Arguments for faith from a pleasant person...

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Arguments for faith from a pleasant person...

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----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: Rock Star Z'05
Date: Jul 19, 2006 8:23 AM

I fell upon this page throw one of my friend's page. I am a theist, and he an atheist. We argue or rather discuss many things.

I must commend you guys for the work that you guys put in. Although I should not apologize, I feel like I must. I'm sorry that my fellow Christians are not well educated to discuss such critical issues. I've read some of their "proofs" and "evidence" and I had to hide my face in shame.

Moving on, I do say it is very unfortunate that their are no early writings of Jesus and his early followers. From my studies it appears that the New Testament writings came about to solve problems in the church communities. Also, it was because of the belief of the early chrisitians that Jesus would return before they die and that the end was coming that they did not bother to, and so when the 'apostles' (I say this because, correct me if I'm wrong, Paul does mention a dispute with Peter and that Peter was part of the twelve, so whether there was actually '12' apostles, Peter was one of the followers of Jesus) died and Rome destroyed Jerusalem, AD. 70, the gospel of Mark was written to pass on the good news of the Christ to future generations.

Plain and simple, the gospels are historical in that they write about a historical figure with a message and was executed as a criminal, but its really 'sacred history in sacred time'. The gospels were written so that you and I would believe. They say it themselves.

Whether we choose to believe it is up to us. Its not up to you and God, or me telling you to. I assure you that in dissecting the Bible you either strengthen your faith or you realize "Wow, these people totally took this guys message and totally missed the punch line."

The Bible compared to history is not accurate, in fact it is contradictory. When we say it is innerant we mean the Truths we discover about God and his nature and divine love are found there (Even His destructive side). Although most of my brethren will see it as face value instead of absorbing the rich symbolism and literary technique used to provide a message of a supposed everloving Diety.

On the account of Jesus. Many scholars dispute his actual existence and many don't. That a historical Jesus lived and preached a message of equality to a people oppressed by Rome, to preach that the kingdom of God was for those who were rejected by society, i.e the sick, children, widows, etc., to preach a social and religious change from the Temple system, who was crucified probably because he started a ruckuss in the Temple during passover, this Jesus is derived from Historical analysis of the texts and other sources non biblical (very few).

Now that this Jesus died for our sins, is the son of god, and that he is god.....???? That is faith

And like you guys said, we are all taking a risk in believing or not. If there is no God, then I lived my life well. If there is then I still lived my life well. At least to me it doesnt change anything. I try to live my life morally (ha! we are only young once, we are 'sinful') so that others may also live in peace and with their due hapiness.

I can see how many would see religion as an opium for the masses, but also a bitter sweet poison that destroy us (religious wars).

What I think is wrong is the imposing beliefs on others. If they accept then good, and if they don't well you had a good discussion and you made a friend. This has not been the case for the past 2000 years because some people get pretty crazy. Like the whole colonization of Latin America, that went so wrong in so many ways!

It all comes down to faith, not rationale, because thats what religion is, faith.

Now, what I find interesting is the idea of a soul, scientifically our minds, thoughts, memories. We know so little and where they are processed, but we can't see it or touch it, yet our brains somehow can relive it. There are so many questions, like why are humans the only species that can reazon?

haha, the bible and science have a lot of explaining todo.

Anyways, I hope this message did not come off as an attack. You can never be so sure with these little e-mails.

But I do ask that although we do share interest in religion in different ways, to pray ...er....help support peace and unity throughout the world. Although I do not see it happening with this US administration. I think the bible belt in the US should not be allowed to vote.

P.S. Allah (the one true God) is the Christian God, as well as the Jewish God. One God, three separate opinions, hahaha.

take care guys

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Randalllord
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Rock Star said, "It all

Rock Star said, "It all comes down to faith, not rationale, because thats what religion is, faith."

Faith is believeing is something for which there is little to no evidence or even contrary to the available evidence. I find reason to be a more reliable tool to know the world. Religion is based on faith which is not resonable, therefore not rational.

Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful. - Seneca


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Are the people in the bible

Are the people in the bible belt to dangerous to be allowed to vote? What makes them dangerous? It's probably their religious faith. The same faith you profess.

The paper read yesterday, the earth exploded, nobody noticed the passing of this hapless planet.


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It all comes down to faith, not rationale, because thats what religion is, faith.

Lots of points to consider but absolutely no justification for faith as being a legitimate epistemological foundation, indeed there was no definition or discussion about the consequences such absence of reason would have if implemented consistently.

Quote:
Now, what I find interesting is the idea of a soul, scientifically our minds, thoughts, memories. We know so little and where they are processed, but we can't see it or touch it, yet our brains somehow can relive it.

Anybody interested in this should read a previous discussion me and todangst had with pkremida, it would be rather eye opening and perhaps i'll create a new forum for it.

Quote:
I think the bible belt in the US should not be allowed to vote.

Quite frankly, I'm getting tired of moderates. This is where Harris' point is so appropriate. Everyone agrees that rabid fundamentalists are a minority and yet they exert so much power principally because the moderates of the prospective faiths don't see the danger of their ideas and in their lazy ideological living those on the left view only the moderates as being correct and so don't concern themselves with the real problem, the ideology itself. Give me a fundie any day, at least their hatred is indicative of the real issue.

