lfnetwork.com mark read register faq members calendar

Thread: 10 questions that every intelligent Christian must answer
Thread Tools Display Modes
Post a new thread. Add a reply to this thread. Indicate all threads in this forum as read. Subscribe to this forum. RSS feed: this forum RSS feed: all forums
Old 01-08-2008, 10:27 AM   #1
Achilles
Dapper Chimp
 
Achilles's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 8,204
Helpful! Veteran Modder Forum Veteran 
10 questions that every intelligent Christian must answer

YT clip

For those of you that want to skip the video (not recommended) and go straight to the questions, here they are:

#1 Why won't god heal amputees?
#2 Why are there so many starving people in our world?
#3 Why does god demand the death of so many innocent people in the bible?
#4 Why does the bible contain so much anti-scientific nonsense?
#5 Why is god such a huge proponent of slavery in the bible?
#6 Why do bad things happen to good people?
#7 Why didn't any of jesus' miracles in the bible leave behind any evidence?
#8 How do we explain the fact that jesus has never appeared to you?
#9 Why would jesus want you to eat his body and drink his blood?
#10 Why do christians get divorced at the same rate as non-christians?
Achilles is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 01-08-2008, 11:46 AM   #2
Dagobahn Eagle
First Strike Tester
 
Dagobahn Eagle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Bergen, Norway
Posts: 3,513
Current Game: First Strike
I've got some answers to some of these, but I'll let our resident believers have a shot at it first.

Dagobahn Eagle is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 01-08-2008, 12:33 PM   #3
Achilles
Dapper Chimp
 
Achilles's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 8,204
Helpful! Veteran Modder Forum Veteran 
The clip includes proposed answers as well. Hopefully everyone will opt to view it before responding.
Achilles is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 01-09-2008, 06:27 AM   #4
Mace MacLeod
Food-based rocker
 
Mace MacLeod's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Somewhere else. Probably.
Posts: 1,096
Current Game: World of Warcraft
Contest winner - Fan Fiction 
Bonus:

Question #11) If there was really an all-powerful, all-knowing deity out there that really wanted our unquestioning worship and obedience, why would he need humans to wander from door to door with an armful of The Watchtower copies...?

*edit* Okay, sat down and watched the clip. It pretty much seems to be aimed at schoolkids with its Atheism-For-Dummies approach. I would really like to think that the educated, intelligent Christians out there would come up with more sophisticated answers to those questions rather than just slamming on the brakes at the first sign of inconsistency in their dogma. But then, of course, the hard-core fundamentalists will always have a "logic" all their own to rationalize such basic flaws as taking the bible literally anyway. Did jesus speak English...? Uh, no...


Be considerate to others or I will bite your torso and give you a disease!

Last edited by Mace MacLeod; 01-09-2008 at 06:55 AM.
Mace MacLeod is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 01-09-2008, 08:53 AM   #5
Achilles
Dapper Chimp
 
Achilles's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 8,204
Helpful! Veteran Modder Forum Veteran 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mace MacLeod
I would really like to think that the educated, intelligent Christians out there would come up with more sophisticated answers to those questions rather than just slamming on the brakes at the first sign of inconsistency in their dogma.
I'm not sure I understand what this means. Do you have any examples of what these answers might look like?
Achilles is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 01-09-2008, 10:53 AM   #6
Dagobahn Eagle
First Strike Tester
 
Dagobahn Eagle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Bergen, Norway
Posts: 3,513
Current Game: First Strike
Quote:
But then, of course, the hard-core fundamentalists will always have a "logic" all their own to rationalize such basic flaws as taking the bible literally anyway.
Oh yes, they do. Such as 'but God invented morals, and thus morals don't apply to him!', and similar garbage.

Dagobahn Eagle is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 01-09-2008, 11:06 AM   #7
MJ-W4
Junior Member
 
MJ-W4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Scrapyard No. 3
Posts: 287
Being an educated Christian, I believe that God is too huge for us to even guess at His/Her/Its will. My approach to God is on a wider scale: God caused the Big Bang that set the universe off, and miraculously, we're able to turn this world into a paradise for eveyone if only we agree to work together.

#1 Why won't god heal amputees? - Mankind is provided with means to deal with this, there is no need for intervention.
#2 Why are there so many starving people in our world? - Humans' fault, humans can and should fix it.
#3 Why does god demand the death of so many innocent people in the bible? - This book, like ALL religious books / scrolls / writings was conducted by humans who say they got their ideas from God. Blame God for what humans write? No.
#4 Why does the bible contain so much anti-scientific nonsense? - See #3.
#5 Why is god such a huge proponent of slavery in the bible? - See #3.
#6 Why do bad things happen to good people? - It is bad people happening. Again, people's fault, not God's.
#7 Why didn't any of jesus' miracles in the bible leave behind any evidence? - See #3.
#8 How do we explain the fact that jesus has never appeared to you? - See #3.
#9 Why would jesus want you to eat his body and drink his blood? - See #3.
#10 Why do christians get divorced at the same rate as non-christians? - Because they're human. Humans are bound to make mistakes. This is one important aspect that makes humans human. If people simply get married without trying out life together beforehand, they are bound to get it wrong. Yet again, has nothing to do with God.


"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace." - Jimi Hendrix
MJ-W4 is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 01-09-2008, 11:31 AM   #8
Achilles
Dapper Chimp
 
Achilles's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 8,204
Helpful! Veteran Modder Forum Veteran 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ-W4
Being an educated Christian
With all due respect, the views you shared below would (at least) appear to be more consistent with deism rather than christianity. It may be that you do believe that jesus is your personal lord and savior and that he intervenes on your behalf, etc, etc but that wouldn't seem to jive with the whole "god created the universe and then bailed" deist philosophy.

I only bring this up because their doesn't appear to be much "christian" in your "educated christian" responses.
Achilles is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 01-09-2008, 11:48 AM   #9
MJ-W4
Junior Member
 
MJ-W4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Scrapyard No. 3
Posts: 287
I just talked to Father XYZ (name withheld) of our parish the other day (Re: Kavar's) and he said I was as good a christian as any since I try to lead my life according to what is said to be rules set up by Jesus Christ. He also said that doubt was preferable to presuming about God's intentions. Most christians I know see Jesus Christ as a kind of role-model to live peacefully and not be a pain in the neck of others. We're christians, not bible-huggers, if you'll allow me to say so. Is that enough of an explanation, or do you need more detail?


"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace." - Jimi Hendrix
MJ-W4 is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 01-09-2008, 12:00 PM   #10
Dagobahn Eagle
First Strike Tester
 
Dagobahn Eagle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Bergen, Norway
Posts: 3,513
Current Game: First Strike
Thanks for the answers, MJ, but I think you may be slightly outside the target audience.
Quote:
#1 Why won't god heal amputees? - Mankind is provided with means to deal with this, there is no need for intervention.
I think you should watch the video. The point was that humans like to attribute 'miracolous' healing to God, yet the only 'miracolous' healing that happens is of ailments that might or would have gotten better anyhow, such as cancer. Many Christians like to think that prayer helps heal ailments, but in such a case, shouldn't it also help heal ailments that won't get better by themselves?

Quote:
#2 Why are there so many starving people in our world? - Humans' fault, humans can and should fix it.
Yes, but it's still well within God's ability to help these people. Many Christians like to think their prayers for things such as easy tests, convenient parking spaces, healing of ailments, etc. help, and these questions are meant for that kind of people If God answers prayers, God answers prayers, period. It doesn't make sense to give Person A in the States a miracle when Person B in Darfur doesn't.

