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Author Topic:   Choosing a faith
ringo
Member (Idle past 527 days)
Posts: 20940
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005


Message 931 of 3812 (899131)
10-08-2022 9:32 PM
Reply to: Message 916 by GDR
10-08-2022 4:38 PM


Re: What does God want of Us
GDR writes:
The thing is you are limiting that superior intelligence to our world of time and space.
Of course I am. What justification do you have for dreaming up anything outside our time amd space?
GDR writes:
So far there hasn't been any evidence that we wind up on some alien's dinner table.
It's a purpose that we know about. Again, what justification do you have for putting what we don't know ahead of what we do know?
GDR writes:
I that is the plan I think they'll find the meat of the prairie folk just too tough. :-)
They'll have to cook us longer.

"Oh no, They've gone and named my home St. Petersburg.
What's going on? Where are all the friends I had?
It's all wrong, I'm feeling lost like I just don't belong.
Give me back, give me back my Leningrad."
-- Leningrad Cowboys

This message is a reply to:
 Message 916 by GDR, posted 10-08-2022 4:38 PM GDR has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 943 by GDR, posted 10-10-2022 1:42 PM ringo has replied

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 6206
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 932 of 3812 (899134)
10-08-2022 10:51 PM
Reply to: Message 926 by Admin
10-08-2022 6:16 PM


OK. Thanks Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 926 by Admin, posted 10-08-2022 6:16 PM Admin has seen this message but not replied

  
Son Goku
Inactive Member


Message 933 of 3812 (899142)
10-09-2022 2:21 AM
Reply to: Message 930 by AZPaul3
10-08-2022 7:23 PM


I haven't seen that as a major historical item. If some crazy historians think like that then it's ... crazy.
It's not something people have actually said. I'm just saying that deflecting from something being another British imposition by saying that the concept originates in a Jewish text is just nonsense.
Why excuse the church of perpetrating a similar evil in Ireland?
I'm not excusing the church. Let me explain.
The picture painted in the original post was of religion feeding on the poor. This was done by contrasting supposed squalor with the enormity of religious structures. I am saying there are several things wrong with this picture. In the main that the real exploitation was simply the British engine of colonialism. Now:
(a) The post started off with the typical stuff of "Ireland has always been poor". As if it is was just something that passively occurred. This is something often said in things that downplay British involvement like "India has always been unruly".
(b) The buildings mentioned were funded by wealthy British people in the main. Others were made by the Nemed (native nobility).
Thus the entire image in the original post is essentially false. The poverty was not something that had always been the case and the listed buildings weren't involved with the exploitation.
Then suddenly the discussion shifted to tithes, something which I had "forgotten" as opposed to simply not being part of the first post since most of those buildings were not funded by tithes.
The tithes again are being seen in an artificial and historically false light by focusing on the literal truth of certain sentences, i.e. "well the church at some point literally ended up with some money from some poor yeah?"
This ignores that no other religious institution on the island attempted to do this. Not the Catholic church, not the Dutch churches, not the French churches. Only the British state church. This was simply the Anglican church acting as another instrument of British colonialism. I mean guess who was exempt from Tithes by law: English colonists. Guess who wasn't: Everybody else. Guess who paid the highest versions: Native Irish. But sure it's a Biblical concept, certainly not British. No, no of course not. The real bad guy here is religion, not British Imperialism.
To be honest I don't think Tangle know anything about tithes in Ireland, he just jumped to it as something I had "forgotten" because the original post wasn't true. Because virtually every detail about the tithes shows them to be just another colonial imposition.
Let me give you an analogy. If I went to America and said I had wandered around the South and seen the old olive fields and talked about us all being duped by the olive industry, that would be an odd slant to put on slavery in America. I mean yes literally the olive industry exploited people, but as one small part of a whole cultural complex. Not something to isolate on its own independently and decry. Doubly odd if I then started saying stuff like "Olives are a Levantine plant, not American" and started claiming that talking about slavery in general was a "rabbit" you weren't going to follow.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 930 by AZPaul3, posted 10-08-2022 7:23 PM AZPaul3 has not replied

