religion : LUSENET : Xtra Xtra, This Is Your Place : One Thread

There was a supreme example 2000 years ago of what faith and perseverance to the end will accomplish. If we don't "get it" when it comes to Love, then we keep being stuck in that rut of hurting others before they have the chance to hurt us.

-- Forgive others the way you'd like (to@be.forgiven), November 22, 2000.

Prayer of St. Francis:

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; were there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy.

Oh, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.

-- Anonymous, November 22, 2000


Religion is fine, so long as you aren't using the power of the state to enforce the teachings of any religion. *Then* you rightly deserve to be raked over the coals. Religion as a substitute for thought is to be pitied. Religion enforced by the state is to be feared.

-- Anonymous, March 18, 2001

May we have an example?

The scientific attitude is to be willing to adopt new ideas when they are proven to be more true than old ones.

If you leave out enough details, then, sure, you can make it seem that those views swung back and forth without advancing. But that's not intellectually honest.

-- Anonymous, March 23, 2001

women were property when the bible was written

marriage was just a concept

-- Anonymous, March 23, 2001

. To accept such claims, one must reject all of evolution, all of geology, all of biology, great gobs of physics, all of astronomy, all of cosmology, all of botany and zoology, and so on. Is it any wonder that the thought of peer review strikes terror in their hearts? If any of this idiocy were submitted, real scientists might die of laughter.

Meanwhile, these same young-earth people live long and healthy lives because of advances in agriculture, medicine, and other areas made possible *only because* we have understood and taken advantage of the very realities the young earthers deny. The irony is lovely.


[Why would you consider it "dangerous" for people to conclude that the Bible is Truth?]

Because as we have seen, we run the risk that our children might get taught that nearly everything we've learned for the last 150 years is nonsense, and that the "real truth" is told or implied by tales told 4000 years ago by imaginative but primitive tribesmen. I have no objection to those who choose to cripple their faculties. But I do object when they want to impose such severe limitations on others.

[Again: our only serious area of disagreement would be over the length of the "days" in Genesis.]

How astoundingly parochial! If instead Genesis made the claim that our universe and the life within it happened because God happened to spit while he ambled past, then your "only serious area of disagreement" might be the exact composition of Godspit! Try to imagine how arguing over such details might look to those who don't share your beliefs. Can't you see that we have accomplished so much ONLY because those who have made these accomplishments regarded such questions as irrelevant?

[I believe that Adam and Eve were specially created by God, as described in the Bible. We have similarities to the primates, but I believe that we are special creation.]

But what a wealth of coincidence we have found, and continue to find. If one didn't know better, one would think that evidence and observation were actually trying to tell us the same things about ourselves that they have been telling us about everything else all along!

I admit, I find it impossible to fathom how anyone could choose to ignore all we know, all we've learned, all we see around us, in favor of something both incredibly unlikely and unsupported by any evidence whatsoever

-- Anonymous, March 25, 2001

extraordinary claims demand extraordinary proof

-- Anonymous, May 04, 2001

. The Bible is not a long legal contract. The stories of the Old and New Testament are just that: stories. As Maria aptly notes, we learn more by the examples of Christ's actions than by the imperfect recounting and translation of his words. What Christ demonstrated was a profound love, particularly for the less fortunate. Should the message of love, tolerance, patience and peace be shared? I think so, but in a loving, tolerant, patient and peaceful manner. Your narrow view of Christianity treats faith like a singular key that opens a singular door

-- Anonymous, May 23, 2001

how do you tell a madman from a sage?

-- Anonymous, May 28, 2001

Point #2: guessing and generalities do not constitute being "right" or "correct";

-- Anonymous, May 28, 2001

The order of creation in the Bible is woefully incorrect and violates even the most simple and obvious rules of natural science."

-- Anonymous, May 28, 2001


Got some problems with this, as usual.

[These are matters which we can take on faith -- perhaps faith based on a TON of good evidence and observation -- but in the final analysis, faith nonetheless.]

Either this is terrible word choice on your part, or a misconception. For most of us, even using the vernacular, there is a huge difference between a working theory and faith-based absolute answers. So we can presume gravity works the same way everywhere, and we look around and say, "well, if that's true, there's an awful lot of indetectible mass sitting around. I wonder what it is."