Quote:
#3 Why does god demand the death of so many innocent people in the bible? - This book, like ALL religious books / scrolls / writings was conducted by humans who say they got their ideas from God. Blame God for what humans write? No.
I don't understand your stance. If you acknowledge that the Bible is written by men who say they got their ideas from God, why do you believe in God in the first place?

Quote:
#6 Why do bad things happen to good people? - It is bad people happening. Again, people's fault, not God's.
You haven't thought this through. 'Bad things' isn't only rape, murder, kidnappings and school shootings. It's also the Christmas tsunami, the Kobe Earthquakes, Hurricane Kathrina, the Black Death, and other natural non-human-made catastrophes. God, had He existed, would be quite capable of preventing these catastrophes, but He is apparently content to watch His creation die by the hundreds of thousands annually from famines, floods, earthquakes, landslides, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, pestilence, plague, and other horrors. And even if only 'bad people happened', it'd still be well within God's right to intervene. We'd still have plenty of free will without our ability to rape and murder and ruin peoples lives in various other horrific ways.

Quote:
#10 Why do christians get divorced at the same rate as non-christians? - Because they're human. Humans are bound to make mistakes. This is one important aspect that makes humans human. If people simply get married without trying out life together beforehand, they are bound to get it wrong. Yet again, has nothing to do with God.
Actually, the Bible does say that a Christian marriage is stronger than a non-Christian one.

Dagobahn Eagle is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 01-09-2008, 12:21 PM   #11
MJ-W4
Junior Member
 
MJ-W4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Scrapyard No. 3
Posts: 287
^ I believe in God not because of the bible but because of the miracle that the universe is. It has the basics for life to develop. Try to beat that. Tsunamis et al are firstly due to the Earth being an unstable planet (and humans busy to help do away with the atmosphere). As I said above: I think God is too huge for us to do more than guesswork in his direction. This also implies that we are too small to be taken note of. We are superbly equipped (thanks to the ingenious concept of the universe that allows us to develop such things) to cope with all trials set before us. What if all catastrophes end on the day people get their act together and stop going for each other's throats? We'll never know what God or the future have in store for us until we get there. I also stated before my definition of 'christian'. I do believe in God but I firmly refuse to fall for bible-belt inspired hysteria or any other religious extremism.


"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace." - Jimi Hendrix
MJ-W4 is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 01-09-2008, 03:38 PM   #12
Prime
Am I a truck or robot?
 
Prime's Avatar
 
Status: Super Moderator
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Cybertron
Posts: 12,349
Current Game: Skyrim, Macross PS2
10 year veteran! LF Jester Veteran Modder Helpful! 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ-W4
As I said above: I think God is too huge for us to do more than guesswork in his direction.
But isn't this exactly what the video is talking about? Instead of trying to actually work towards the answer to the question, you say, "It's sounds to hard, and therefore I won't bother."

Prime is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 01-10-2008, 02:38 AM   #13
MJ-W4
Junior Member
 
MJ-W4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Scrapyard No. 3
Posts: 287
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prime
But isn't this exactly what the video is talking about? Instead of trying to actually work towards the answer to the question, you say, "It's sounds to hard, and therefore I won't bother."
Beg to differ: I'm not saying 'it sounds too hard', I'm saying we simply cannot, like an atom in a toenail has no chance to know or to conclude anything about the human it belongs to. And as Jae seems to agree: we're only human. All of us. I was simply trying to say that to be christian means to lead life according to Christ. Thank you for taking the time to read this.


"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace." - Jimi Hendrix
MJ-W4 is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 01-10-2008, 07:53 AM   #14
Achilles
Dapper Chimp
 
Achilles's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 8,204
Helpful! Veteran Modder Forum Veteran 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ-W4
I just talked to Father XYZ (name withheld) of our parish the other day (Re: Kavar's) and he said I was as good a christian as any since I try to lead my life according to what is said to be rules set up by Jesus Christ.
Apologies. It was not my intent to call into question how good/bad a christian you are, merely to point out that your arguments sounded like those of a deist rather than a christian.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ-W4
He also said that doubt was preferable to presuming about God's intentions.
I wonder if doubt would be preferable to presuming about god's existence as well, but I digress.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ-W4
Most christians I know see Jesus Christ as a kind of role-model to live peacefully and not be a pain in the neck of others. We're christians, not bible-huggers, if you'll allow me to say so. Is that enough of an explanation, or do you need more detail?
I'm sure the explanation itself is fine, but I don't think it addresses the point I was attempting make. I think there are some other points coming up that will help to clarify, so hang tight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ-W4
^ I believe in God not because of the bible but because of the miracle that the universe is. It has the basics for life to develop. Try to beat that. Tsunamis et al are firstly due to the Earth being an unstable planet (and humans busy to help do away with the atmosphere).
Ok, these points are very consistent with deism. God is a creator god, not an intervening god. He created the universe and the laws of physics that governs it, but does not intervene to impart this spin on that sub-atomic particle or make this twig grow in that direction on that tree, etc.

As I think we might see in a minute, this is very much incompatible with christianity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ-W4
As I said above: I think God is too huge for us to do more than guesswork in his direction. This also implies that we are too small to be taken note of.
Okay. If we are to accept that we are too small to be taken notice of, then the argument that god loves us falls flat. The argument that god would send his only begotten son here to die for our sins so that we might join him in heaven fall flat. We cannot have it both ways. We cannot have the deist argument that we are the result of a natural process initiated by a higher power and the christian argument that we were created special by god, imbued with a soul by god, granted the ultimate gift of free will by god, and ensured a chance of eternal salvation via jesus christ by god. These things fly in the face of each other.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ-W4
I also stated before my definition of 'christian'. I do believe in God but I firmly refuse to fall for bible-belt inspired hysteria or any other religious extremism.
Deists believe in god too. He just looks different in their philosophy than he does in christianity. One does not have to be a christian to believe in deities (as shown by pagans, muslims, jews, etc). Thanks for reading!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Most of the 'why do bad things happen to good people' and 'why does God allow bad things to happen' are covered far better than I ever could by C.S. Lewis in "The Problem of Pain"
Perhaps you would be willing to summarize some of his arguments for those of us that don't intend to read the book?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Why do Christians divorce at the same rate? Because Christianity doesn't make us perfect.
I believe Prime has already addressed this point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Francis Collins in "The Language of God" uses the analogy of humans being a rusty bucket carrying around the pure water of God. We can, and will screw up on a regular basis. All we can do is keep trying to follow Christ's example.
This thinking has problems of its own that we can discuss if you would like.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
I've always thought of communion as the representation of Christ's sacrifice, body and blood, for each of us. I don't know if the Bible means literal blood and body and haven't researched the Greek to get a better context. I don't get overly excited about it--if He does turn it into blood/flesh, that's His choice. He created an entire universe after all, I'm sure He can handle something this minor. If He doesn't turn it into actual blood/flesh, no big deal to me.
The catholic church is quite clear that this is literally the flesh and blood of christ. I think your response is a perfect example of the thinking the creator of the clip wanted to address: someone with the critical thinking skills born of a doctorate degree and a skilled medical professionals stating, "yeah, it doesn't make sense, but I don't worry about it".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Anti-scientific nonsense? It's not a science book. He's speaking to people ranging from hut-dwellers in the remotest part of the world to the the greatest of the intelligentsia, and everyone in between. He's speaking to people about their human condition, not about the chemical formula for galactose or DNA.
It isn't a matter of being a science book vs a non-science book. The question is, if the book is the word of a perfect creator, then why is so much of the scientific information it does offer dead wrong? And again, keeping perfect time with the theme of the video is another "yeah, it doesn't make sense, but I don't worry about it" response.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Slavery and death--He was dealing with a specific people at a specific point in history. We talk about how people had slaves in pre-Civil War US all the time. People aren't perfect, God has to work with the choices people want to make, some of which are not the best for them.
This is a discussion that you and I have had before and I don't recall ever seeing you address my points. If god is the source of our morality, then he certainly could have told us that slavery is wrong from the get-go (just as we teach our children from a very young age that hitting others for no reason is wrong). Furthermore, since we have not received any word from god whatsoever telling us that slavery is wrong, then all civilized countries have abolished slavery in direct conflict with god's will. It would seem that we don't need these texts to determine whether some is right or wrong considering that we can read the text itself and determine that we don't agree with its content. Strange.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Miracles leaving evidence? Why do they need to? He could leave the best evidence in the world behind, and die-hard anti-theists would somehow find a way to disbelieve anyway. It'd be nice if they did, but miracles aren't required for faith.
This completely ignores the point. It isn't a question of "need to" vs. "not need to", but "why" vs. "why not". And die-hard anti-theists might decide not to accept the evidence anyway, but scientists and others of us that are open to evidence could probably benefit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
This makes a fundamental judgment that God allowing something 'bad' makes Him 'bad'. How do you know it won't lead to something better down the road that might not have been possible without the 'bad'? An immunization shot seems 'bad' to a baby when it's happening to him or her, but we as parents know that down the road it's what's best for the child. At the point that you develop omniscience, then you'd be able to make those kinds of value judgments.
Again, this is the old "god works in mysterious ways" saw that the author sought to address. You haven't answered the question so much as found a way to avoid having to answer it. You're 5-for-5 on exemplifying the author's point.