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 9539
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 4.0


Message 934 of 3812 (899146)
10-09-2022 3:44 AM


Just as a point of information, lest we forget and get diverted into Irish national causes and tea plantations. Tithing is an ancient religious construct not restricted to Ireland or Britain. It helped build the churches and cathedrals of Europe. Encyclopaedia Brittanica
quote:
tithe, (from Old English teogothian, “tenth”), a custom dating back to Old Testament times and adopted by the Christian church whereby lay people contributed a 10th of their income for religious purposes, often under ecclesiastical or legal obligation. The money (or its equivalent in crops, farm stock, etc.) was used to support the clergy, maintain churches, and assist the poor. Tithing was also a prime source of subsidy for the construction of many magnificent cathedrals in Europe.
Despite serious resistance, tithing became obligatory as Christianity spread across Europe. It was enjoined by ecclesiastical law from the 6th century and enforced in Europe by secular law from the 8th century. In England in the 10th century, payment was made obligatory under ecclesiastical penalties by Edmund I and under temporal penalties by Edgar. In the 11th century Pope Gregory VII, in an effort to control abuses, outlawed lay ownership of tithes.
During the 16th-century Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther approved in general of paying tithes to the temporal sovereign, and the imposition of tithes continued for the benefit of Protestant as well as Roman Catholic churches. Gradually, however, opposition grew. Tithes were repealed in France during the Revolution (1789), without compensation to tithe holders. Other countries abolished certain kinds of tithes and indemnified the holders. By 1887 the tithe had been brought to an end in Italy. It was abolished in Ireland at the disestablishment of the Anglican church in 1871, and it gradually died out in the Church of Scotland. In England in 1836, the tithe was commuted for a rent charge depending on the price of grain, and in 1936 the tithe rent charges were abolished. New methods of taxation were developed in those countries that provided financial support of the church out of government funds. Remnants of the tithing system do exist, however, in certain Protestant European countries. In Germany, for example, citizens must pay a church tax unless they formally renounce membership in a church.
tithe | almsgiving | Britannica

Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London. Olen Suomi Soy Barcelona. I am Ukraine.

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


Replies to this message:
 Message 935 by Son Goku, posted 10-09-2022 4:06 AM Tangle has replied

  
Son Goku
Inactive Member


Message 935 of 3812 (899147)
10-09-2022 4:06 AM
Reply to: Message 934 by Tangle
10-09-2022 3:44 AM


Just as a point of information, lest we forget and get diverted into Irish national causes and tea plantations. Tithing is an ancient religious construct not restricted to Ireland or Britain
Well duh it's not restricted to Ireland and Britain! Taxation is also not restricted to Ireland and Britain, but the heavy food and money taxes that were imposed on us were a British colonial imposition. What the hell does it matter that the concept occurred elsewhere.
Slavery was an ancient economic construct not restricted to America. Nothing interesting to say about slavery in the USA then, it's not purely American "lest we forget".

This message is a reply to:
 Message 934 by Tangle, posted 10-09-2022 3:44 AM Tangle has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 936 by Tangle, posted 10-09-2022 5:24 AM Son Goku has replied

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 9539
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 4.0


Message 936 of 3812 (899148)
10-09-2022 5:24 AM
Reply to: Message 935 by Son Goku
10-09-2022 4:06 AM


Son Goku writes:
Well duh it's not restricted to Ireland and Britain! Taxation is also not restricted to Ireland and Britain, but the heavy food and money taxes that were imposed on us were a British colonial imposition. What the hell does it matter that the concept occurred elsewhere

