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Thread: Religion Thread: ...and suddenly, everyone's a theology scholar

  1. #961
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    Re: Religion Thread: ...and suddenly, everyone's a theology scholar

    Quote Originally Posted by 5mn_Major View Post

    4. 'Many, probably most, of we who are not superstitious can appreciate the works of superstition as wonderful flights of human imagination. Time travel is a fun human idea, but god is an even more fun human idea' - This is where the conclusion gap is. Usually atheists use a literal Bible to bridge the gap that the 'Bible has stories' to 'God doesn't exist'. I see you accepting a conceptual Bible, but then just moving to God doesn't exist. Not sure on what evidence that conclusion rests.
    You want Kep to produce evidence that God doesn't exist?

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    Re: Religion Thread: ...and suddenly, everyone's a theology scholar

    Quote Originally Posted by burd View Post
    You want Kep to produce evidence that God doesn't exist?
    Better said - rationale.
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    Re: Religion Thread: ...and suddenly, everyone's a theology scholar

    Quote Originally Posted by 5mn_Major View Post
    Better said - rationale.
    Parsimony.

    My conclusion that gods don't exist has nothing to do with the Bible. It has to do with the gods as a concept. It is far simpler to explain the gods as a human creation, of which we have tens of thousands, than to accept God as a first principle. Not only are you are reversing the burden of proof, but you are giving yourself the job of untangling all the contradictions that come afterwards.

    BTW, West World is in my view the most sophisticated discussion of these themes that's ever been put before the gen pop. It's not quite what I have in mind as what is the real history of the god myth (the Bicameral Mind had its day in the 70s but doesn't seem to have any neurobiological basis), but it's close enough for a first pass. Strap in.

    Consciousness arises very slowly on a spectrum from rock to insects to Republicans to cats to whales to man. There is no binary on/off switch -- we've even seen how consciousness is not fully developed in some people and seems to be off the charts overdeveloped in others (much to their unhappiness). Note that while consciousness seems to sit in the bed of intellect it is not simply intellect. It's some other attribute of processes of matter set in motion by biochemistry and made immaterial by electromagnetism and subatomic magic.

    However it happened, eventually perception doubled back upon itself, and then upon perception itself, and then upon meta-perception, and into the recursive infinite. Somewhere in there we created the proto-language of our private mind, and then spoken language to link up different minds, and then written language to link us across time, and then communications technology to link across space. Somewhere we stopped being just wetware and became linked wetware through culture and then techware through our gadgetry. Again, this is continuuous, not discrete.

    Meanwhile... in another part of the mental forest... our power of extrapolation inevitably made us notice that we were moving in a seeming progression, and a journey suggests a destination. And so we made up, in turn, God 1.0: The Spacefather, then conscience, then ethics, then God 2.0: Be Nice You As-sholes, then Hegel's world-historical Spirity thingamajig, now nerdcore fetishes of capital I Information, to try to nail down our ephemeral guesses about our consciousness at any given stage if amplified to infinity (and beyond!).

    That's God as a human invention in a nutshell. I'm happy with it; it works for me. God as a metaphor for Love with some kind of actuality and will seems to work for you (and to be fair many, many more millions than my version).

    No doubt in the year 2525 if man is still alive there will be theories and intellectual constructs that see us both as hopelessly mired in the restrictions of our own times. Happily, I do not plan to be there, seeing that Garth Snow's Futurama-style head will still be running the Islanders.
    Last edited by Kepler; 04-10-2018 at 03:46 PM.
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    Re: Religion Thread: ...and suddenly, everyone's a theology scholar

    What about in 3535?
    "The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command." George Orwell, 1984

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    Re: Religion Thread: ...and suddenly, everyone's a theology scholar

    Quote Originally Posted by Kepler View Post
    Parsimony.

    My conclusion that gods don't exist has nothing to do with the Bible. It has to do with the gods as a concept. It is far simpler to explain the gods as a human creation, of which we have tens of thousands, than to accept God as a first principle. Not only are you are reversing the burden of proof, but you are giving yourself the job of untangling all the contradictions that come afterwards.

    BTW, West World is in my view the most sophisticated discussion of these themes that's ever been put before the gen pop. It's not quite what I have in mind as what is the real history of the god myth (the Bicameral Mind had its day in the 70s but doesn't seem to have any neurobiological basis), but it's close enough for a first pass. Strap in.

