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Author Topic: Religion- Oh no not that again  (Read 24625 times)

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Offline Samnell

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #375 on: May 31, 2012, 12:13:56 AM »
There's a difference between holding up a sign that says ___ is God's wrath and the above.  You'd most certainly have an enlightening conversation with Archbishop Williams however.

Interventionist deities are interventionist deities, whether they're giving gay people AIDS, saving babies from tsunamis, or resurrecting their family members. And yes those are all examples I've personally observed.

Is any religion too much religion?

Yes.

Existence is not a science claim.  It is ontological.  There are no theories devoted to the existence of phenomenon, only theories that seek to elucidate an observed physical reaction and why it occurs.  Gravity, for instance, is not a discussion of existence in physics but instead a matter of repeating, observable force.  We understand how it works without caring about how it came to be.

God performing a specific act that is observable and can be studied is a scientific claim.  The existence of God, spirituality, souls and prophesy however are ontology.  One is physicalism and the other qualia.

The existence of a planet is a science claim. The existence of an animal is a science claim. The existence of electromagnetism is a science claim. There's nothing but science claims and meaningless noise in your examples. Either gods, souls, and the like are observable phenomena accessible to subject to scientific scrutiny or they're nothing but a bunch of nonsense words.

Who is being oppressed by the Anglican Church in the UK?

The entire population to begin with, who are compelled to support a religion through the organs of state. That would be true even if there were no churchmen in government, but in fact the House of Lords is lousy with 'em. Religion in government is inherently imposed and oppressive. Then there's the fact that the head of state is a religious official. Throw on top of that tax dollars going to support the religion... Need I go on?

Offline Samnell

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #376 on: May 31, 2012, 12:19:00 AM »
Beg pardon - NatalieB states that 'they are openly mocked by mainstream media, comedians, etc.  Viewed as less intelligent, no statutory right to religious festivals off work and so on.' 

If we were to substitute any other group into this statement - let's take Polish people, since I happen to be over half Polish - would you still say that 'the things [she's] listed' were not signs that Poles were an oppressed minority?  Let alone that they were an oppressing minority?  I would think that an oppressing minority would be one that was able to influence the majority around them to their own benefit (e.g., forcing laws to allow them to take cultural festivals off work), and to drive any mockery about them down to the level of guiltily whispered snickers.

I'm half Polish myself. I grew up listening to dumb Polish jokes, mostly from my Polish speaking first generation off the boat grandfather. So no I don't see comedians mocking someone as inherently a sign of an oppressed minority. Nor do I see how having to spend your personal time off to take religious holidays off as anything but how things should be. Why should desires to take a day off for one's religion be treated in with any preference at all to simply not wanting to come to work that day because you're in a bad mood, or simply have the whim for a day off? The fact that one would think it is oppressive is extremely suspect in my eyes, because it reveals that the speaker thinks the religious should have rights superior to those of the rest of us. How else could one justify preferring religious whims to any other whims when wanting time off work? This is the dream of a person who cannot tolerate the idea of equality under the law.

Offline Samnell

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #377 on: May 31, 2012, 12:26:32 AM »
Honestly, it looks a little like you're arguing for argument's sake now.  But fine.

No, I'm quite serious. If I've missed your meaning or lost track in the course of a post, that does happen. I'm not being deliberately obtuse.

As mentioned, we are using the word 'religion' to refer to two distinct things.  Maybe the religion your familiar with deserves such hatred, maybe it doesn't.  The religion I'm familiar with certainly doesn't.  Of course schools teach RE.  Are you honestly and genuinely claiming that religion (in both our senses) has had so little impact on humanity that the principles of it shouldn't be taught to children?  That's... well, I'm really sorry but thats so idiotic that I can only assume I've misunderstood your position.  How can you possibly object to RE lessons?

Perhaps I'm ignorant of their content. Are RE classes essentially courses in how we know religions are all false and we should be vigilant against their influence upon us? Or are they all about teaching people to believe in religions?

Also, here's a sketch of my definition of religion: A system of beliefs maintained despite the lack of sufficient evidence in their support combined with a rejection of the notion that one should even expect evidence to appear or that one would alter one's position should contrary evidence arise. I don't think, based on your past posts, you would disagree with any of that.

I'm just going to leave you and Stephen Jay Gould argue about that one.  One of you is clearly wrong.  At least one of you is a multi-award winning evolutionary biologist and one of the most influential science writers of all time.  Get back to me when you've thrashed it out.