I'm willing to wager that you wouldn't do this when working on diagnosing a patient, so why is this sort of thinking acceptable here? That's the point of the video and the thread. Thanks for your contributions, Jae.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ-W4
Beg to differ: I'm not saying 'it sounds too hard', I'm saying we simply cannot, like an atom in a toenail has no chance to know or to conclude anything about the human it belongs to.
I think Prime's point is that this is exactly the same argument. It doesn't matter that you use different words, the spirit of the argument is the same: finding a way not to have to answer the question. It might sound like "god works in mysterious ways" or "we're too insignificant to know god's will", etc, but the result is the same. The intelligent christian audience that the author is addressing has received training that allows us to say "you know better than this, and we know that you know better".

Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ-W4
And as Jae seems to agree: we're only human. All of us. I was simply trying to say that to be christian means to lead life according to Christ. Thank you for taking the time to read this.
And as the author points out, none of the answers to these questions make much sense when the existence of god is a premise. However by removing the existence of god from the equation, we can quickly find answers that make a lot of sense. I really encourage you to take the 10 minutes to watch the video. Thank you for your response!
Achilles is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 01-12-2008, 09:16 PM   #15
Jae Onasi
Antiquis temporibus, nati tibi similes in rupibus ventosissimis exponebantur ad necem
 
Jae Onasi's Avatar
 
Status: Super Moderator
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 10,912
Current Game: Guild Wars 2, VtMB, TOR
Alderaan News Holopics contributor Helpful! LucasCast staff Veteran Fan Fic Author 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
Perhaps you would be willing to summarize some of his arguments for those of us that don't intend to read the book?
See this review.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
I believe Prime has already addressed this point.
So...I'm not allowed to also state my opinion because Prime already stated his?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
This thinking has problems of its own that we can discuss if you would like.
What problem is there? Unless you're saying you're perfect, of course.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
The catholic church is quite clear that this is literally the flesh and blood of christ. I think your response is a perfect example of the thinking the creator of the clip wanted to address: someone with the critical thinking skills born of a doctorate degree and a skilled medical professionals stating, "yeah, it doesn't make sense, but I don't worry about it".
The clip creator (and apparently you since you're pointing it out as an issue) think this is something to get your shorts in knots about. I don't. It has nothing to do with critical thinking skills, it has everything to do with the fact that it's just not that big of a deal to me. If it's representative, fine. If it's actually blood/body, you'd find out if you autopsied someone moments after the communion ceremony, but I don't see anyone volunteering to do that, so we're probably never going to get much answer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
It isn't a matter of being a science book vs a non-science book. The question is, if the book is the word of a perfect creator, then why is so much of the scientific information it does offer dead wrong? And again, keeping perfect time with the theme of the video is another "yeah, it doesn't make sense, but I don't worry about it" response.
I have yet to see anything science-wise that's 'dead wrong', what little of it that the Bible actually discusses, and there's a lot of public health issues that were dead-on correct at a time when the rest of the world didn't have a clue. Don't trot out verses that are part of poetry and try to use them in a literal non-poetic sense, please.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
This is a discussion that you and I have had before and I don't recall ever seeing you address my points. If god is the source of our morality, then he certainly could have told us that slavery is wrong from the get-go (just as we teach our children from a very young age that hitting others for no reason is wrong). Furthermore, since we have not received any word from god whatsoever telling us that slavery is wrong, then all civilized countries have abolished slavery in direct conflict with god's will. It would seem that we don't need these texts to determine whether some is right or wrong considering that we can read the text itself and determine that we don't agree with its content. Strange.
Pretty much covered under 'do unto others as you'd have done unto you.'. Don't make/own a slave if you don't want to be one. Other than that, I don't know why God addressed it in that way. I know He had to speak to the culture of that day when speaking in an historical context, and that involved discussing slavery at that time. Discussing it in the Bible does not mean it was preferred (and in fact slaves were supposed to be set free every Jubilee year, which happened every 7 years), anymore than my discussion of Civil War slavery means I found the practice acceptable (which I didn't, just to be clear).