    Consciousness arises very slowly on a spectrum from rock to insects to Republicans to cats to whales to man. There is no binary on/off switch -- we've even seen how consciousness is not fully developed in some people and seems to be off the charts overdeveloped in others (much to their unhappiness). Note that while consciousness seems to sit in the bed of intellect it is not simply intellect. It's some other attribute of processes of matter set in motion by biochemistry and made immaterial by electromagnetism and subatomic magic.

    However it happened, eventually perception doubled back upon itself, and then upon perception itself, and then upon meta-perception, and into the recursive infinite. Somewhere in there we created the proto-language of our private mind, and then spoken language to link up different minds, and then written language to link us across time, and then communications technology to link across space. Somewhere we stopped being just wetware and became linked wetware through culture and then techware through our gadgetry. Again, this is continuuous, not discrete.

    Meanwhile... in another part of the mental forest... our power of extrapolation inevitably made us notice that we were moving in a seeming progression, and a journey suggests a destination. And so we made up, in turn, God 1.0: The Spacefather, then conscience, then ethics, then God 2.0: Be Nice You As-sholes, then Hegel's world-historical Spirity thingamajig, now nerdcore fetishes of capital I Information, to try to nail down our ephemeral guesses about our consciousness at any given stage if amplified to infinity (and beyond!).

    That's God as a human invention in a nutshell. I'm happy with it; it works for me. God as a metaphor for Love with some kind of actuality and will seems to work for you (and to be fair many, many more millions than my version).

    No doubt in the year 2525 if man is still alive there will be theories and intellectual constructs that see us both as hopelessly mired in the restrictions of our own times. Happily, I do not plan to be there, seeing that Garth Snow's Futurama-style head will still be running the Islanders.
    Neat perspective. Your position is that it is not with the impossibility as described by the Bible but from likely outcomes of a functional mind. Discussing the pros and cons of that theory required more psychology/physiology studies than I had interest.

    I know that when trying to answer whether God exists - it can be more 'freeing' to believe that there is no God. I've heard it here and I know it because I've been there. I totally get thinking of those who 'believe' are narrow.

    But I soon reached the conclusion that the problem wasn't with them...it was with the question. Many live to argue whether God exists. Atheism is defined as the absence of belief in the existence of deities - and some self described Christians' approach is similar. I soon realized that belief in God is not the question worthy of spending time. The questions worthy of study should be - what is right and wrong? What is its scope? What are the implications? Whom I going to be? How should I apply it? How should I react with others? ...that being said...why is this all true? Because refuting a meaningless god is meaningless. God has a name and its love.
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    Re: Religion Thread: ...and suddenly, everyone's a theology scholar

    Quote Originally Posted by 5mn_Major View Post
    I know that when trying to answer whether God exists - it can be more 'freeing' to believe that there is no God.
    Freeing, but hard. The consolation is it's true, and if you're doing it right then you are a life and not a playing piece.

    Existentialism is nothing else but an attempt to draw the full conclusions from a consistently atheistic position. Its intention is not in the least that of plunging men into despair. And if by despair one means as the Christians do – any attitude of unbelief, the despair of the existentialists is something different. Existentialism is not atheist in the sense that it would exhaust itself in demonstrations of the non-existence of God. It declares, rather, that even if God existed that would make no difference from its point of view. Not that we believe God does exist, but we think that the real problem is not that of His existence; what man needs is to find himself again and to understand that nothing can save him from himself, not even a valid proof of the existence of God. In this sense existentialism is optimistic. It is a doctrine of action, and it is only by self-deception, by confining their own despair with ours that Christians can describe us as without hope.
    BTW, it does not really make sense to say "to believe there are no gods." This is like saying "to collect not stamps."
    Last edited by Kepler; 04-10-2018 at 06:44 PM.
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    Re: Religion Thread: ...and suddenly, everyone's a theology scholar

    Quote Originally Posted by 5mn_Major View Post
    I soon realized that belief in God is not the question worthy of spending time. The questions worthy of study should be - what is right and wrong? What is its scope? What are the implications? Whom I going to be? How should I apply it? How should I react with others? ...that being said...why is this all true?
    I quite agree that the former question is of academic interest while the latter are the stuff of humanism at its finest.

    I wish all Christians were as thoughtful as you. The reason there is currently so much push back against Christianity is that the worst among you have proclaimed themselves as your spokesmen and then started pushing their garbage down all our throats. To me this is obviously a rerun of Jesus telling the Sadducees (I think?) that they have Missed the Point. We had Thumpers in the past, too, but they were treated as kooks by the broader Christian community. Unfortunately the trend in Christianity over the last 50 years has been much like the trend on the right in politics: the loons have taken control while the sane have thrown up their hands in disgust and left. We could really use moderate Christians raising their voices and taking the power back from the extremists.
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    Re: Religion Thread: ...and suddenly, everyone's a theology scholar

    Quote Originally Posted by Kepler View Post
    I quite agree that the former question is of academic interest while the latter are the stuff of humanism at its finest.