Now, we have TWO questions. Primarily, does gravity work alike everywhere? And second, presuming it does, what is this mass? These are NOTHING LIKE taking anything on faith. They are an ongoing investigation. Your attempt to equate the search for answers with the effort to justify a priori conclusions misses the boat. A testable hypothesis is NOT an act of faith.

[But there is also no doubt whatsoever in my mind that God exists and that He very deeply cares for each of us, individually.]

You could equally well explain your experience in terms of neurological phenomena, chemical reactions in the brain, etc. We now know where to probe, or what to inject, to trigger "designer" spiritual experiences. So the real question is, given this perfectly plausible explanation, why you would choose a supernatural explanation as preferable. I think the odds of you coming up with the "god" explanation in the absence of suitable prior training approaches ZERO. But I can understand that any 9-year-old would try to find SOME way to view a traumatic experience, which MAY have entailed concussion or other brain damage. It's not that uncommon. And the explanation the 9-year-old selects, worldwide, is a function of that child's prior conditioning.

(And even you are aware that other people have had experiences they can't explain, but decide it was alien abductions instead. It should be fairly obvious that the human ability to find "explanations" is as stunningly capable as our sensitivity to perception-altering conditions. I'll omit the lecture about how certain forms of torture work, and why.)

[They begin with an unproveable assumption: that there is no God...]

This statement verges on the dishonest, beneath you. God is deemed a purely irrelevant superstition, that YOU are projecting onto the effort to understand our universe. This is strictly a figment of your preferences, causing you to see what you want to see. Yes, if you insist on imposing your private beliefs where they do not belong, then through your eyes there is a relevant assumption, but you have it wrong. The presumption is that reality is real, that it can ultimately be explained and understood without resort to magic or the supernatural (another word for magic).

And I'll cheerfully agree that this assumption "colors" (or rather, fails to distort) their interpretation of actual evidence. If you want to phrase it that way, I suppose you could say they have "faith" that understanding reality is possible and the effort is worthwhile.

I really am at a loss to communicate that the assumption that reality is real is just as equally "colored" by the refusal to blame gremlins, Thor, ghosts, Jupiter, Zeus, the Munchkins, poltergeists, leprechauns, or the Rev. Sun Myung Moon for observed phenomena. Your own little local god is just as irrelevant. We DO NOT NEED these goofy beliefs to understand the world around us.

[So, look at it from MY side of the aisle. Having *met* God personally and *knowing* beyond any doubt that He *DOES* exist, what am I to do?]

I ask in all seriousness, have you considered deprogramming?

-- Anonymous, July 12, 2001

such revelations are peculiar to a culture already predisposed in that direction.

-- Anonymous, July 16, 2001

I also regard such superstitions (yours among many) as harmless provided no effort is made to make them contagious. When I see you making that effort, then I complain.

-- Anonymous, July 16, 2001

Rational inquiry into the nature of the universe (which we struggle to make objective despite ourselves by peer review, result replication, competition and the like) does, I admit, rest on the assumption that the natural universe isn't lying to us, or pulling rabbits out of hats. That is, that there is a consistent, understandable explanation for all phenomena that can be observed or deduced that does NOT require any magic or supernatural agencies.

Even if this underlying assumption is wrong and Someone Up There is playing tricks for sport, we expect sooner or later to have enough information to be able to use straight observation and deduction to derive the scope and nature of these tricks.

-- Anonymous, July 16, 2001

I think Charlie is right that some people really do have a deep- seated need to feel "chosen" or "saved" or some such.

-- Anonymous, July 16, 2001

cpr: while the scientific metheod is the core of science, is it all there is to science?

Actually the the problems of setting up an experiment in this area are interesting to me, primarly because they seem to mirror a lot of the problems with setting up meaningful experiments in Pychology. Which is plagued by the ethical impossiblity of setting up proper controls. (if they just let me screw up 10,000 or so kids, I could answer that pesky nature vs. nuture debate once and for all.

-- Anonymous, July 16, 2001

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