Every one of your relationships to man and to nature must be a definite expression of your real, individual life corresponding to the object of your will. -Erich Fromm


Randalllord
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I once heard an xian state

I once heard an xian state that it was immoral to impose a life sentence on someone, it is more human to kill them, which is what god is going to do to their soul on judgement day.

Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful. - Seneca


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In response

I understand what you are saying, and I agree with you on some points. The bible is contradictory, and is filled with both good and bad things. I know, you have faith, with is the abandonment of reason. That same abandonment of reason lead to Bush being reelected, lead to this war in Iraq, the administration's voters that you say shouldn't be even allowed to vote. I know, you were trying to appease us, but I am in the bible belt, and would like to keep my rights. You may not like the crazy religious nuts, but you are an apologist for them as well, saying religion really isn't that bad......by the way, we aren't the only species in this world that can reason......God for a lot of people, and by the sounds of it, you included, is an emotional support system, and since it is based on emotion and faith, we can't argue rationally. Your religion actually says that people spend eternity in hell, all those billions of people who didn't know Jesus.....that's not a religion that is going to spread peace throughout the world. If any religion is going to do something like that, it's the other religions you didn't mention. The religions you mentioned have all gone to war with each other over, and over again, and still do. But I can't remember the last time I saw a bunch of Shoalin Monks bomb a building.


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I'm sorry, but I do not see...

In the following quote:

"Plain and simple, the gospels are historical in that they write about a historical figure with a message and was executed as a criminal, but its really 'sacred history in sacred time'. The gospels were written so that you and I would believe. They say it themselves"

I see where the foundation of your belief lies. One of the foundations, at least. A 'sacred history in a sacred time'. You arbitrarily declared it sacred. It was actually compiled around 400AD which, by most historical measures, was a rather ugly time.

The logical fallacy is larger than that, though. What makes a time sacred? Why this one era of five thousand years of recorded western history? Well, mainly because a great many people agree that this time should be sacred. It feels good to agree with a lot of people about something as fundamental as this. It felt good for a great many Germans to agree with their blonde-haired neighbors. It is a natural human instinct to seek community, especially in these fragmented and isolating times.

But that's all it is--human instinct. There is nothing inherantly sacred about that era or your sacred text. It is a consensual delusion agreed-upon by a billion human beings to reinforce each other's denial of the void inside. And I am not saying that your bible or the man and times it depicts or your faith in some of your fellow people isn't sacred. All of those things are sacred. But so are a great many other things. Waterfalls are sacred.

The springs that existed for millions of years, the springs that watered a field that sustained life for billions of creatures for millions of years that are now nothing more than fodder for the name of the town Bart Simpson lives in--those springs are sacred, too. And the fields that no longer exist. And all the forgotten animals. Those things are sacred, too. They are even more sacred now that they have vanished down the memory-hole.

Did you know that Fortescue, New Jersey was one of the world's top caviar-producing regions a hundred years ago? Well, the christians that lived in the area did not think sturgeon were sacred. And that is our complaint.

We can see the beauty and the 'sacred' in the myth that sustains you. Most of us, as atheists, are not immune to the charms and seductions of having faith. Faith in anything is a very, very nice feeling. But we insist on seeing all of the sacred in all things. And christians, but really religious people in general...well, it is a human trait, not a religious one. But the mindset that rapes the delaware river of a magnificent fish the size of a buick is encouraged by a refusal to respond with reason to dire human predicaments.

Sacred is a luxury. Allowing yourself to stay vulnerable enough to see the sacred, to see god in all of his creation, requires that you deny his existance entirely. Atheists are not angry with christians for their preachiness or for george bush. george bush represents greed, not religion. Everyone but the fundamentalists can see that. Atheists are just tired of watching people respond to strife, the emotional stress that occurs because they are poor and hungry, by denying all of the sacred, all of the beauty, except for a small and narrowly defined piece of beauty. Atheists view religious people as fools walking through life with blinders on.

Do you know what blinders were? I'm not talking down to you, I just have more education than most people and sometimes use refrences they may not understand. Before there were cars, people rode horses. Everybody knows that. But as people got more prosperous overall (due to advances made through rational thought and usually against the wishes of the clergy, I might add)...but the overall amount of wealth people as a species are able to produce has been steadily increasing since forever. Due in no small part to christianity's influence, a few people kept most of the wealth and gathered in cities. Eventually there became enough horse-drawn carriages that traffic became a problem. Not traffic accidents, per se, but the horses had to walk too close to each other and were always scared. And scared horses are dangerous--horses are large, powerful animals. So men invented 'blinders', something to take away the horse's peripheral vision so it couldn't see the world around it and therefore could work in a city environment that horses were never designed for.

Atheists view religious people as powerful animals that need to be shielded from most of the beauty in the world lest they panic and hurt people. So aside from the track record of almost utter failure at uplifting the human condition and legitimate responsibility for some of mankind's most depraved ongoing behaviors, atheists take umbrage at the christian insistance that everything else is not beautiful, is not sacred. With no god at all I can see the sacred in a cockroach or the AIDS virus or a reeking pile of dead mussles washed up on a beach. And I know you can't.