It's Gould. And here's a multi-award winning evolutionary biologist to tell you so:
http://www.secularhumanism.org/library/fi/dawkins_18_2.html
« Last Edit: May 31, 2012, 12:45:48 AM by Samnell »

Offline Oniya

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Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #378 on: May 31, 2012, 12:31:45 AM »
I can see that we've reached an impasse.  You possess the militant mentality that I personally place on the same level as someone who wants to cram their particular view of deity into everyone's head.  Rather than waste either of our time, I shall bow out of this discussion.

Offline Samnell

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #379 on: May 31, 2012, 12:37:22 AM »
I can see that we've reached an impasse.  You possess the militant mentality that I personally place on the same level as someone who wants to cram their particular view of deity into everyone's head.  Rather than waste either of our time, I shall bow out of this discussion.

I'm equally militant in opposition to the notions that the Moon is made of green cheese, that the sun is a giant ball of spaghetti wherein dwell people made of meatballs and marinara sauce, and that the Holocaust is a great big lie the Jews cooked up to win everyone's sympathy so they could go on poisoning wells and running the world through secret banking conspiracies. And for all the same reasons. Either we life in the same universe, in which case when two people disagree one or both is wrong and we can figure it out, or we do not and solipsism reigns in which case your objection is meaningless.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2012, 12:54:40 AM by Samnell »

Offline NatalieB

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #380 on: May 31, 2012, 10:12:53 AM »
Quote
The entire population to begin with, who are compelled to support a religion through the organs of state. That would be true even if there were no churchmen in government, but in fact the House of Lords is lousy with 'em. Religion in government is inherently imposed and oppressive. Then there's the fact that the head of state is a religious official. Throw on top of that tax dollars going to support the religion... Need I go on?

Please.  Tax money doesn't support the Church of England for a start.  Further there are 788 members of the House of Lords, of which 26 are the Lords Spiritual.  0.03% is hardly lousy with them.  Its a shame that someone so passionately devoted to truth doesn't feel the need to check statements at all before declaring them.

Which brings us to

Quote
Perhaps I'm ignorant of their content.

Well, why decry them then?  It's easy to check 

RE classes teach the tenants of various faiths so that we might know more about the world around us.  When I was at school it was Christianity, Islam, Judaism and one that changed every year - I did Jainism.  The syllabus has changed now, but its broadly the same.

This is what I mean Samnell about arguing for its own sake.  You apparently, self-claimed, are so passionate about the truth and rationality but out of that entire post EVERY SINGLE fact you claimed was either incorrect, personal opinion (in the case of Gould vs Dawkins) or you flat out admitted you didn't know what you were talking about.

It makes it incredibly hard to believe your claims that you are in fact devoted to the truth.  It makes it far more likely you're simply arguiing for its own sake.  If I'm wrong then I apologise, but surely you can see how people are coming to that conclusion

Offline Samnell

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #381 on: May 31, 2012, 02:58:29 PM »
Please.  Tax money doesn't support the Church of England for a start.  Further there are 788 members of the House of Lords, of which 26 are the Lords Spiritual.  0.03% is hardly lousy with them.  Its a shame that someone so passionately devoted to truth doesn't feel the need to check statements at all before declaring them.

I take it Church of England properties are taxed then, like any private business would be? Or are they not and the secular UK is picking up the tab in the form of higher taxes? I learned from the article you linked that the churches benefited until this year from a 100% VAT break. But if they are, an established church is still an established church. There's no getting around it. You are compelled by the fact that you are subject to the UK government to also be subject to its pet churches. (On which point I again refer to the Lords Spiritual.) But I shall stand corrected on direct payments.

As to the Lords Spiritual, single Lord Spiritual would be infinitely too many Lords Spiritual. It wouldn't matter if he were one in almost eight hundred or one in eight hundred billion. The fact is you have spots for legislators reserved for priests. That's flat-out theocracy, whether you're good at it or not. Obviously one would prefer an incompetent theocracy to a competent one, just as one would prefer a easily cured disease to an incurable one. But those are not our only options. We can live disease free.

Worse, I have learned now that the UK subsidizes religious schools. (The US does too, but not to this degree) There we go, tax dollars to religion. Theocracy in action.

