McCrone, he used a microscope, and not the typeo, I made earlier.


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danatemporary wrote:  

danatemporary wrote:

 

  Caposkia's visible remark to a comment left by Iwbiek

Caposkia wrote:

iwbiek wrote:

as for krishna, no hindu seriously believes he authored anything, not even the gita.

i really wish people around here would stop flippantly talking about asian religions when they have no fucking clue about them.

including you?

  Dana wrote :: You may not believe this but remarks on this board are far more visible than on other boards. Before you rush to condemn, please remember Iwbiek's remark was spurn by a clear error in wording by yours-truly. Further. What you (the good one) clearly DO NOT know is about a growing frustration 'at various remarks'. Thus not only the remark(s) in this thread, hey not by just Dana gal either, K?  Don't presume to know people's level of eduction or background. We have a wonderful and well-read Biker who has a kiddie avatar and people not paying attention actually draw all sorts of invalid assumptions from it. He didnt take too kindly, to this treatment, by that at one point apparently. I personally have a library of rare academic works about the ANE that would be the envy of most small colleges (unfortunately my stuff is still in storage).

I based that comment off of what I've seen produced from the particular poster.  My comment was not really an assumption, but rather a challenge to show me that His challenge is founded on basis of knowledge and not ignorance.  This is why i ended it with a question mark.  I never presume to know people's level of education, but I do challenge those who seem to presume that about others.


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ProzacDeathWish wrote:  

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

 

  You are a person for whom evidence has no meaning.  Even the two truly monotheistic religions, Judaism and Islam, would rarely if ever make this theological claim just as they would both vehemently disagree with Christians as to the divinity of Jesus.

If evidence had no meaning to me, I would not be a believer.  

Besides, all 3 religions by their own scripture claim to be descendants of Abraham.  Abraham followed one God. Look it up.  Jesus is revered as "a" great prophet by the Muslims thus they don't deny He has a part in their faith, though they deny the deity of Jesus which separates them from Christianity among other things.  The Jewish story is written in scripture.  Studying the OT they were expecting a messiah that would come as an Earthly ruler that would redeem Islam... which in the moment Jesus did not do, thus He is not what they were expecting and so they believe He couldn't be the one. 

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

 

  

caposkia wrote:
Christianity would not be Christianity without the Jewish history as its basis.

 

     Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses, United Pentecostals, Branch Davidians, etc would not be "cults" without Christianity as its basis.  See how that process works ?

No, they could be "cults" without a Christian basis, they just happen to be cults "with" a Christian basis.    I dont' think you see how the process works

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

 The New Testament is to the Jews what the Koran is to Christianity and for all the same reasons.

That makes sense... does that though render both false?   If so, why?

I realize this is stemming off the other thread... I'm sorry, I will try from here on out to keep more of a focus on the purpose of this thread


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ProzacDeathWish

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

 caposkia, in your posts #28 and #32 your are mistakenly attributing iwbiek's responses to me.  I do not possess his detailed knowledge of such matters.  

Sorry if I misposted.  


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cj wrote: Nah, I don't

cj wrote:
 

Nah, I don't believe in transmutation - though I have belonged to a church where that was the doctrine. My only point was that there is a lot of variability. And for every speck of scripture that you can quote promoting tolerance, the other christians can quote plenty to support what they believe.

anyone can quote anything from pretty much any compilation of writings and make it out to what they want it to say, but when one looks at it in context, it's hard to come up with one's ideals unless they are in line with the writing.  

Be it that there are many quotes that are not fully or clearly understood in English or our language as it is today, people can also manipulate it a lot easier pretending they know more about what was said than they do.

cj wrote:

 

caposkia wrote:

"Core" beliefs really do vary substantially from church to church, even from individual to individual who may attend the same church. If you really examine your beliefs with other christians, you may find that you don't even agree on the meaning of "love your neighbor as yourself." And any other quotes you may wish to recite. The options appear to me to be - 1. be overly strict and adhere to as well as you possibly can to precisely what your church leaders teach as their interpretation 2. be very lenient (seemingly your position) and preach for a more tolerant, "find your own way" set of beliefs 3. don't bother (that's me).

I challenge my fellow Christians all the time as some also do me.  Those who very greatly from the core beliefs I understand typically don't like to discuss it.... wonder why????.... Sticking out tongue  

cj wrote:
 

Before you can believe in the "gift" and "repenting," you have to believe in Jesus, correct? There is no way I can get all dewy eyed over a godling suffering for a few days and then allowing others to suffer their entire lives if I don't believe in the godling in the first place.

one would have to accept the possibility of a metaphysical existence of course first... then the possibility not only that there's a god, but a God that cares enough about us to notice us.  From there to be a Christian you'd have to not only accept the 'one True God' but that Jesus is in fact His son who came down and brought a new teaching and died for your sins.  Then rose again defeating death as proof that He is who He says He is.  