If God decided to deal with every single sin humans can commit, the Bible would be longer than the combined law codes of the entire planet, and entirely unusable. At some point it needs to be distilled down to its fundamental important points--love God, love Christ, love your fellow humans and the applications developed by us from there rather than an encyclopedic discussion of every single permutation of sin.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
This completely ignores the point. It isn't a question of "need to" vs. "not need to", but "why" vs. "why not".
I don't know why/why not. I don't honestly care, either--my job is to try and be as good a Christian as I can in the here and now (and yes, I screw up on a regular basis....). I find it odd that anti-theists do care, since they allegedly don't believe in God in the first place.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
others of us that are open to evidence could probably benefit.
Given the tenor of your threads on religion, I find it extraordinarily difficult to believe you're open-minded about anything remotely related to religion in general, and Christianity in particular. Evidence? Your entire thread on the existence of Christ. Only fringe 'scholars' deny Christ's existence--serious scholars both in the theological and the historical fields accept His existence. Your choice to accept the word of those fringe non-believers in the face of mounting evidence speaks volumes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
Again, this is the old "god works in mysterious ways" saw that the author sought to address. You haven't answered the question so much as found a way to avoid having to answer it. You're 5-for-5 on exemplifying the author's point.
So what if He works in ways that I can't yet understand? There have been times in my life where I thought some situation was awful that in retrospect turned out to be for the best for me or my family in the long run. Do you understand the entire workings of the universe? Do you _need_ to to function in life? And why are you making that fundamental assumption that because it appears to be bad to you at that point that it _is_ bad? You make this point that God must be bad because we don't like it, but then you refuse to accept anything God-related as an answer by making a statement like this. It's a fundamental atheist flaw in thinking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
I'm willing to wager that you wouldn't do this when working on diagnosing a patient, so why is this sort of thinking acceptable here? That's the point of the video and the thread. Thanks for your contributions, Jae.
What does diagnosing and treating a patient have to do with religion? I don't treat patients by handing them the Bible or quoting Kant at them, I treat them with medicine. When I study the Bible with others in church, I don't hand them a text on vitreo-retinal disorders. The skillsets are different, though I will tell you that there is a great deal that we doctors don't know in medicine, too. We have to accept the fact that sometimes we just don't know how to treat something because we don't have enough understanding of the disease. All we can do is keep working to learn how to take care of people better. Why aren't we allowed to learn more about theology and God as time goes on? I'm OK with saying I don't completely understand God, just as I'm OK with saying I don't completely understand the universe. I work with what I have available to me.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
And as the author points out, none of the answers to these questions make much sense when the existence of god is a premise. However by removing the existence of god from the equation, we can quickly find answers that make a lot of sense.
Sure, until you start answering the questions 'Why am I here?' 'What is my purpose in life?' 'What is my fundamental reason for being?' You can attempt to answer those questions with naturalism, but those answers ring hollow.


From MST3K's spoof of "Hercules Unchained"--heard as Roman medic soldiers carry off an unconscious Greek Hercules on a 1950's Army green canvas stretcher: "Hi, we're IX-I-I. Did somebody dial IX-I-I?"

Read The Adventures of Jolee Bindo and see the amazing Peep Surgery
Story WIP: The Dragonfighters
My blog: Confessions of a Geeky Mom--Latest post: Security Alerts!
Love Star Trek AND gaming? Check out Lotus Fleet.

Jae Onasi is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 01-10-2008, 01:36 AM   #16
Jae Onasi
Antiquis temporibus, nati tibi similes in rupibus ventosissimis exponebantur ad necem
 
Jae Onasi's Avatar
 
Status: Super Moderator
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 10,912
Current Game: Guild Wars 2, VtMB, TOR
Alderaan News Holopics contributor Helpful! LucasCast staff Veteran Fan Fic Author 
Most of the 'why do bad things happen to good people' and 'why does God allow bad things to happen' are covered far better than I ever could by C.S. Lewis in "The Problem of Pain"
Why do Christians divorce at the same rate? Because Christianity doesn't make us perfect. Francis Collins in "The Language of God" uses the analogy of humans being a rusty bucket carrying around the pure water of God. We can, and will screw up on a regular basis. All we can do is keep trying to follow Christ's example.

I've always thought of communion as the representation of Christ's sacrifice, body and blood, for each of us. I don't know if the Bible means literal blood and body and haven't researched the Greek to get a better context. I don't get overly excited about it--if He does turn it into blood/flesh, that's His choice. He created an entire universe after all, I'm sure He can handle something this minor. If He doesn't turn it into actual blood/flesh, no big deal to me.

Anti-scientific nonsense? It's not a science book. He's speaking to people ranging from hut-dwellers in the remotest part of the world to the the greatest of the intelligentsia, and everyone in between. He's speaking to people about their human condition, not about the chemical formula for galactose or DNA.

Slavery and death--He was dealing with a specific people at a specific point in history. We talk about how people had slaves in pre-Civil War US all the time. People aren't perfect, God has to work with the choices people want to make, some of which are not the best for them.

Miracles leaving evidence? Why do they need to? He could leave the best evidence in the world behind, and die-hard anti-theists would somehow find a way to disbelieve anyway. It'd be nice if they did, but miracles aren't required for faith.

This makes a fundamental judgment that God allowing something 'bad' makes Him 'bad'. How do you know it won't lead to something better down the road that might not have been possible without the 'bad'? An immunization shot seems 'bad' to a baby when it's happening to him or her, but we as parents know that down the road it's what's best for the child. At the point that you develop omniscience, then you'd be able to make those kinds of value judgments.


From MST3K's spoof of "Hercules Unchained"--heard as Roman medic soldiers carry off an unconscious Greek Hercules on a 1950's Army green canvas stretcher: "Hi, we're IX-I-I. Did somebody dial IX-I-I?"

Read The Adventures of Jolee Bindo and see the amazing Peep Surgery
Story WIP: The Dragonfighters
My blog: Confessions of a Geeky Mom--Latest post: Security Alerts!
Love Star Trek AND gaming? Check out Lotus Fleet.

Jae Onasi is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 01-10-2008, 10:11 AM   #17
Ray Jones
[armleglegarmhead]
 
Ray Jones's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: digital
Posts: 8,255
10 year veteran! LF Jester Helpful! Forum Veteran 
Quote:
#1 Why won't god heal amputees?
Why should he?

Quote:
#2 Why are there so many starving people in our world?
Top model industry?

Quote:
#3 Why does god demand the death of so many innocent people in the bible?
It was necessary to tell the story. N-E-C-E-S-S-A-R-Y, you hear that?

Quote:
#4 Why does the bible contain so much anti-scientific nonsense?
2000 years ago, it was state-of-the-art-science!

Quote:
#5 Why is god such a huge proponent of slavery in the bible?
Oh, ho ho, he ain't only in the bible...

Quote:
#6 Why do bad things happen to good people?
On the same context, why do good things happen to bad people? I mean what is a good thing and what is a bad thing? The answer however is quite simple, and a question, what else: Who? Cares?

Quote:
#7 Why didn't any of jesus' miracles in the bible leave behind any evidence?
There is enough proof that many miracles leave no evidence. Why should Jesus' leave some?

Quote:
#8 How do we explain the fact that jesus has never appeared to you?
'Coz Jesus is dead and I don't take drugs, duh.

Quote:
#9 Why would jesus want you to eat his body and drink his blood?
It's a world full of fetish and creep.

Quote:
#10 Why do christians get divorced at the same rate as non-christians?
Because without Cristian divorces there wouldn't be enough broken families!


Ray Jones is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 01-10-2008, 11:37 AM   #18
MJ-W4
Junior Member
 
MJ-W4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Scrapyard No. 3
Posts: 287
@ Achilles: I see your point, and I can live with being a deist as this is a view I agree with. If you don't mind, however, I'll remain in my parish, and I will continue to have my part in our community. As it happens, I won't stop people from assuming I'm a christian and I will continue to support my church for its youth and social actions.

I will, however, stay out of this thread in the future as you rightly assumed all the way up there ^ that I don't really belong here.

See you at Kavar's, old friend.

MJ


"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace." - Jimi Hendrix
MJ-W4 is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 01-11-2008, 03:25 PM   #19
Heavyarms
The Buckeye Maneater!!!
 
Heavyarms's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: America, the Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave!
Posts: 2,473
#1 Why won't god heal amputees?
#2 Why are there so many starving people in our world?
#3 Why does god demand the death of so many innocent people in the bible?
#4 Why does the bible contain so much anti-scientific nonsense?
#5 Why is god such a huge proponent of slavery in the bible?
#6 Why do bad things happen to good people?
#7 Why didn't any of jesus' miracles in the bible leave behind any evidence?
#8 How do we explain the fact that jesus has never appeared to you?
#9 Why would jesus want you to eat his body and drink his blood?
#10 Why do christians get divorced at the same rate as non-christians?