Before I go I'd like to point out another thing that christians fail to see the beauty in: women. Christianity has no goddess. It is a stretch to claim that all christians hate women, but you obviously hold them in lower regard than men. And that, more than the lost forests and freedoms and sturgeon, is why I write here.


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Excellent first post Gentle.

Excellent first post Gentle. Welcome aboard. I noticed you mention in your profile that an interest of yours is promoting compassion, consider me a fan. Sometimes this board can appear as if it lacks compassion and I hope that doesn't ever discourage you, because your "gentle" voice was refreshing, and needed.

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Damn. I had a whole lot of

Damn. I had a whole lot of writing vanish when I accidently hit a link button. You know I'm dedicated, cause I'm going to write the whole damn thing again.

Quote:
From my studies it appears that the New Testament writings came about to solve problems in the church communities.

Actually, the new testament came about when a bunch of priests put it together centuries after the supposed churches in question. Yes, there were pockets of early christians in Rome, but the "church" didn't organize until well after the books were supposedly written.

Quote:
AD. 70, the gospel of Mark was written to pass on the good news of the Christ to future generations.

This is, to my knowledge, a very generous estimate of when Mark was written. Let's just agree that it was decades after Jesus supposedly lived. Even if it was forty years later, that's a long time. Neither here nor there, really. I just think you're being a bit disingenuous in trying to produce reliability.

Quote:
Plain and simple, the gospels are historical in that they write about a historical figure with a message and was executed as a criminal, but its really 'sacred history in sacred time'. The gospels were written so that you and I would believe. They say it themselves.

Plain and simple, the gospels are not historical. They are full of inaccuracies and internal contradictions. Check out the forums here. There are several good posts about the historical inaccuracies, as well as pointers to the exact verses that contradict one another.

You admit that the bible contradicts itself. Combine that with the lack of historicity, and you're skating on thin ice trying to push it through as a valid document to base your life on.

Quote:
That a historical Jesus lived and preached a message of equality to a people oppressed by Rome, to preach that the kingdom of God was for those who were rejected by society, i.e the sick, children, widows, etc., to preach a social and religious change from the Temple system, who was crucified probably because he started a ruckuss in the Temple during passover, this Jesus is derived from Historical analysis of the texts and other sources non biblical (very few).

No, he is not derived from historical analysis. He's derived from wishful thinking. The other non-biblical sources are virtually non-existent, and they admit no historical accuracy, only the legend. Maybe he existed, but there's no historically verifiable evidence for it.

Quote:
And like you guys said, we are all taking a risk in believing or not. If there is no God, then I lived my life well. If there is then I still lived my life well. At least to me it doesnt change anything. I try to live my life morally (ha! we are only young once, we are 'sinful') so that others may also live in peace and with their due hapiness.

Pascal's Wager is a pile of poopy!! See any of the dozens of refutations of this tired and haggard argument.

Quote:
can see how many would see religion as an opium for the masses, but also a bitter sweet poison that destroy us (religious wars).

Now you're making sense.

Quote:
Like the whole colonization of Latin America, that went so wrong in so many ways!

You have a gift for understatement.

Quote:
It all comes down to faith, not rationale, because thats what religion is, faith.

In other words, it all comes down to believing despite evidence to the contrary. That's just plain silly, if you ask me.

Quote:
Now, what I find interesting is the idea of a soul, scientifically our minds, thoughts, memories. We know so little and where they are processed, but we can't see it or touch it, yet our brains somehow can relive it. There are so many questions, like why are humans the only species that can reazon?

You've got your facts wrong. Lots of animals can reason. Abstract reasoning is relatively limited, and seems to be common only in the higher animals... dolphins, chimps, etc...

Quote:
haha, the bible and science have a lot of explaining todo.

Well, science has already explained the bible. It's a made up story that lots of people believe for irrational reasons. Science is working diligently on the brain. We're making a lot of progress, too. Have you heard of the remote controlled rats? Neato stuff.

Quote:
Anyways, I hope this message did not come off as an attack. You can never be so sure with these little e-mails.

Nah. Comes off pretty well, I'd say. I hope you'll respect that I'm not trying to put you down, either. I only want you to check your facts and examine your logic. Both are somewhat flawed.

Quote:
But I do ask that although we do share interest in religion in different ways, to pray ...er....help support peace and unity throughout the world.

I say less praying, more rationality. That would be a good start towards peace and unity, if you ask me.

Quote:
I think the bible belt in the US should not be allowed to vote.

Cheeky monkey. Don't be silly.

Quote:
Allah (the one true God) is the Christian God, as well as the Jewish God. One God, three separate opinions, hahaha.

Cheeky, cheeky, cheeky. I'll give you a dollar if you go to Palestine and try to sell that on a street corner.

You take care, man. Don't let us run you off. We like it when you answer our criticisms (provided you bring new evidence! We don't like for you to repeat what we already read.)

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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