Slavery was an ancient economic construct not restricted to America. Nothing interesting to say about slavery in the USA then, it's not purely American "lest we forget".
It matters because everything else you're introducing from British colonialism, to tea plantations, taxes and slavery has nothing to do with the discussion. The point I was trying to make in that original post was that the church in Ireland as elsewhere in Europe exploited the population by making them work on church land and property and taking 10% of their income or produce. All this predates British colonialism by hundreds of years.
I was simply disgusted by the wealth of the religions in the middle of a poor part of the city that was much poorer before the slums were cleared. As a reminder, this is my post. It's not a pop at Ireland, it's my revulsion of a religious hypocrisy and exploitation.
Tangle writes:
I'm on holiday at the moment, having a day in Cork, Ireland. Instead of the usual tourist things, I took a walk around the older parts of the city that haven't been redeveloped for 200 years.

Ireland has always been a poor country and it can be seen in these parts even though most of the worst slum areas were cleared in the 1800s the houses that replaced them still look poor so god knows what it was like before. Most of the emigration to the US left Ireland from Cobh harbour here.

The conditions people lived in then must have been horrendous but in the middle of all the squalor was the church in all its power. There's an enormous infrastructure of religious power; the massive St Fin Barre's Cathedral, St Stephen's Church, St Nicholas Church, Holy Trinity Church the Scottish Presbyterian Church(!), the Red Abbey, Capuchins Friary, numerous smaller (but still large) churches with their support buildings - the Episcopal residences of the Bishop of Ireland, the Deanery, the Organist's houses, and a stack more in a very small area.

It's a terrible statement - immense wealth and power surrounded by poverty and starvation. Yet it was the poor that paid for and built these insane monuments to stupidity.

Religious institutions preach godliness and claim the moral high ground but behaved like wealthy overlords. It made me feel sick and angry. Religion is not a meme, it's an industry and a con and we're still falling for it.

Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London. Olen Suomi Soy Barcelona. I am Ukraine.

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 935 by Son Goku, posted 10-09-2022 4:06 AM Son Goku has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 937 by Son Goku, posted 10-09-2022 5:50 AM Tangle has replied

  
Son Goku
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 937 of 3812 (899149)
10-09-2022 5:50 AM
Reply to: Message 936 by Tangle
10-09-2022 5:24 AM


The point I was trying to make in that original post was that the church in Ireland as elsewhere in Europe exploited the population by making them work on church land and property and taking 10% of their income or produce.
All this predates British colonialism by hundreds of years.
But it's not that simple. Religion in general did not do this in Ireland. Only the British state church. Before the arrival of British power in Ireland the average Irish person did not pay anything to the church due to the separation of Brehon law and Canon law. It did not predate British colonialism by hundreds of years in Ireland. It predated elsewhere, but the place you mentioned was Ireland.
Secondly the buildings you saw weren't actually funded in this way. Cork city's tithes were often drawn from Muskerry, Carberry and surrounding areas. The people there dodged the tithe in the majority of cases and nearly all the funding for these buildings came from Anglicans themselves. The Presbyterian church was funded by Presbyterians who had the money. None of what you saw is actually true.
I was simply disgusted by the wealth of the religions in the middle of a poor part of the city that was much poorer before the slums were cleared
And what I'm saying is that this was not "the wealth of the religions". It's simply one religion, the British state religion, being wealthy as part of the British colonial class being wealthy. I'm saying that not knowing about Irish history means you're separating out Religion here as something particularly wealthy. There are several other disgustingly wealthy buildings in Cork and all around Ireland built on the backs of the poor. The vast vast majority not being religious.
Let me make it clear. These buildings were spectacularly wealthy relative to their surroundings because the people who payed for them had cash to burn. They had cash to burn because they were landlords with virtually no oversight or legal control and could exploit local tenant farmers to their hearts content. The funding of these churches is inseparable from colonialism, it's not something that has "nothing to do with" their construction. With their colonial money the landlords built churches, fancy gardens, museums and several other things. You can't pull out the churches to make some isolated point about religion.
The fact that tithes pre-existed elsewhere matters little considering the tithes were targetted at the native Irish, the colonists were exempt and these buildings weren't funded that way anyway.
Separately to this I was also correcting the idea of Ireland "always being poor". One can correct a stereotype even if it's not directly what you were discussing.
It's not a pop at Ireland
I don't think it's a pop at Ireland.
Did religion exploit people? Yes.
Did it take enormous amounts of wealth from the poor? Yes.
Did it rob nations? Yes. See the Aztec and Mayan gold in the Vatican.
But this is not what you saw in Ireland. A statement being true in other places and other times does not change this. Those buildings being impressive is just because they were funded by colonialists like several other places across the island, other religious buildings from the time and earlier are not in the same boat, so it's not about "religion".
Your point in general is true of course, it's just that Ireland in the 18th and 19th century and before is a bad example.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 936 by Tangle, posted 10-09-2022 5:24 AM Tangle has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 938 by Tangle, posted 10-09-2022 7:11 AM Son Goku has not replied