I'm Jewish, but I'll take a shot from my religious perspective (note, it's not a rabbi, don't make me some sort of definitive source.)

1. Did someone say he had to?
2. Well, there's various reasons: civil war, strife, poor economic infrastructures...
3. Because the people of Israel were his chosen people, and he felt the others expendable.
4. Can you be 100% certain with all you know that that is what it is?
5. Same reason as #3. He also did it to punish the people of Israel, but he always did it to make them stronger (they do get free, right?)
6. To make them stronger and better people.
7. Wrong religion. I don't know.
8. Maybe he has. G-d never appeared to me, but I can tell you I felt his presence.
9. Probably to embrace him as a part of you. Divine being, you're a piece of divinity, that kind of thing. It's not that guy who munches on people from FEAR, mnid you.
10. It is part of their religious doctrine that they can get divorced. Is it something crippling?


Proud to be an American.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."-Edmund Burke
Heavyarms is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 01-12-2008, 07:56 PM   #20
Totenkopf
English spoken in What
 
Totenkopf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: What?
Posts: 4,787
Imperialist Meatbags Guild Member The Walking Carpets Guild Member Forum Veteran 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
#8 How do we explain the fact that jesus has never appeared to you?

You're unworthy, you're unworthy.


Now, I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor, dumb bastard die for his country.---Patton

There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism.---Teddy Roosevelt

I never forget a face, but in your case I'll make an exception.---Groucho

And if you all get killed, I'll piss on your graves.---Shaman Urdnot

How would you like to own a little bit of my foot in your ass.---Red Foreman
Totenkopf is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 01-12-2008, 11:50 PM   #21
Totenkopf
English spoken in What
 
Totenkopf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: What?
Posts: 4,787
Imperialist Meatbags Guild Member The Walking Carpets Guild Member Forum Veteran 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
YT clip

For those of you that want to skip the video (not recommended) and go straight to the questions, here they are:

#1 Why won't god heal amputees?
#2 Why are there so many starving people in our world?
#3 Why does god demand the death of so many innocent people in the bible?
#4 Why does the bible contain so much anti-scientific nonsense?
#5 Why is god such a huge proponent of slavery in the bible?
#6 Why do bad things happen to good people?
#7 Why didn't any of jesus' miracles in the bible leave behind any evidence?
#8 How do we explain the fact that jesus has never appeared to you?
#9 Why would jesus want you to eat his body and drink his blood?
#10 Why do christians get divorced at the same rate as non-christians?

You might as well ask why God didn't hand us our lives on a silver platter and make us immortal in *this* life. The Stones pretty much summed it up in the song "You Can't Always Get What You Want".


Now, I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor, dumb bastard die for his country.---Patton

There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism.---Teddy Roosevelt

I never forget a face, but in your case I'll make an exception.---Groucho

And if you all get killed, I'll piss on your graves.---Shaman Urdnot

How would you like to own a little bit of my foot in your ass.---Red Foreman
Totenkopf is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 01-13-2008, 03:33 AM   #22
Dagobahn Eagle
First Strike Tester
 
Dagobahn Eagle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Bergen, Norway
Posts: 3,513
Current Game: First Strike
Quote:
You might as well ask why God didn't hand us our lives on a silver platter and make us immortal in *this* life.
Asking how a 'just, loving god' can be cruel, manipulative, neglecting, jealous, pro-slavery, and inconsistent is equal to wanting immortality and a perfect life? I don't think so.

And the 'this life vs. Heaven' argument doesn't cut it either. It's just an excuse to justify your alleged God letting all this horrific stuff happen. Allowing starvation, rape, and other horrors to go on is atrocious, no matter how good a future He has planned for you.

And I think you've misunderstood the purpose of the 10 questions. My interpretation:
Quote:
#1 Why won't god heal amputees?
This one addresses the statement of many Christians that miraculous healing does occur, and asks why it only occurs for people with ailments that might have gotten better anyhow, for example cancer, and never with ailments such as lost limbs, blindness, people paralyzed from the waist down, etc. In my eyes, it's a very good way to shoot the 'God does miracles' belief down.

Quote:
#2 Why are there so many starving people in our world?
This one addresses the belief that God answers prayers and loves human beings. If He answers your prayer for an easy math test or a convenient parking spot, then why does He care so little for those in need of real help?

Quote:
#3 Why does god demand the death of so many innocent people in the bible?
This one addresses the notion from God-knows-where that Yahweh is somehow a 'just' deity. Anyone who's read the Old Testament knows this is not true.

Quote:
3. Because the people of Israel were his chosen people, and he felt the others expendable.
So in other words, He's a genocidal racist. And this excuses Him how?

What about the ones He kills who are Israelites?

Quote:
#4 Why does the bible contain so much anti-scientific nonsense?
This one addresses the belief that the Bible, with its nonsense about a flat Earth and other impossibilities, is actually 'divinely inspired'.

Quote:
4. Can you be 100% certain with all you know that that is what it is?
Can I be 100% certain that the old Hebrew conception of a flat Earth with a dome over it is scientific nonsense? Er... yes?

Quote:
Anti-scientific nonsense? It's not a science book. He's speaking to people ranging from hut-dwellers in the remotest part of the world to the the greatest of the intelligentsia, and everyone in between. He's speaking to people about their human condition, not about the chemical formula for galactose or DNA.
But why? Why does He go to such great lengths to describe how He wants His burnt offerings, instead of teaching us how to treat wounds effectively, cure diseases, keep your hands clean when operating, making pollution-free energy, etc.? He's God. He allegedly knows everything there is to know.

Quote:
#5 Why is god such a huge proponent of slavery in the bible?
See #3. Another example of a God that's millenniums behind modern Western moral standards.

Quote:
#6 Why do bad things happen to good people?
See #3. It'd be easy for an almighty God to cancel out earthquakes, fires, premature births, getting hit by drunk drivers, etc., but no, He prefers, according to believers, to sit back and watch them happen, for some 'higher purpose' we can't understand. The Red Cross or police departments or Amnesty would be chastised if they tried anything like that. 'Er, yessir, we let that girl who frantically called 911 get raped and tortured with a cigarette, but c'mon, you can't call that unloving, can you?! For real, have some faith in our secret Higher Plan(TM), willya? Oh, and by the way, if we interfered with peoples' lives, no one would be free! [goes off to fetch donut]'.

It's overly generous and naive to take an oppressing power and just go, 'oh, He must have a higher plan', without any evidence whatsoever of the existence of such a plan, or whether or not the plan is even a good one. At the very least, I'd demand to hear what the plan was, instead of just letting yourself be told off with a patronizing 'you wouldn't understand', which is no better than an adult going 'because I said so'.

Quote:
#7 Why didn't any of jesus' miracles in the bible leave behind any evidence?
Reminds you that there's no evidence whatsoever of any Jesus performing any miracles.

Quote:
#8 How do we explain the fact that jesus has never appeared to you?
See #8.

Quote:
#9 Why would jesus want you to eat his body and drink his blood?
Because He was a sick ole ****. Seriously, though, I think this one is explained in the Bible, so I'll skip it.