Well, why decry them then?  It's easy to check 

RE classes teach the tenants of various faiths so that we might know more about the world around us.  When I was at school it was Christianity, Islam, Judaism and one that changed every year - I did Jainism.  The syllabus has changed now, but its broadly the same.

According to the wikipedia page I linked, we have a slight separation by a common language. Religious education, outside the UK, refers to indoctrination in a particular religion. Wikipedia tells me that religious education, in UK parlance, refers to teaching about religions in general. (Though the same article tells me that Christianity receives mandatory preferred position.)

But that aside, they're not what I asked about them being? (Courses in how to avoid religion, that is.) Very well then, I see no reason to do anything but abolish them. There's ample room to teach about the various religions humanity has saddled itself with in classes on history, world cultures, psychology, and the like. Nothing about religion suggest it needs its own class independent of those subjects.

This is what I mean Samnell about arguing for its own sake.  You apparently, self-claimed, are so passionate about the truth and rationality but out of that entire post EVERY SINGLE fact you claimed was either incorrect, personal opinion (in the case of Gould vs Dawkins) or you flat out admitted you didn't know what you were talking about.

It makes it incredibly hard to believe your claims that you are in fact devoted to the truth.  It makes it far more likely you're simply arguiing for its own sake.  If I'm wrong then I apologise, but surely you can see how people are coming to that conclusion

Not really, no. I don't generally waste a lot of time thinking about things like that. People will perceive me as they want to perceive me. If they're rational they'll revise as new data comes in. If not their opinions aren't worth anything to begin with.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2012, 03:03:59 PM by Samnell »

Offline Valerian

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #382 on: May 31, 2012, 03:25:32 PM »
As a reminder, anyone who posts here is expected to consider what others might think of whatever statements they make.  If you are perceived as being rude, for example, then the Be Civil rule will be enforced as necessary.  Thank you.

Offline Sabre

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #383 on: May 31, 2012, 04:34:28 PM »
Interventionist deities are interventionist deities, whether they're giving gay people AIDS, saving babies from tsunamis, or resurrecting their family members. And yes those are all examples I've personally observed.

Examples which other people have told you they believed happened.  It's not the same as the position the Archbishop of Canterbury takes on the Gospel.  This is a false comparison.

Quote
Yes.

The existence of a planet is a science claim. The existence of an animal is a science claim. The existence of electromagnetism is a science claim. There's nothing but science claims and meaningless noise in your examples. Either gods, souls, and the like are observable phenomena accessible to subject to scientific scrutiny or they're nothing but a bunch of nonsense words.

This is not what science is, nor what metaphysics is in general.  Observation is a science claim.  Claiming "I have observed gods and souls" is a claim that deals with a scientific principle, observation.  But claiming "I believe in gods and souls" or "I believe God exists" is not a scientific claim.  It is philosophical.  The exact same way a philosopher may say "I believe morals are immutable/objective/nonexistent/natural law" which is not a scientific claim, and thus why we have separate departments in our universities for both science and philosophy.

Quote
The entire population to begin with, who are compelled to support a religion through the organs of state. That would be true even if there were no churchmen in government, but in fact the House of Lords is lousy with 'em. Religion in government is inherently imposed and oppressive. Then there's the fact that the head of state is a religious official. Throw on top of that tax dollars going to support the religion... Need I go on?

At this point it may very well be an instinctive need.  This is simple fanaticism.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2012, 04:35:57 PM by Sabre »

Offline Florence

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #384 on: May 31, 2012, 05:19:19 PM »
I'm a former Catholic, current atheist, bordering on Buddhist.

I don't believe in all the hokey superstition of any religion, but I like the philosophy of Buddhism.

I think religion in general is a negative force in the world, at least, the most popular ones. Dogmatic religions like Christianity and Islam, which promote Us vs Them mindsets, and the evils of blasphemy and non-belief, tend to be a rather large source of conflict in the world.

When I say that, I do NOT mean to insult any practitioners of any religion. Some of the nicest people I've ever met have been Christians. I have nothing but love for good people who believe in these religions, I simply take issue with the religions themselves. Especially the actions of the Catholic church.

Online Dashenka

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #385 on: May 31, 2012, 05:40:56 PM »
I'm raised Orthodox Christian but I think the whole bible is a load of bollocks.

I haven't really studied any religion or read their versions of the bible but I do have many friends with various religions and the main point of ANY religion is for people to get hope and feel comfortable about life.