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 9539
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 4.0


Message 938 of 3812 (899150)
10-09-2022 7:11 AM
Reply to: Message 937 by Son Goku
10-09-2022 5:50 AM


Son Goku writes:
Your point in general is true of course.
Thank you, that was all I'm going for.

Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London. Olen Suomi Soy Barcelona. I am Ukraine.

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 937 by Son Goku, posted 10-09-2022 5:50 AM Son Goku has not replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 22697
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.6


Message 939 of 3812 (899152)
10-09-2022 10:03 AM
Reply to: Message 880 by GDR
10-06-2022 2:49 PM


Re: What does God want of Us
GDR writes:
In this case I think the number of people who were the original believers were eyewitnesses or had first hand contact with the eyewitnesses.
But there are only stories claiming eyewitnesses. Possibly as many as billions of people believe these stories true. If millions of people believing the world flat had no influence on the shape of the world, why would billions of people believing the Bible stories have any influence on their truth?
I'm not sure what else is there to go on. Within the natural world we can observe that we have morality, empathy etc, plus we have what was written. After that it is faith in the conclusions that we draw from those things.
There is an unwritten and sort of natural-law contract between the religious and secular aspects of the western world. The secular agrees to be respectful of all people's faiths and of their right to worship as they see fit, while the religious agree to observe restraint in their interactions with the secular. Claiming outside the house of worship that your religion is the one, right and true religion because the facts support it, and to jump with both feet into the political arena in matters concerning health, abortion, sex education, and LBGTQ matters, fractures that contract into little shards.
I'm not sure what else is there to go on. Within the natural world we can observe that we have morality, empathy etc, plus we have what was written. After that it is faith in the conclusions that we draw from those things.
And during WWII the Japanese had loyalty to the Emperor and the Germans had loyalty to Hitler and the Russians had love of motherland, while today we have racism and narcissism and xenophobia and misogyny, not to mention an apparent failure of education in democracy on a massive scale. Everything you can place on one side of the scales is easily overbalanced by things that belong on the other side. Russian missiles just struck civilian apartment buildings in Zaporizhzhia with 12 known dead at this time. If God exists, that's on him, too. He's got some 'splainin' to do.
The argument, "Things would be worse without God," fails spectacularly. The countries faring the best are the most secular. There's something about a religious streak that hardens mens hearts into thinking, "We have to solve this problem like real men, with guns and bayonets."
People lie. People misconstrue things in their minds. There is bad eye witness testimony and there is good eyewitness testimony. We just form our own conclusions about what we believe of the testimony.
When it comes to which eyewitness to believe you may as well flip a coin, a coin with three sides where the third side says, "Neither!" The only reliable witness is evidence. What someone thinks they saw should carry very little weight.
I was a witness in an assault years ago. The prosecutor presented me a photo lineup. I gave him percentages on the accuracy of my identifications. I graded my accuracy at around 10% for two of the perpetrators, and 90% for the other. By the time of the trial a couple months later I had begun to forget details, like the order in which events happened. I was called for the defense, interestingly enough. I think the prosecutor wanted people who could be certain in their identifications. His photo lineup also had flaws, which if he'd deigned to cross-examine me I would have noted. The perpetrator photos were obviously new, the other photos obviously old and used many times, cues which I refused to follow.