    I wish all Christians were as thoughtful as you. The reason there is currently so much push back against Christianity is that the worst among you have proclaimed themselves as your spokesmen and then started pushing their garbage down all our throats. To me this is obviously a rerun of Jesus telling the Sadducees (I think?) that they have Missed the Point. We had Thumpers in the past, too, but they were treated as kooks by the broader Christian community. Unfortunately the trend in Christianity over the last 50 years has been much like the trend on the right in politics: the loons have taken control while the sane have thrown up their hands in disgust and left. We could really use moderate Christians raising their voices and taking the power back from the extremists.
    This is why I was grateful to meet Rev. Jen of the Episcopalians. She's an out lesbian, and that congregation has welcomed me with open arms.

    Meanwhile, if I think about my old church, at best, I'd be told to stand in the corner, or I'd be asked to leave.
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    Re: Religion Thread: ...and suddenly, everyone's a theology scholar

    Quote Originally Posted by Kepler View Post
    I quite agree that the former question is of academic interest while the latter are the stuff of humanism at its finest.

    I wish all Christians were as thoughtful as you. The reason there is currently so much push back against Christianity is that the worst among you have proclaimed themselves as your spokesmen and then started pushing their garbage down all our throats. To me this is obviously a rerun of Jesus telling the Sadducees (I think?) that they have Missed the Point. We had Thumpers in the past, too, but they were treated as kooks by the broader Christian community. Unfortunately the trend in Christianity over the last 50 years has been much like the trend on the right in politics: the loons have taken control while the sane have thrown up their hands in disgust and left. We could really use moderate Christians raising their voices and taking the power back from the extremists.
    Thanks.

    If you came to Earth for the first time and studied all the media in the US, I have little doubt you'd reach the conclusion that liberals were evil.

    So while 'bad' Christians are getting press...good Christians are out making the world a better place at a rate unrivaled by other major constituencies (or so I would place serious money). Are marital affairs a good thing? Absolutely not. Does that wipe out the benefits of feeding, building homes, helping the homeless and giving clean water to tens of thousands? I think not.
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    Re: Religion Thread: ...and suddenly, everyone's a theology scholar

    Quote Originally Posted by 5mn_Major View Post
    If you came to Earth for the first time and studied all the media in the US, I have little doubt you'd reach the conclusion that liberals were evil.

    So while 'bad' Christians are getting press...good Christians are out making the world a better place
    This is absolutely fair and an excellent point.

    I'll ignore the rest of your statement since you are conflating being religious with being a good person and saying Christians are statistically better people, which is... and I am being very restrained here...








































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































    ... unlikely.

    But anyway that stuff is not essential to your central point: it is grotesquely unfair to judge any group by the members of that group who make the news. Amen.
    Last edited by Kepler; 04-11-2018 at 11:03 AM.
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    Re: Religion Thread: ...and suddenly, everyone's a theology scholar

    OK...on the same page regarding the general premise.

    So...setting aside the bad for a minute. Can you submit a candidate major group constituency that has, as a greater statistical membership percentage, done as much general compassionate works for greater society?
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    Re: Religion Thread: ...and suddenly, everyone's a theology scholar

    Quote Originally Posted by 5mn_Major View Post
    OK...on the same page regarding the general premise.

    So...setting aside the bad for a minute. Can you submit a candidate major group constituency that has, as a greater statistical membership percentage, done as much general compassionate works for greater society?
    My money's on chicks.

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    Re: Religion Thread: ...and suddenly, everyone's a theology scholar

    Quote Originally Posted by 5mn_Major View Post
    OK...on the same page regarding the general premise.

    So...setting aside the bad for a minute. Can you submit a candidate major group constituency that has, as a greater statistical membership percentage, done as much general compassionate works for greater society?
    SPLC?
    Oncologists?
    My company (something like 80%+ participation in charitable works)?
    Anyone playing the Yankees?
    Planned Parenthood?

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    Re: Religion Thread: ...and suddenly, everyone's a theology scholar

    Quote Originally Posted by Kepler View Post
    This is absolutely fair and an excellent point.