All the rest about money and violence and zealotry is all just crimes of mankind said to be good acts in the name of whatever religion.

No religion anywhere in the world can be bad, but in a lot of cases, religion gets confused with politics. The US Republicans saying gay marriage are against the will of God, Islam fundamentalists claiming they can kill in the name of Allah and all that kind of stuff has got NOTHING to do with religion and EVERYTHING to do with delusional politicians.

Offline Sasquatch421

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #386 on: May 31, 2012, 06:15:51 PM »
I'm raised Orthodox Christian but I think the whole bible is a load of bollocks.

I wouldn't say the whole bible... It did give some good thing like most of the ten commandments which may be the very basis of law. (Though don't quote me on that...)

Then there is one of the simplest guidelines of all times "Do unto other as you would have them do unto you." I think that no matter who you are you could probably agree that it is a very good rule to live by.

I myself was raised Lutheran (Wisconsin Synod) though I pretty much have turned away from it. I believe that the world didn't just appear, I think someone did create it. I just don't buy everything that modern religion says or does... Then there is my crazy little belief that maybe we were created by aliens as weapons and were put here until they need us. Though that is just to get people going on how stupid that sounds.

My biggest problem with Christianity is that if you don't believe in god then you automatically go to hell. My question is what about those who never had the chance to believe? Like the Mayans or the Native Americans who died before the first missionaries came over. They never had a chance to hear or believe so do they automatically go to hell or do they get a free pass?

Offline Florence

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #387 on: May 31, 2012, 06:28:14 PM »
I wouldn't say the whole bible... It did give some good thing like most of the ten commandments which may be the very basis of law. (Though don't quote me on that...)

Then there is one of the simplest guidelines of all times "Do unto other as you would have them do unto you." I think that no matter who you are you could probably agree that it is a very good rule to live by.

I myself was raised Lutheran (Wisconsin Synod) though I pretty much have turned away from it. I believe that the world didn't just appear, I think someone did create it. I just don't buy everything that modern religion says or does... Then there is my crazy little belief that maybe we were created by aliens as weapons and were put here until they need us. Though that is just to get people going on how stupid that sounds.

My biggest problem with Christianity is that if you don't believe in god then you automatically go to hell. My question is what about those who never had the chance to believe? Like the Mayans or the Native Americans who died before the first missionaries came over. They never had a chance to hear or believe so do they automatically go to hell or do they get a free pass?

George Carlin managed to condense the 10 Commandments into a very efficient list of 2.

Personally, though, what you said is why I like Buddhism. There's no real condemnation involved. Buddhism doesn't say anything about punishing those who aren't Buddhist. It doesn't demand blind obedience, and in fact, encourages thoughtful investigation of its teachings.

Online Dashenka

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #388 on: May 31, 2012, 06:34:10 PM »
No reiglion condems. It is the people that hide behind it who do. Nowhere in any book does it say you go to hell if you do not believe in God. I even doubt to believe the bible even mentions hell. It was used by the church to scare people and live according to their rules, which is politics and not religion.

Offline Hemingway

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #389 on: May 31, 2012, 07:49:52 PM »
No reiglion condems. It is the people that hide behind it who do. Nowhere in any book does it say you go to hell if you do not believe in God. I even doubt to believe the bible even mentions hell. It was used by the church to scare people and live according to their rules, which is politics and not religion.

The bible certainly mentions hell - depending on the translation you're reading. It might be accurate to say that in the old testament there was no mention of "hell" in the sense of a place of eternal torment and fire. Apparently the word "sheol" was translated as "hell", but means something different ( if not exactly pleasant ).

After searching around for a bit, I found what I think is a pretty good source on information about hell in the new testament, where it almost certainly appears.

And if you mean "condemn" in the wider sense, too, not just "condemn to hell", then there are even more examples. Certainly islam has condemnation aplenty for apostates.

Offline NatalieB

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #390 on: May 31, 2012, 07:56:05 PM »
Not really, no. I don't generally waste a lot of time thinking about things like that. People will perceive me as they want to perceive me. If they're rational they'll revise as new data comes in. If not their opinions aren't worth anything to begin with.

New data is coming in all the time, Samnell.

Dashenka - unfortunately Rev 21:8 says something pretty similar.  It says the faithless, amongst others, will be in a lake of fire and suplhur.