By the way, the truth did will out. They were able to identify all the perpetrators without eyewitness identification and all went to jail, serving a year or two each. The victim suffered back pain for years.
Good point. My view of the Bible is that I read it through the lens of what Jesus taught. I do that partly because it is consistent with my view of a god as a result of my fundamental theistic conclusion, and because I am also convinced of the truth of the resurrection of Jesus. There is much of the Bible that I am essentially agnostic on, and I reject the suggestion of God committing or commanding genocide and the whole notion of stoning as a means of punishment or execution.
A selective reading of the Bible is definitely the right call, but it must be based upon evidence, not which parts you like and which parts you don't.
OK it is faith. I assume that you believe that Plato existed. Which of the 5 senses do you use to explain that?
Expanding the question a bit, why do I believe Socrates fictional and Plato real?
But first let's deal with your question about which of my five senses I used to reach my conclusions. Did you already forget when I said history doesn't work that way? Did you think I believe we can only accept historical accounts as long as the eyewitnesses are alive and available to testify?
No, of course not. What we know of history depends upon contemporary chroniclers, documentation and physical evidence. You know what history says of Solomon and David? That there's absolutely no sign of them during the period the Bible says they lived. No contemporary writings, no clay tablets or scrolls, no contemporary inscriptions, no sign of their great constructions.
Socrates comes down to us as a convenient foil for the ironic stories Plato liked to tell, but there are also contemporaneous chroniclers who mention him, so many that it would be reasonable to consider him real if so many of the details about him weren't inconsistent and/or contradictory. I'm not a historian and can't pretend the ability to unravel it all, but it makes me doubt Socrates was real. Or perhaps he was a composite of several people.
Plato, on the other hand, actually wrote books, and contemporaries wrote about him and his books. He ran a school. One of his students was Aristotle, for whom we also have a large cache of contemporary evidence.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 880 by GDR, posted 10-06-2022 2:49 PM GDR has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 944 by GDR, posted 10-10-2022 4:06 PM Percy has replied

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 18456
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.0


Message 940 of 3812 (899202)
10-10-2022 7:15 AM
Reply to: Message 877 by Theodoric
10-06-2022 12:19 PM


Re: What does God want of Us
Theodoric writes:
Why don't you ever have your own answer? Tell us what you think not what someone else thinks.
I think I see your point, but did it ever occur to you that what we think is honed and formed through studying what others think, why they think it, how their conclusion carries into and throughout society, and what the political/sociological, and perhaps philosophical implications mean? My point is that I am developing my own answer over time and through experience. I will agree that confirmation bias, though very human, can itself be challenged in order to develop our own thoughts, opinions, beliefs, and/or worldviews.

"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain "
***
“…far from science having buried God, not only do the results of science point towards his existence, but the scientific enterprise itself is validated by his existence.”- Dr.John Lennox

“A God without wrath brought men without sin into a Kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a Cross.”
H. Richard Niebuhr, The Kingdom of God in America

“The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of a doubt, what is laid before him.” — Leo Tolstoy, The Kingdom of God is Within You
(1894).