Quote:
#10 Why do christians get divorced at the same rate as non-christians?
This one reminds you that even though the Bible says that a relationship involving God will be stronger than one without, divorce rates are actually higher among Christians.


Last edited by Dagobahn Eagle; 01-13-2008 at 03:55 AM.
Dagobahn Eagle is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 01-14-2008, 01:33 AM   #23
Totenkopf
English spoken in What
 
Totenkopf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: What?
Posts: 4,787
Imperialist Meatbags Guild Member The Walking Carpets Guild Member Forum Veteran 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dagobahn Eagle
..........
Actually, I didn't miss it. The whole point of the list is to slam religion (specifically Chritianity). It's about what we can expect from Achilles anytime the subject comes up in these forums.


Now, I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor, dumb bastard die for his country.---Patton

There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism.---Teddy Roosevelt

I never forget a face, but in your case I'll make an exception.---Groucho

And if you all get killed, I'll piss on your graves.---Shaman Urdnot

How would you like to own a little bit of my foot in your ass.---Red Foreman
Totenkopf is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 01-13-2008, 03:29 PM   #24
Achilles
Dapper Chimp
 
Achilles's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 8,204
Helpful! Veteran Modder Forum Veteran 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Thanks for the link. Unfortunately, like all apologetic works, it doesn't answer the question - it merely offers the authors take on what an answer might look like. I love that we cannot presume to know god's will/nature except when it's convenient to do so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
So...I'm not allowed to also state my opinion because Prime already stated his?
No, you're more than welcome to state whatever you wish. I was merely trying to save myself some typing by pointing out that the argument had already been addressed.

FWIW though, I made an error: it was Dagobahn Eagle, not Prime that addressed the point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
What problem is there? Unless you're saying you're perfect, of course.
The problem is that Collins' book is an apologetic work. See: problem with apologetic works above.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
The clip creator (and apparently you since you're pointing it out as an issue) think this is something to get your shorts in knots about. I don't.
Because you choose not to apply your critical thinking skills to the problem. Hence the entire point: educated people not thinking critically and accepting things that make no sense and have no evidence. Giving you the benefit of the doubt, I presume that you wouldn't permit yourself to use this brand of lazy thinking in the workplace with a patient, but you'll use elsewhere.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
It has nothing to do with critical thinking skills, it has everything to do with the fact that it's just not that big of a deal to me. If it's representative, fine. If it's actually blood/body, you'd find out if you autopsied someone moments after the communion ceremony, but I don't see anyone volunteering to do that, so we're probably never going to get much answer.
Not sure how that isn't critical thinking to you, but sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
I have yet to see anything science-wise that's 'dead wrong', what little of it that the Bible actually discusses, and there's a lot of public health issues that were dead-on correct at a time when the rest of the world didn't have a clue. Don't trot out verses that are part of poetry and try to use them in a literal non-poetic sense, please.
Earth flat and 6,000 years old? Exactly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Pretty much covered under 'do unto others as you'd have done unto you.'. Don't make/own a slave if you don't want to be one.
Right. We used a moral standard outside of christianity (for the purposes of this discussion) to determine that some parts of christianity were right (golden rule) and that others were wrong (slavery).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Other than that, I don't know why God addressed it in that way. I know He had to speak to the culture of that day when speaking in an historical context, and that involved discussing slavery at that time.
Okay, and since god has not updated his text to tell us that slavery is wrong, then we have no reason to think that he's changed his mind about the practice. Which I've already said several times.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Discussing it in the Bible does not mean it was preferred (and in fact slaves were supposed to be set free every Jubilee year, which happened every 7 years), anymore than my discussion of Civil War slavery means I found the practice acceptable (which I didn't, just to be clear).
So god is as fallible in his writings as you are? I'm ok with that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
If God decided to deal with every single sin humans can commit, the Bible would be longer than the combined law codes of the entire planet, and entirely unusable. At some point it needs to be distilled down to its fundamental important points--love God, love Christ, love your fellow humans and the applications developed by us from there rather than an encyclopedic discussion of every single permutation of sin.
This is a blatant cop-out. With regards to the topic of slavery specifically, he could have simply replace the garbage with good stuff. He didn't need to turn the bible into the encyclopedia to tell his followers that slavery is wrong. "Thou shalt not take or keep slaves" would've done it, don't you think?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
I don't know why/why not. I don't honestly care, either--my job is to try and be as good a Christian as I can in the here and now (and yes, I screw up on a regular basis....). I find it odd that anti-theists do care, since they allegedly don't believe in God in the first place.
Okay. Thank you for simply admitting that you don't think critically about it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Given the tenor of your threads on religion, I find it extraordinarily difficult to believe you're open-minded about anything remotely related to religion in general, and Christianity in particular.
Well, I suppose I should be happy to learn that you're skeptical about something. It's unfortunate that you decided to do so in such a way that presumes to call into question my honesty. The good news is that we can quickly and objectively test my sincerity: You present evidence for the existence of god and jesus. If I don't accept that evidence, then you are correct and I am a liar. If I do accept the evidence, then I've been truthful all along.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Evidence? Your entire thread on the existence of Christ. Only fringe 'scholars' deny Christ's existence--serious scholars both in the theological and the historical fields accept His existence. Your choice to accept the word of those fringe non-believers in the face of mounting evidence speaks volumes.
Gee, Jae, then you should be able to produce volumes of evidence for his existence right? I mean, if all the cool kids are believing in jesus, then that surely must mean that he was real, right? The fact that you haven't participated in that thread (beyond begging "research") tells me that you don't have any evidence. Any christian that wants to lay the mother of all smackdowns on my arguments can do so any time they choose. Appeal to authority arguments don't impress me, Jae. You should know that by now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
So what if He works in ways that I can't yet understand? There have been times in my life where I thought some situation was awful that in retrospect turned out to be for the best for me or my family in the long run.
And? That doesn't mean god had anything to do with it. If I told you that it was invisible pink unicorns that influenced events, you'd insist on proof. In the mean time, "god" gets to serve as a legitimate answer without any scrutiny whatsoever. Where's the intellectual honesty in that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Do you understand the entire workings of the universe?
Relevance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Do you _need_ to to function in life?
No, not at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
And why are you making that fundamental assumption that because it appears to be bad to you at that point that it _is_ bad?
That what is bad, Jae?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
You make this point that God must be bad because we don't like it, but then you refuse to accept anything God-related as an answer by making a statement like this. It's a fundamental atheist flaw in thinking.
Because we don't like what? Also, please clarify what you mean by "it's a fundamental flaw in atheist thinking". Thanks in advance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
What does diagnosing and treating a patient have to do with religion? I don't treat patients by handing them the Bible or quoting Kant at them, I treat them with medicine. When I study the Bible with others in church, I don't hand them a text on vitreo-retinal disorders. The skillsets are different, though I will tell you that there is a great deal that we doctors don't know in medicine, too.
This isn't about skill sets, Jae. Please don't try to change the subject or equivocate in order to avoid having to address the argument. We're talking about critical thinking. You do it at work, but not at church. Why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Sure, until you start answering the questions 'Why am I here?' 'What is my purpose in life?' 'What is my fundamental reason for being?' You can attempt to answer those questions with naturalism, but those answers ring hollow.
You're changing the subject. Regardless, your questions presume that there is a purpose to life. Naturalism doesn't share this presumption.
Achilles is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 01-14-2008, 05:47 PM   #25
Heavyarms
The Buckeye Maneater!!!
 