It's quite a process if you're a non-believer in all of it.

cj wrote:

Secondly, I have to believe I have done any serious sinning to get all repentant about. I haven't, not in years. Granted, at one point I did my best to live life to the fullest, but that was literally 30-40 years ago. At one point, I did ask for forgiveness, but I got really too busy with raising children and career and etc to be bothered wasting time and energy on sinning. So what do I repent of? Wanting to be physically 30 again? Wanting my husband to be physically 30 at the same time? Wishing I had the money for a new car? Petty. Purely petty sinning. It isn't worth any effort on my part to get all up tight and start whizzing and moaning about how I'm going to hell for lust and envy and other imaginary sins.

If you've repented of past sins, you only have to worry about the future.  It's not something you're suppose to have an obsession about.  Odds are you're not perfect, no matter how busy you get... though it is said that if Satan can't make you sin, He'll make you busy.   Takes time away from yourself when spending time for yourself is important.  

cj wrote:

Continuing in that vein, it makes more sense to me to repent, apologize, and make reparation to any person I have sinned against. Who gives a rat's patootie over what some godling thinks about my actions? What is important is the relationships I have with other people. Relationship with an imaginary god/s/dess might be important to one's self-image. Since my self-image does not include being a religious person, I don't feel a need for imagining that said godling has good opinion of me.

God says, what you've done to others, you've done to me.  You're state of mind is in the right place.  It does make more sense to repent, apologize and make reparation to any person you have sinned against.  If you do that, you've also repented to God.  Keep in mind this would include sins against yourself.   

 


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cj wrote:No, they prove that

cj wrote:

No, they prove that people believed in god/s/dess. That is the essence of Harrison's entire essay.

I will add that regardless of the authenticity, age, or provenance of a particular find, nothing has been found that definitively proves god/s/dess. They only prove that people believe(d) that god/s/dess exist(s)(ed). There are writings about Athena, Zeus, Thor, Odin, Osiris, Anubis, and so on. We can authenticate these writings with artifacts that demonstrate people thought these deities were real and important in their lives. And so we find something that demonstrates people thought the Abrahamic god and Jesus existed. That doesn't mean they existed any more than Zeus and company existed.

I could argue about various claims that particular archaeological finds verify the bible is factually correct - and we have done so on this site. But all of these finds and their probable authenticity are irrelevant if the question is - does god really exist.

References

McCrone, Walter C. Judgment Day for the Shroud of Turin. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 1999.

 

Oh, I took an archaeology of prehistory class recently and my instructor said - nothing in the bible has been proven to be correct archaeologically speaking. I am not certain about whether "nothing" in the bible is verified by archaeology, but I would recommend studying peer-reviewed archaeological journals (many are online) (or try National Geographic) before insisting on inerrancy or errancy of the bible.

 

There is also an archaeological study Bible and many books focused on both.


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 cj wrote:...but I got

 

cj wrote:

...but I got really too busy with raising children and career and etc to be bothered wasting time and energy on sinning. 

caposkia wrote:

If you've repented of past sins, you only have to worry about the future.  It's not something you're suppose to have an obsession about.  Odds are you're not perfect, no matter how busy you get... though it is said that if Satan can't make you sin, He'll make you busy.   Takes time away from yourself when spending time for yourself is important.

Did cap just say that Satan is responsible for children and careers? Maybe he really is evil.  

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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Chapter 5 - Only My God Can Make Me Feel Significant

"You" are about 1 trillion human cells and more than 100 trillion other cells - bacteria, fungi, arthropods (bugs, e.g.), and viruses. We are specks compared to the total weight of the earth, and even smaller specks in comparison to the universe. Time wise we are also just of shorter lifespan than a mayfly. Even if you believe the earth is only 6,000 years old, your life span is still very short in comparison. If you use the real age of the earth of over 4 billion years - well. We are not even mayflies.

There are many people who are comforted by the idea that there is some infinite, all-powerful entity who actually is larger than the universe(s) and cares for them and takes an interest in their personal lives. Their fears of death are soothed by the idea of eternal life or a circle of life in reincarnation.

Why be intimidated by the reality of the universe? Embrace it and stand tall. You don't need a god/s/dess to find a place for yourself.

References

Sagan, Carl. Cosmos. New York: Random House, 2002.

Tyson, Neil deGrasse, and Donald Goldsmith. Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2004.

---------------

(for clarity, from now on I will separate the summary from my personal comments)

I have read Cosmos and I think I will take some time to reread it. I haven't read the other, but it sounds interesting.

Personally, I feel pity for those who can not find significance and affirmation through their family, friends, work, hobbies, etc. For those who can feel engaged and fulfilled with their life here and now on earth, and still feel the need of a god/s/dess to "inspire," "transcend," "explain," and so on, why is that necessary? The universe is inspiring without the presence of said god/s/dess. The scientific explanation (see deGrasse Tyson) is as grandiose as anyone could wish and having an explanation does not take away awe or inspiration. Like most other people, I can focus on my little speck of the universe in my day to day activities. Or I can expand my thoughts to the entire earth, Solar system, Milky Way, or universe and contemplate my insignificance from the viewpoint of being cradled by my family and fulfilled life.

For me, inserting god/s/dess just clutters up the view.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.