This message is a reply to:
 Message 877 by Theodoric, posted 10-06-2022 12:19 PM Theodoric has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 942 by ringo, posted 10-10-2022 12:38 PM Phat has not replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 22697
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.6


Message 941 of 3812 (899204)
10-10-2022 9:34 AM
Reply to: Message 881 by GDR
10-06-2022 3:06 PM


Re: What does God want of Us
GDR writes:
IMHO the belief that consciousness, altruism, empathy, love etc are the result of nothing but a series of mindless processes driven by chance without any external intelligence, is too big a stretch for me.
You keep making the same mistake. You keep choosing all the "sweetness and light" qualities, and you do it in the face of people calling your attention, over and over, to the negative qualities, like retardation, brain damage, dementia, death, selfishness, narcissism, mercilessness, vengefulness, greed, hate, etc. You've got a blind spot as barren and large as the Atacama Desert.
I contend that an intelligence that is outside of our time and space experience is a much more reasonable answer.
Why are you saying this yet again? You seem very intelligent. Why are you stuck on repeating your basic points and not moving the discussion forward?
I contend that an invisible spaghetti monster is a much more reasonable answer. Let us compare the evidence for each. You first.
That is my unevidenced conclusion based on life experiences and my observations of this world and the lives in it.
You've said this exact same thing before and the answer hasn't changed. Your "life experiences and my observations" are evidence, meaning that you are wrong to characterize you conclusions as unevidenced. And when asked what your evidence is you talk of "consciousness, altruism," etc., while forgetting "death, selfishness," etc., which I already covered above, but which I had to cover again because you keep saying the same thing in different ways. Using different words to say the same thing does not turn an old point into a new point.
At some point you have to jump off your self inflicted merry-go-round and start considering all the points people are raising. Ignoring them will only make people angry and frustrated, which I'm sure I would be right now were I not so busy and limited to about a post a day.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 881 by GDR, posted 10-06-2022 3:06 PM GDR has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 945 by GDR, posted 10-10-2022 9:18 PM Percy has replied

  
ringo
Member (Idle past 527 days)
Posts: 20940
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005


Message 942 of 3812 (899210)
10-10-2022 12:38 PM
Reply to: Message 940 by Phat
10-10-2022 7:15 AM


Re: What does God want of Us
Phat writes:
did it ever occur to you that what we think is honed and formed through studying what others think, why they think it, how their conclusion carries into and throughout society, and what the political/sociological, and perhaps philosophical implications mean?
That's exactly why we want to know the current state of YOUR mind, not a jumble of the sources that you're assimilating.
Phat writes:
My point is that I am developing my own answer over time and through experience.
So tell us the current development.

"Oh no, They've gone and named my home St. Petersburg.
What's going on? Where are all the friends I had?
It's all wrong, I'm feeling lost like I just don't belong.
Give me back, give me back my Leningrad."
-- Leningrad Cowboys

This message is a reply to:
 Message 940 by Phat, posted 10-10-2022 7:15 AM Phat has not replied

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 6206
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 943 of 3812 (899212)
10-10-2022 1:42 PM
Reply to: Message 931 by ringo
10-08-2022 9:32 PM


Re: What does God want of Us
ringo writes:
Of course I am. What justification do you have for dreaming up anything outside our time amd space?
Well it is hardly me that dreamed it up. As for the justification I don't have anything more to add than what I've already said numerous times.
ringo writes:
It's a purpose that we know about. Again, what justification do you have for putting what we don't know ahead of what we do know?
We purposely have children. My kids have greatly increased the quality of my life. The Biblical message is that God created out of love and that's a purpose we know about.
ringo writes:
They'll have to cook us longer.
A lot longer.

He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 931 by ringo, posted 10-08-2022 9:32 PM ringo has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 946 by ringo, posted 10-10-2022 9:52 PM GDR has replied

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 6206
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 944 of 3812 (899215)
10-10-2022 4:06 PM
Reply to: Message 939 by Percy
10-09-2022 10:03 AM