Heavyarms's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: America, the Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave!
Posts: 2,473
Okay, look, this thread has about as much usefulness as the other "religion vs logic/atheism" threads in here. Neither one of you is really going to convince the other of their opinions. For religious types, it is more about the fact that some things cannot be explained because there is a bigger strategy at work. For those who aren't, it's about the inconsistencies and pointing out the flaws of the others.

I happen to be of the former, but both sides raise important issues. Human strife existed the instant we were created, according to the Bible. Adam went in the Garden of Eden with Eve, they made G-d upset, and they got kicked out. They get fruitful and multiply, and people start becoming wicked, and then they're all killed. Cycle repeats ab it, various other things happen.

In the end, who cares? It doesn't matter whether or not I answer the "10 questions that every intelligent (insert religion here, but because it's more fun these days, Christianity) must answer" because the answers will always be inconsistent.


Proud to be an American.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."-Edmund Burke
Heavyarms is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 01-15-2008, 07:27 AM   #26
Ray Jones
[armleglegarmhead]
 
Ray Jones's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: digital
Posts: 8,255
10 year veteran! LF Jester Helpful! Forum Veteran 
HEY! My answers were totally consistent, and coherent. Granted, I am not a Christian, or following any god, but...you know.

On the other hand, it doesn't even matters if we all are gonna die today, because in the end, who cares?


Ray Jones is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 04-10-2008, 03:09 PM   #27
Maxstate
I forgot.... what?
 
Maxstate's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: ;o ;p :eek:
Posts: 2,090
I've seen questions like this before and it's almost like they're all from the same guy. You know the one. "RE:FW:FW:FW:FW WHY DO BLACKS GET HISTORY MONTH BUT WHITES DON'T", that one.

There's only one question atheists should ask themselves, if I may take the liberty to equate the word atheist to science-believer or science-follower, secularist; does it really matter? If you presume that the entire premise they believe in is false, then how can the answers based on questions, in turn based on a source that is not valid, be valid?

Goddamnit if some of us AY THEE ISTS aren't as goddamn stupid as some christians..


Last edited by Maxstate; 04-12-2008 at 12:27 PM.
Maxstate is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 04-14-2008, 03:14 PM   #28
Samuel Dravis
 
Samuel Dravis's Avatar
 
Status: Moderator
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 4,973
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxstate
If you presume that the entire premise they believe in is false, then how can the answers based on questions, in turn based on a source that is not valid, be valid?
The question's possible answers are fairly irrelevant. The point of asking these questions is not necessarily to come up with any specific answer; it is to demonstrate that no answer to them is good enough, no answer explanatory, no answer sufficient.

It's like someone asking you "Do you have a mind?" and you say, "sure." But then the other guy asks you: "well, if you have it, then where is it? Show it to me." Etc. He's not really asking for an answer to where your mind is; he's trying to get you to recognize that a problem exists...

Similarly here: this guy asks these questions because they don't seem to have any good answers-- and they should have good answers, shouldn't they?


"Words are deeds." - Wittgenstein
Samuel Dravis is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 04-15-2008, 06:17 AM   #29
Maxstate
I forgot.... what?
 
Maxstate's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: ;o ;p :eek:
Posts: 2,090
Quote:
Originally Posted by Samuel Dravis
The question's possible answers are fairly irrelevant. The point of asking these questions is not necessarily to come up with any specific answer; it is to demonstrate that no answer to them is good enough, no answer explanatory, no answer sufficient.

It's like someone asking you "Do you have a mind?" and you say, "sure." But then the other guy asks you: "well, if you have it, then where is it? Show it to me." Etc. He's not really asking for an answer to where your mind is; he's trying to get you to recognize that a problem exists...

Similarly here: this guy asks these questions because they don't seem to have any good answers-- and they should have good answers, shouldn't they?
Maybe I'm getting misunderstood because of my tendency to use over-pretentious vocabulary. What I'm trying to say here is that they, "intelligent" christians, have no reason to answer these questions from "intelligent" atheists. Since if these atheists were in fact intelligent, they wouldn't be asking these questions.

Maxstate is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 04-15-2008, 10:12 AM   #30
Achilles
Dapper Chimp
 
Achilles's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 8,204
Helpful! Veteran Modder Forum Veteran 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxstate
Since if these atheists were in fact intelligent, they wouldn't be asking these questions.
Why is that?

I have to assume that you didn't watch the video because the author explains precisely why the target audience is "intelligent christians".
Achilles is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 04-14-2008, 09:43 AM   #31
Kylilin
Wiseass
 
Kylilin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Fairfield, CT
Posts: 2,306
Current Game: Skyrim
Forum Veteran 
Being someone who was raised as a Catholic, and has since had at the very least, an uneasy time dealing with spirituality, I have arrived at my own view of life as it relates to a higher power:

I believe there is a higher power, but I don't know what or who that power is and I know I am not it either.
I believe the Bible is a book written by man, and what is in that book reflects the best wisdom of its day. Other than the message that certain parts portray, I find the literal interpretation of that wisdom to be outdated.
I don't subscribe to atheism either, life would seem way too empty and pointless if I knew for a fact that there was nothing to look forward too after death, or if I knew that there no sort of mystical force guiding us all to some unnamed and unforseen destiny.
I don't view any one religion as more right or wrong over any other.

A very wise man once sang: "Whatever gets you through the night." I think I believe in that most of all.


"Who is splendid among men, who is glorious among heroes?"
--excerpt from Gilgamesh
Kylilin is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 04-14-2008, 01:56 PM   #32
Achilles
Dapper Chimp
 
Achilles's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 8,204
Helpful! Veteran Modder Forum Veteran 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxstate
There's only one question atheists should ask themselves, if I may take the liberty to equate the word atheist to science-believer or science-follower, secularist; does it really matter?
Absolutely it matters.

Ask the victims of all the people that died on September 11th, 2001 if belief in Islam "really matters". Ask the global warming crowd if the fundamentalist christians who believe that none of it matters anyhow because Jesus will be returning soon if that belief "really matters". We're all in this together, so yes, what other people believe is crucial.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxstate
If you presume that the entire premise they believe in is false, then how can the answers based on questions, in turn based on a source that is not valid, be valid?
If a crazy guy has a gun pointed at your head, do you think your acknowledging his being crazy is going to anything to save your life? You think reasoning with him will work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kylilin
I don't subscribe to atheism either, life would seem way too empty and pointless if I knew for a fact that there was nothing to look forward too after death, or if I knew that there no sort of mystical force guiding us all to some unnamed and unforseen destiny.
So life cannot have value unless there is a payoff after death? There's no cause to appreciate today for what it is or to acknowledge and treasure the people that you love in your life unless you're guaranteed to see them after you've all died?

I disagree, my friend. The way I see it, the idea of destiny and afterlife suck the meaning out of life, not add to it. But of course, I probably read too much Bertrand Russell as a young man too, so...
Achilles is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 04-14-2008, 03:42 PM   #33
Kylilin
Wiseass
 
Kylilin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Fairfield, CT
Posts: 2,306
Current Game: Skyrim
Forum Veteran 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles

So life cannot have value unless there is a payoff after death? There's no cause to appreciate today for what it is or to acknowledge and treasure the people that you love in your life unless you're guaranteed to see them after you've all died?

I disagree, my friend. The way I see it, the idea of destiny and afterlife suck the meaning out of life, not add to it. But of course, I probably read too much Bertrand Russell as a young man too, so...