Offline vtboy

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #391 on: June 01, 2012, 04:28:17 PM »
No reiglion condems. It is the people that hide behind it who do. Nowhere in any book does it say you go to hell if you do not believe in God. I even doubt to believe the bible even mentions hell. It was used by the church to scare people and live according to their rules, which is politics and not religion.

The problem, Dashenka, is that even if there were no explicit scriptural references to hell or to condemnation, and I'm fairly certain there are, it is nigh impossible to distinguish between what is "really" religion and what is its interpretive perversion, whether innocent or purposeful. Attempting to understand religion's dictates is very much like reading tea leaves, especially since so much that is in scripture is allegorical. People tend to see in it what they will.

It is a relatively recent conceit, and certainly by no means universally held, that religious teaching is "true" only to the extent it urges love and respect among people, and that all the rest is idolatry of a sort. But, without any firm, interpretive touchstone, who is really to say, for instance, that a fatwah authorizing jihadists to fly jets into buildings is not true to Allah's will? Or, that Christ does not abhor homosexuality? Or, that god does not want high school biology teachers bound to stakes atop flaming volumes of "The Origin of Species"?
« Last Edit: June 01, 2012, 04:29:21 PM by vtboy »

Offline YaoiRolePlayTopic starter

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #392 on: June 02, 2012, 11:08:41 AM »
No reiglion condems. It is the people that hide behind it who do. Nowhere in any book does it say you go to hell if you do not believe in God. I even doubt to believe the bible even mentions hell. It was used by the church to scare people and live according to their rules, which is politics and not religion.

Quote
John 15:6, "If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned."

Matthew 25:32-46
31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:

43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

These are not the only ones, there are lots more, just the ones I could think of off the top of my head.

Offline Vassus

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Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #393 on: June 02, 2012, 10:53:29 PM »
I do look to Pascal when I question these sorts of things. I'm still very much a strong agnostic (agnostic by principle, not because I'm not sure), but I can't help but be some sort of theist. Pascal's Gambit, in my own words: If you are religious, and there is a (G)god, then yay! If you're an atheist, and there is no God, then you burn in hell, or you have to cross a bridge, there are various bad things that come with it (I know that there are exceptions, but that makes this post longer than it needs to be). It doesn't matter if you're religious or atheist, because if there is no God, then it doesn't matter. With this in mind, I keep an open mind, and start my prayers with "Dear God, whatever gender you are, or gods, or space..." I think it's ignorant to be an atheist, just as much as it is to be religious. We have only a drop of knowledge in a sea of wisdom, and I don't read the first page of a book and start making assumptions. Of course, we'll only ever read the first page if we don't put more energy into our space program (Ugh!), but that's another issue.

Offline vtboy

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #394 on: June 03, 2012, 10:17:45 AM »
I do look to Pascal when I question these sorts of things. I'm still very much a strong agnostic (agnostic by principle, not because I'm not sure), but I can't help but be some sort of theist. Pascal's Gambit, in my own words: If you are religious, and there is a (G)god, then yay! If you're an atheist, and there is no God, then you burn in hell, or you have to cross a bridge, there are various bad things that come with it (I know that there are exceptions, but that makes this post longer than it needs to be). It doesn't matter if you're religious or atheist, because if there is no God, then it doesn't matter. With this in mind, I keep an open mind, and start my prayers with "Dear God, whatever gender you are, or gods, or space..." I think it's ignorant to be an atheist, just as much as it is to be religious. We have only a drop of knowledge in a sea of wisdom, and I don't read the first page of a book and start making assumptions. Of course, we'll only ever read the first page if we don't put more energy into our space program (Ugh!), but that's another issue.

So, you advocate the spiritual equivalent of hedging strategy: pray, just in case.

Offline Vassus

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Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #395 on: June 08, 2012, 12:05:33 AM »
In a sense, yes, very much. I simply call out to space, and ask that, whatever be there, lead me. Or, if nothing is there, well... Then nothing happens. I'm not expecting any sort of sign, I just want  god(s) to know... well, I'm not sure. That's part of my beliefs, is that there is no certainty inside myself.

Offline DajaOfTheNight

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #396 on: June 08, 2012, 03:08:30 PM »
While I didn't come up with this picture, I feel it perfectly expresses my disgust for how a religions base message can and will be subvereted by those who follow for their own ends:



I love it!! *steals* That's why I don't go to church anymore. Annoys the...well a few bad words lined up in a row.