Re: What does God want of Us
Percy writes:
But there are only stories claiming eyewitnesses. Possibly as many as billions of people believe these stories true. If millions of people believing the world flat had no influence on the shape of the world, why would billions of people believing the Bible stories have any influence on their truth?
The flat earth believers believed based on what they observed as eye witnesses. It turns out that what they observed proved to be wrong.
In the biblical case the eye witnesses observed an actual historical event, (not an observation on the nature of things), and in many cases suffered enormously even to death based on what they observed.
Percy writes:
There is an unwritten and sort of natural-law contract between the religious and secular aspects of the western world. The secular agrees to be respectful of all people's faiths and of their right to worship as they see fit, while the religious agree to observe restraint in their interactions with the secular. Claiming outside the house of worship that your religion is the one, right and true religion because the facts support it, and to jump with both feet into the political arena in matters concerning health, abortion, sex education, and LBGTQ matters, fractures that contract into little shards.
You can't be serious. You're saying that a Christian shouldn't vote in accordance with what he/she believes is best for society, or promote his/her beliefs but a secularist can. Very strange form of democracy.) Your post also strongly implies that the secularists views are the right views which is a statement of belief or faith.
Percy writes:
And during WWII the Japanese had loyalty to the Emperor and the Germans had loyalty to Hitler and the Russians had love of motherland, while today we have racism and narcissism and xenophobia and misogyny, not to mention an apparent failure of education in democracy on a massive scale. Everything you can place on one side of the scales is easily overbalanced by things that belong on the other side. Russian missiles just struck civilian apartment buildings in Zaporizhzhia with 12 known dead at this time. If God exists, that's on him, too. He's got some 'splainin' to do.
That sounds to me like like the evolutionary "survival of the fittest" proposal is still alive and kicking in a world where we have the freedom to make those choices. Within all that there are those that continue to fight non-violently is support of peace and with humanitarian aid for those suffering.
Percy writes:
The argument, "Things would be worse without God," fails spectacularly. The countries faring the best are the most secular. There's something about a religious streak that hardens mens hearts into thinking, "We have to solve this problem like real men, with guns and bayonets."
Hmm. I grew up in a world where the bulk of people went to church and I will agree that it wasn't always on the basis of a personal faith, but even if it was jsut for the social implications they went.
It was far from a perfect world but there was an atmosphere where it was important to do the right thing. As a 6 and 7 year old I would take a bus into downtown Calgary and go to Eaton's Good Deed Radio Club" where we could watch kids perform on stage for a local radio station for 1/2 an hour and then watch cartoons with a theatre full of kids of the same age. All this without any parental involvement other that providing bus far and theatre money.
At the same age I could get on my bike with a lunch made by mom and be told to be sure to be home in time for supper.
Today that would be called child abuse.
In my years of school no one committed suicide. I was small, graduating from high school at 5 2 weighing 100 lbs. (I grew 7 inches later.) I never experienced bullying.
Yes there were other problems and there are many things that are better today however there is not the individual respect for the other that there was then. We pass our social concerns on to government and largely wipe our hands of the social concerns on our society and complain about the government doing a miserable job of dealing with our social concerns.
I would say that secularism is a massive failure.
Percy writes:
I was a witness in an assault years ago. The prosecutor presented me a photo lineup. I gave him percentages on the accuracy of my identifications. I graded my accuracy at around 10% for two of the perpetrators, and 90% for the other. By the time of the trial a couple months later I had begun to forget details, like the order in which events happened. I was called for the defense, interestingly enough. I think the prosecutor wanted people who could be certain in their identifications. His photo lineup also had flaws, which if he'd deigned to cross-examine me I would have noted. The perpetrator photos were obviously new, the other photos obviously old and used many times, cues which I refused to follow.

By the way, the truth did will out. They were able to identify all the perpetrators without eyewitness identification and all went to jail, serving a year or two each. The victim suffered back pain for years.
Some how I believe that if you had seen Jesus crucified and the later seen Him as resurrected you would remember. I can remember exactly where I was when Kennedy was shot and the same goes fro when Canada beat Russia in their hockey series in 1972.
Percy writes:
A selective reading of the Bible is definitely the right call, but it must be based upon evidence, not which parts you like and which parts you don't.
OK My opening post on this thread was about it not mattering what name you assign to a god that you reverence, but the nature of the god you reverence. As I said, I reverence the one that I see embodied by the nature of Jesus. My understanding of the Bible flows from that.
Percy writes:
Expanding the question a bit, why do I believe Socrates fictional and Plato real?