I am enjoying my life right now, but I don't think looking forward to something else possibly bigger and better, whether it be a new life or something else entirely is really something so offending or so out of line that it would devalue the life I lead right now. It's not something I would expect anyone else to understand, nor am I asking anyone to understand it, it's just they way I feel.


"Who is splendid among men, who is glorious among heroes?"
--excerpt from Gilgamesh
Kylilin is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 04-14-2008, 05:30 PM   #34
Achilles
Dapper Chimp
 
Achilles's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 8,204
Helpful! Veteran Modder Forum Veteran 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kylilin
I am enjoying my life right now, but I don't think looking forward to something else possibly bigger and better, whether it be a new life or something else entirely is really something so offending or so out of line that it would devalue the life I lead right now.
With all due respect, this doesn't seem to jive very well with the "life wouldn't be worth living" sentiment above.

If we agree that this life is the only one that we have evidence for and therefore should be the only one that matters, then an afterlife (a prospect for which we have no reliable expectations) should be considered "gravy" at best, not a reason for living, in and of itself.
Achilles is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 04-14-2008, 07:27 PM   #35
Kylilin
Wiseass
 
Kylilin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Fairfield, CT
Posts: 2,306
Current Game: Skyrim
Forum Veteran 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
With all due respect, this doesn't seem to jive very well with the "life wouldn't be worth living" sentiment above.

If we agree that this life is the only one that we have evidence for and therefore should be the only one that matters, then an afterlife (a prospect for which we have no reliable expectations) should be considered "gravy" at best, not a reason for living, in and of itself.

You misunderstand me. I do consider an afterlife "gravy" at best. Why can't I look forward to that gravy or icing on the cake? It doesn't define the very nature of my being, far from it. It doesn't make me act extra good (or bad) for hopes of reward in the beyond. It was not my intention to give off a "life wouldn't be worth living" sentiment. Do not peg me as someone who is hoping to die so I can see what happens next, please, I love video games and my wife's tits way too much to give up my life, to put it bluntly.


"Who is splendid among men, who is glorious among heroes?"
--excerpt from Gilgamesh
Kylilin is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 04-14-2008, 10:33 PM   #36
Kylilin
Wiseass
 
Kylilin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Fairfield, CT
Posts: 2,306
Current Game: Skyrim
Forum Veteran 
I don't see a contradiction at all. So, good for me.

I don't believe that believing in some sort of life after death devalues the current life I lead, just as I believe that its kind of nice to have the afterlife to hope for or look forwad to.

Maybe my wording in earlier posts were too strong, but find the contradiction in the above statement.


"Who is splendid among men, who is glorious among heroes?"
--excerpt from Gilgamesh
Kylilin is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 04-14-2008, 10:44 PM   #37
Achilles
Dapper Chimp
 
Achilles's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 8,204
Helpful! Veteran Modder Forum Veteran 
Life is empty and pointless without the prospect of an afterlife = the prospect of an afterlife is simply gravy.

This jives for you? Okay.
Achilles is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 04-14-2008, 10:55 PM   #38
Kylilin
Wiseass
 
Kylilin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Fairfield, CT
Posts: 2,306
Current Game: Skyrim
Forum Veteran 
You take my words too far.... so screw it, I'm tired of this nonsense. Yeah, it jives for me, so don't worry about it so much. I'll just have to live with my contradictions, poor me.


"Who is splendid among men, who is glorious among heroes?"
--excerpt from Gilgamesh
Kylilin is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 04-14-2008, 11:03 PM   #39
Achilles
Dapper Chimp
 
Achilles's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 8,204
Helpful! Veteran Modder Forum Veteran 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kylilin
You take my words too far....
At every point I've asked for your help to reconcile those statements. Rather than do so, you've opted to simply state that they aren't contradictory and now you're just leaving the thread. If you don't offer clarification when it's asked for, then I don't see how I can be guilty of misconstruing your statement.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kylilin
Yeah, it jives for me, so don't worry about it so much.
Yet another example of the type of thinking the author sought to address.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kylilin
I'll just have to live with my contradictions, poor me.
Sounds good. Take care.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Nicholas Gier
The Buddha was frequently asked questions such as the following: (1) Is the world eternal or not eternal? (2) Is the soul the same as the body or different from the body? (3) Is there life after death or no life after death? The secret of the Buddha's famous Middle Way is to ascertain the difference between desires that can be fulfilled (they are not karma accruing) and cravings, i.e., desires that cannot be satisfied and hence karma crediting. One of the most subtle and deep-seated desires is a "craving for views," typically expressed in metaphysical queries such as the ones above.

The Buddha called such problems "questions that do not tend to edification," and he usually answered with what I call "neither/nor dialectic": (1) The world is neither eternal nor not eternal; (2) the soul is neither the same as the body nor different from the body; and (3) there is neither life after death nor no life after death. This dialectical technique was perfected by the great Mahayana philosopher Nagarjuna, but its effect was just as powerful in the Buddha's original words. "Neither/nor dialectic" essentially destroys "craving for views" by negating it to death.
So the best way to answer the question is to propose a third choice that simply circumvents the need to answer the question altogether? Definitely an alternative, but it doesn't seem to be very intellectually honest. In fact, I would say that it's simply a variation on the point that the author was trying to address.

Last edited by Achilles; 04-14-2008 at 11:13 PM. Reason: fixed quote box
Achilles is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 04-14-2008, 10:59 PM   #40
tk102
Well past expiration date
 
tk102's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 5,766
Current Game: Dragon Age: Origins
Forum Veteran Helpful! Notable contributor 
Ah yes, the "either-or" dilemma. Higher power or no higher power. Monotheism or atheism.

Perhaps you might consider opting out by considering "both-and" or "neither-nor" positions. The former is akin to Hinduism, the latter Buddhism. The former I've espoused in other threads and won't elaborate on it again too much here except to say that pantheism and panentheism both fit into "contradictory" both-and dialectic.

Regarding neither-nor, I found a nice quote from my old philosophy teacher online:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Nicholas Gier
The Buddha was frequently asked questions such as the following: (1) Is the world eternal or not eternal? (2) Is the soul the same as the body or different from the body? (3) Is there life after death or no life after death? The secret of the Buddha's famous Middle Way is to ascertain the difference between desires that can be fulfilled (they are not karma accruing) and cravings, i.e., desires that cannot be satisfied and hence karma crediting. One of the most subtle and deep-seated desires is a "craving for views," typically expressed in metaphysical queries such as the ones above.

The Buddha called such problems "questions that do not tend to edification," and he usually answered with what I call "neither/nor dialectic": (1) The world is neither eternal nor not eternal; (2) the soul is neither the same as the body nor different from the body; and (3) there is neither life after death nor no life after death. This dialectical technique was perfected by the great Mahayana philosopher Nagarjuna, but its effect was just as powerful in the Buddha's original words. "Neither/nor dialectic" essentially destroys "craving for views" by negating it to death.
See also Mindstream. Or not.


tk102 is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Post a new thread. Add a reply to this thread. Indicate all threads in this forum as read. Subscribe to this forum. RSS feed: this forum RSS feed: all forums
Go Back   LucasForums > Network > JediKnight Series > Community > Senate Chambers > 10 questions that every intelligent Christian must answer

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:42 AM.

LFNetwork, LLC ©2002-2011 - All rights reserved.
Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.