Offline rick957

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #397 on: June 21, 2012, 06:08:03 PM »
The only reason I keep posting to this thread is because I keep having thoughts about religion that seem pertinent to certain parts of the discussion, so I'd like to share those thoughts with others, and see if anyone has anything to say in response, positive or negative.  However, I am acutely aware of the fact that my religious views are not only unpopular but are considered offensive by many people, and with perfectly good reasons, too.  So, if you've read any of my other posts about religion and felt repulsed or disgusted afterwards by what you read, please don't read this post; I'm not out to piss anyone off, I'm just trying to honestly express some thoughts of mine.  Also, I hope these thoughts don't seem too repetitive, i.e. too much like my previous posts in this thread, although it will probably sound like more of the same to some people ... especially those most predisposed to get pissed off by reading them.

Click below for some more of my thoughts about religion ...

... or don't, natch.

Here are two reasons why I choose to believe Christianity, and two reasons I consider good for anyone to believe Christianity.

Reason One:

The following two statements seem so obviously true to everyone that not many people ever think to question them:

A) each person has at least one definite limit, which is that his or her life comes to an end; and

B) life is unfair, at least sometimes for everyone, and quite often for certain less-fortunate individuals.

However preposterous it seems, Christianity claims the exact opposite of both those things; that

C) in the grand scheme of things, each individual has no limits of significant consequence -- not even death. 

D) the apparent unfairness of human suffering is just an extremely-convincing illusion; for in fact all of life is fair, governed by an all-powerful and all-just God.

Furthermore, Christianity asserts the following:

E) A and B will usually seem true for everyone, Christian or non-Christian, throughout their lives, even though they are in fact false.  And similarly,

F) C and D will usually seem false, though they are in fact true.

E is what makes it so hard to really believe Christianity.  Hard, but still possible, and possible for anyone.

F is what makes it so good to believe Christianity, even if it doesn't always feel good (and it doesn't, not always).

Reason Two:

Christianity claims that God has a specific, detailed purpose for each and every individual's life, and that purpose may be completely different from the direction of each person's life before becoming a Christian, or completely different from whatever direction each person previously thought he or she would go.  In fact, it's likely to be completely different, because belief in Christianity transforms each person completely, and must do so, if its claims are true.  A person who is completely transformed will probably live his or her life in a completely different way, for what else could it mean for a person to be completely transformed?

In other words, belief in Christianity is the one and only way for each person to become the person he or she was intended to be in the first place -- the person he or she was created and designed to be.  Any other lifestyle would be a pale disappointment, and one comes to see this clearly after becoming a Christian.  That is not to say that every Christian will end up living a life that looks the same as every other Christian's; rather, each Christian will live a life that is perfectly suited for him or her, and only for him or her, not for anyone else.  Each person's life is a gift directly from God and is crafted by him for just that specific person, and it's an astonishing gift.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #398 on: June 21, 2012, 07:20:26 PM »
Just as a completely off-the-wall question on that line (and no, I wasn't offended):

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What if, hypothetically, a different deity were to 'create and design' a person for a purpose?  For the sake of fluffy-bunny-ness, let's say that Epona had created someone to bring awareness to people about the plight of the American mustang, to eventually save them from being hunted to extinction for dog meat.  Other than a different name to the deity in question, does that differ substantially from what you've put forth?

It's sort of another take on the 'blind men and the elephant' deal.  'Being right' in this case may be beyond definition.

Offline Iniquitous

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #399 on: June 21, 2012, 07:21:03 PM »
Having real trouble with the wording there Rick - mainly because it really comes across that you are trying to shove your belief down everyone else’s throats.

No, your religion is not the one and only way for each person to become the person he or she was intended to be. Explain Buddha. Gandhi. Baha’u’llah. You seem hell bent on ignoring anything that does not fit into your religious view and that is truly very saddening.  There is so much more than just that restrictive little box labeled Christianity.

Furthermore, I became the person I was meant to be the moment I stopped accepting what I was told to believe and searched for myself. I found out who I am when I stood on my own two feet and leaned to think for myself. And while I know you have said that your life experiences led you to Christianity, you really need to accept that other peoples life experiences led them to something else. The moment you accept that your religious beliefs do not need to apply to everyone else, that your religious beliefs are yours and yours alone, the more at peace you will be.