    I'll ignore the rest of your statement since you are conflating being religious with being a good person and saying Christians are statistically better people, which is... and I am being very restrained here...








































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































    ... unlikely.

    But anyway that stuff is not essential to your central point: it is grotesquely unfair to judge any group by the members of that group who make the news. Amen.
    This made me laugh. Sometimes this thread is like watching a soap opera. Go away for a few weeks, come back and same old tired argument. I think pretty much all of the rest of us would agree being a Christian is not a requirement for doing good. Just because a person is good and Christian does not mean their Christianity is the reason they are good or doing good. I really don't get the obsession with having Christianity get all the credit for the good things in the world. Pretty sure Jesus wouldn't give a rat's a55 as long as the good is happening. (for the record I am a practicing Christian, not just nominally one)

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    Re: Religion Thread: ...and suddenly, everyone's a theology scholar

    In the eyes of the Catholic Church, I'm nominal. Nom-nom-nom.
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    Re: Religion Thread: ...and suddenly, everyone's a theology scholar

    Quote Originally Posted by leswp1 View Post
    This made me laugh. Sometimes this thread is like watching a soap opera. Go away for a few weeks, come back and same old tired argument. I think pretty much all of the rest of us would agree being a Christian is not a requirement for doing good. Just because a person is good and Christian does not mean their Christianity is the reason they are good or doing good. I really don't get the obsession with having Christianity get all the credit for the good things in the world. Pretty sure Jesus wouldn't give a rat's a55 as long as the good is happening. (for the record I am a practicing Christian, not just nominally one)
    1) 100% of the articles posted here are cherry-picked negative towards Christians - a common atheist approach to paint all Christians as bad.

    2) When anyone/I try to show in response that Christians are also responsible for a lot of positive impact...you criticize them.

    3) And yes, Jesus would give a 'rat's a55' about attempts to make his entire following look terrible.
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    Re: Religion Thread: ...and suddenly, everyone's a theology scholar

    Quote Originally Posted by 5mn_Major View Post
    1) 100% of the articles posted here are cherry-picked negative towards Christians - a common atheist approach to paint all Christians as bad.

    2) When anyone/I try to show in response that Christians are also responsible for a lot of positive impact...you criticize them.

    3) And yes, Jesus would give a 'rat's a55' about attempts to make his entire following look terrible.
    #1- balderdash.
    #2- no. I just don't buy into your need to label everything good as Christian or connected to Christianity as a motive.
    #3- ??? I haven't seen attempts to make the entire following of Christ look terrible. When you post your perception of this there are numerous posts trying to refute this view. It must be a terrible burden to see everything totally in black and white. And even if I bought into this view I still don't think Jesus would get tweaked about it. He wasn't worried about what other people thought about Him. That's why He called out the Pharisees and Sadducees for freaking about silly stuff. That's why He ate with tax collectors, hung out with people on the fringes and told people to get over themselves. Read Matthew.

    How did I get sucked into this again? The more things change the more they stay the same....back to lurking
    Last edited by leswp1; 04-12-2018 at 07:27 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 5mn_Major View Post
    OK...on the same page regarding the general premise.

    So...setting aside the bad for a minute. Can you submit a candidate major group constituency that has, as a greater statistical membership percentage, done as much general compassionate works for greater society?
    You know what else Christians do at a higher rate than other religions? Win pro tennis and golf tournaments, score NFL touchdowns, ride Kentucky derby winners, chair the boards of Fortune 500 companies, commit mass murders, defraud investors. Get speeding tickets, and just about anything else you can think of that happens in our society. Does Christianity get the credit for those things, too?

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    Re: Religion Thread: ...and suddenly, everyone's a theology scholar

    Quote Originally Posted by LynahFan View Post
    You know what else Christians do at a higher rate than other religions? Win pro tennis and golf tournaments, score NFL touchdowns, ride Kentucky derby winners, chair the boards of Fortune 500 companies, commit mass murders, defraud investors. Get speeding tickets, and just about anything else you can think of that happens in our society. Does Christianity get the credit for those things, too?
    Exactly. Christianity gets verbal credit for many things for which its not responsible. It is what it is.

    However there are exact specifics that are the core of what Jesus taught - i.e., aiding the poor, the less fortunate and those in need. To illustrate, specific faith events leading to Danny Thomas single handedly creating one of the top hospitals in the world for children in need. The Word... leading to faith...leading to societal outcomes that are directly tied back to both faith and the Word.
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    Re: Religion Thread: ...and suddenly, everyone's a theology scholar

    So I'm going to take a different approach to this prior discussion...
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