But first let's deal with your question about which of my five senses I used to reach my conclusions. Did you already forget when I said history doesn't work that way? Did you think I believe we can only accept historical accounts as long as the eyewitnesses are alive and available to testify?

No, of course not. What we know of history depends upon contemporary chroniclers, documentation and physical evidence. You know what history says of Solomon and David? That there's absolutely no sign of them during the period the Bible says they lived. No contemporary writings, no clay tablets or scrolls, no contemporary inscriptions, no sign of their great constructions.

Socrates comes down to us as a convenient foil for the ironic stories Plato liked to tell, but there are also contemporaneous chroniclers who mention him, so many that it would be reasonable to consider him real if so many of the details about him weren't inconsistent and/or contradictory. I'm not a historian and can't pretend the ability to unravel it all, but it makes me doubt Socrates was real. Or perhaps he was a composite of several people.

Plato, on the other hand, actually wrote books, and contemporaries wrote about him and his books. He ran a school. One of his students was Aristotle, for whom we also have a large cache of contemporary evidence.
Of course, I don't think that Plato didn't exist but it is still based on ancient authors. I Jesus we have the entire New Testament and we have numerous other authors that write about it as well.

He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 939 by Percy, posted 10-09-2022 10:03 AM Percy has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 1010 by Percy, posted 10-17-2022 10:19 AM GDR has not replied

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 6206
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 945 of 3812 (899227)
10-10-2022 9:18 PM
Reply to: Message 941 by Percy
10-10-2022 9:34 AM


Re: What does God want of Us
GDR writes:
IMHO the belief that consciousness, altruism, empathy, love etc are the result of nothing but a series of mindless processes driven by chance without any external intelligence, is too big a stretch for me.
Percy writes:
You keep making the same mistake. You keep choosing all the "sweetness and light" qualities, and you do it in the face of people calling your attention, over and over, to the negative qualities, like retardation, brain damage, dementia, death, selfishness, narcissism, mercilessness, vengefulness, greed, hate, etc. You've got a blind spot as barren and large as the Atacama Desert.
I've covered this stuff already. I would happily include vengefulness, and hate into the examples I used. I would assert that selfishness, narcissism, mercilessness and greed are built into the system by evolution and what we see as the "survival of the fittest". As for the remainder I agree that it is a problem for Christianity. Firstly I believe on faith alone that these things that just happen in our entropic world. However, as humans were are called to do all that we can to minimize the suffering that exists in the world.
GDR writes:
I contend that an intelligence that is outside of our time and space experience is a much more reasonable answer.
Percy writes:
Why are you saying this yet again? You seem very intelligent. Why are you stuck on repeating your basic points and not moving the discussion forward?
Because you keep asking it and don't agree with my replies.
Percy writes:
I contend that an invisible spaghetti monster is a much more reasonable answer. Let us compare the evidence for each. You first.
OK I have the Bible, and the view that all that makes up our consciousness is simply neuron and chemical channels as Son Goku put it stretches belief. What have you got for the FSM?
Percy writes:
At some point you have to jump off your self inflicted merry-go-round and start considering all the points people are raising. Ignoring them will only make people angry and frustrated, which I'm sure I would be right now were I not so busy and limited to about a post a day.
I have done my level best with 280 posts in this thread to answer all the points that I can on this thread. I don't have physical evidence other that books and those simply get rejected. Whatever if anything that exists beyond the material form our conclusions based on how we observe, interact with and experience the world we live in.

He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 941 by Percy, posted 10-10-2022 9:34 AM Percy has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 1023 by Percy, posted 10-18-2022 9:48 AM GDR has replied

  
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